AUSTIN – Today, the Texas Senate passed their version of the 2016-17 total budget of $211.4 billion for a 4.6 percent increase over the current budget. Two weeks ago, the House passed their version of the budget that increased by 3.8 percent to $209.8 billion. These two versions will now go to Conference to resolve any differences. Both versions of the budget reserve revenue for tax relief.
The Foundation’s Center for Fiscal Policy Director Talmadge Heflin issued the following statement:
“It is encouraging to see that both chambers passed their version of the total budget with less than a 6.5 percent increase that’s based on population growth plus inflation as recommended by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and 14 other members of the Conservative Texas Budget Coalition. By keeping the growth of the budget within this maximum, there is room for substantial tax cuts. We will keep an eye on the budget process as it goes to the Conference Committee. It is important that the Legislature not spend more than Texans can support, leaving money available to return to Texas families.”
The Honorable Talmadge Heflin, Director of the Center for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. In the 78th Session, Heflin served as chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations and navigated a $10 billion state budget shortfall through targeted spending cuts that allowed Texans to avoid a tax increase.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.