Budget Debate Begins in the Texas House
The Texas House is off and running this morning on HB 1, the state budget bill. The $164 billion dollar budget is about $23 billion less than the budget passed in the 2009 legislative session. It also does not take into account population and enrollment growth in many state agencies and programs, like K-12 public education.
House budget writer Rep. Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie) laid out the bill by going over what it does not do. He told the House it does not raise taxes, it does not spend money from the rainy day fund and it does not grow government.
What it does do, said Pitts, is make the state live within its means.
The Texas Senate is taking a different approach to the budget. The upper chamber plans on spending about $10 billion more and has created a committee to find about $5 billion in "non-tax revenue" to help pay that bill. One House member I talked with yesterday said the House has no interest in even meeting the Senate half way.
To follow KUT's coverage of the Budget debate check the blog throughout the day.