By the end of the current two-year budget cycle on August 31, 2019, Texas’ gov- ernment will have spent more than $1.4 trillion in the 16 years since the state’s fiscal year 2004. While collecting and spending this money takes a massive effort, even more challenging is accurately accounting for these dollars. Legislative tactics, insufficient reporting, and the complexity of the budget make it difficult for Texans to accurately assess the size and scope of their government, which has contributed to excessive state spending over time.

Key Points

  • Texas’ 2018-19 state budget includes initial appropriations of $216.8 billion, a 3.7 percent increase over the previous bud- get’s initial appropriations.
  • State spending has increased faster than the pace of population growth and inflation since 2004, at a cost to taxpayers of $14.8 billion this biennium, or almost $1,000 more, on average, for a family of four this year.
  • The Real Texas Budget demonstrates the need for increasing budget transparency and restraining government spending.
  • Legislators should pass a Conservative Texas Budget in 2019 holding increases in appropriations of all funds and state funds to less than population growth plus inflation from current levels.