We recommend voting NO on SB 500.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation opposes SB 500 because it exceeds the Conservative Texas Budget (CTB) limit and unnecessarily grows government at the expense of taxpayers and the Texas economy.

A Conservative Texas Budget is defined as a budget that grows no more from the previous cycle than population plus inflation. In other words, it is based on a taxpayer’s ability to pay.

Ultimately, conservative budget reforms will provide Texas with the best opportunity to empower Texans to reach their full potential and allow the state to remain a free market model for others to follow.”

— Talmadge Heflin

Texas’ 2018-19 budget was well on its way last session to staying within the CTB’s growth limit of a 4.5 percent increase for both state appropriations and total appropriations, including federal funds.

But the table below shows that the committee substitute for Senate Bill 500, which is the Texas Senate’s supplemental bill to finish the current budget period, would–if it became law–end the possibility of a second consecutive CTB. The amount of all funds (state and federal funds) exceeds that CTB limit—the total footprint of state government. For comparison, the table also shows that the introduced version of House Bill 4, the House’s supplemental bill, would fall below both limits.

SB 500 includes $4.4 billion in Economic Stabilization Fund dollars with 70 percent to Harvey-related expenses and the rest going elsewhere. For comparison, HB 2 includes $1.9 billion in ESF dollars with nearly 100 percent used for Harvey-related expenses.