The Facts

* Incoming lawmakers look to have at least $2.6 billion potential surplus for the 2016-17 biennium.

* State spending growth since 2004-05 is 8.8% greater than what would have been spent over this period if total spending grew at the pace of population growth and inflation.

* Effectively solving the state’s budgeting difficulties will require bold leadership and vision guided by a principled approach, similar to the approach outlined in The Real Texas Budget.

* The TEL is ineffective because it excludes certain appropriations, is based on the estimated growth of personal income, and because of the ease with which lawmakers can get around it.


* Apply the TEL to all areas of Texas government spending.

* Base the limit on the growth rate of population plus inflation, personal income, or gross state product, whichever is less. 

* Require a super majority vote of each chamber to exceed its limit rather than just a simple majority vote.