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State Budget May Rely on "Fiscal Matters" Bills

Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News.
The Texas House is scheduled to debate some so-called fiscal matters bills Thursday. Some lawmakers say these bills are key to passing a state budget during the regular session.

Budget negotiators in the Legislature are at a standstill over the state’s budget for the next two years.  Today the Texas House could take up a couple of so-called “fiscal matters” bills that the Senate’s finance chairman says are key to balancing and passing a state budget without going into overtime, in other words,  a special legislative session this summer. 

"The budget negotiators say they're (the fiscal matters bills) critical. One of the main things in these bills is a series of accounting moves that free up something like 2.6 billion dollars that would be used to balance the state budget that they're trying to write," said Ross Ramsey, managing editor of KUT’s political reporting partner the Texas Tribune.

Some lawmakers say if these fiscal matters bills don't pass, a special session is more than likely.

"There's always a point in every legislative session where it looks like things are going to blow up or work and we're at that point. There's really no way to know, it's like the end of a TV show, there's really no way to know  until the thing ends. It's entirely possible that they could work this thing out. The differences that they have are in public education and higher education spending, the House is low the Senate is high," Ramsey said.

Public education funding and higher education funding are the only two items budget negotiators haven't come to an agreement on.

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