Comptroller: Texas lawmakers will have less to spend in next budget


State lawmakers returning to the Capitol on Tuesday will face a bleak budget outlook thanks to low oil and gas prices and past budget decisions that could tie their hands if they attempt to bolster the distressed foster care system or increase funding for public education.

Comptroller Glenn Hegar unveiled Monday a $104.9 billion biennial revenue estimate, which determines how much money lawmakers can spend in the 2018-19 budget. That’s 2.6 percent below the current two-year budget’s revenue estimate of $107.7 billion.

The revenue estimate deals only with money over which lawmakers have discretionary control. The total amount of available state revenue, including federal funds that pass through the state and other dedicated revenue streams, will be $224.8 billion for 2018-19.

Hegar noted that the Texas economy continues to grow, albeit at a slow rate. But the budget is not keeping pace, he said, because of slumping fossil fuel prices, which affect the state’s primary revenue source, the sales tax, and fiscal decisions made in recent legislative sessions.

In particular, Hegar pointed to the passage of Proposition 7, a state constitutional amendment voters approved in 2015 that will divert $4.7 billion in 2018-19 from discretionary revenue to the State Highway Fund.

Additionally, lawmakers last year cut the franchise tax on businesses by 25 percent. That cut will result in the tax yielding $7.8 billion in the 2018-19 budget, a 2.4 percent decrease.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Texas News & Politics

Texas Digest: Child body found near home of missing 3-year-old

NORTH TEXAS Child’s body found near missing girl’s home Police in the Dallas suburb of Richardson said Sunday that they’ve found the body of a small child not far from the home of a 3-year-old girl who’s been missing since earlier this month. Richardson police said the child’s body was discovered in a culvert as authorities...
Man run over by car, killed in Marble Falls early Sunday
Man run over by car, killed in Marble Falls early Sunday

MARBLE FALLS Man run over by car in fight early Sunday A man is dead in Marble Falls after being run over by a vehicle during a Sunday morning brawl, police said. According to authorities, officers responded to a disturbance call in the 500 block of Avenue S early Sunday. Several people had been involved in a fight that included knives, baseball bats...
JUST IN: Man run over by car, killed in Marble Falls early Sunday
JUST IN: Man run over by car, killed in Marble Falls early Sunday

A man is dead in Marble Falls after being run over by a vehicle during an early morning brawl, police said. Fermin Rios-Padilla was pronounced dead Sunday morning, officials with the Marble Falls Police Department said. According to authorities, officers responded to a disturbance call in the 500 block of Avenue S early Sunday. Several people had been...
Cold front brings brief but heavy rain; sunshine, milder temps ahead
Cold front brings brief but heavy rain; sunshine, milder temps ahead

A cold front swinging across Central Texas early Sunday delivered brief but heavy rainfall throughout the Austin metro area but left picture-perfect sunshine and milder temperatures in its wake. Just before sunrise Sunday, Doppler radar showed a fast-moving taillike formation of storms stretching from Kerrville to College Station pushing across the...
FORECAST: Cold front brings brief but heavy rain, cooler temps Sunday
FORECAST: Cold front brings brief but heavy rain, cooler temps Sunday

A fast-moving cold front arrived in the Austin metro area around 7 a.m. Sunday, briefly dropping heavy rain along the Interstate 35 corridor. Doppler radar showed a tail-like band of storms stretching from Kerrville to College Station moving southeast toward Houston. Rainfall totals across Central Texas are expected to be around a half-inch to an inch...
More Stories