P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 29, 2015
AUSTIN – The Texas Senate today approved the Conference Committee Report for HB 1, the appropriations bill sponsored by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound. The bill, which reflects the conference committee decisions on the state budget for 2016-17, passed by a vote of 30-1.
"This budget meets the needs of our growing state and makes smart investments in our future, including increased funding for education, transportation and border security. It also invests in our economy with over $4 billion in tax relief that will provide a much-needed break for homeowners and help Texas businesses grow," said Senator Nelson. "This is a responsible, compassionate budget that will keep our state strong and prosperous."
The highlights of CCRHB 1 include:
- Grows by three percent over the 2014-2015 budget when adjusted to remove tax relief.
- $1.2B in property tax relief and $2.6B in franchise tax relief.
- Ends highway funding diversions, includes a one-time dedication of $1.2B from the motor vehicle sales tax to the state highway fund and anticipates $2.4B over the biennium from Proposition 1.
- Provides $800M for border security – double what was appropriated last session, including $142.6M to fund a 50-hour work week for Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers across the state; $7.5M for a Pilatus Aircraft; and $8.8M for a new Ranger Company at DPS.
- Adds $1.5B to current education formula funding, covers enrollment growth and increasing the basic allotment from $5,040 to 5,140 in 2016 and 2017. Also includes $40.6M for math and reading training for K-3 teachers and $118M for rigorous Pre-K programs.
- Includes $1.1B in additional funding for higher education, covering enrollment growth, increasing financial aid and increasing affordability and access to Texas colleges and universities.
- Adds $60M for Graduate Medical Education towards goal of a 1.1:1 ratio, ensuring there is a residency spot in Texas for every Texas medical school graduate.
- Fully funds Medicaid caseload growth while including $373M in cost-containment measures.
- $2.8B in general revenue across state government for mental health programs, including an increase of $20M for the Texas Veterans Initiative; $31.3M for crisis mental health services; $50M for additional psychiatric beds; $46.5M for outpatient mental health services; and eliminates waiting lists. This is a $244.2M general revenue increase over the last biennium.
- Adds $50M for women's health, building on the commitment from last session.
- Invests in Child Protective Services, adding $35M for prevention programs and increasing caseworker compensation.
- $739M to address deteriorating state facilities and meet future needs.
- Increases state and employee contributions to the Employees Retirement System to 9.5 percent, while including a 2.5 percent pay raise for employees to offset the increase.
- Eliminates the Emerging Technology Fund, sending roughly half of its funding towards maintaining funding for the Enterprise Fund, and remaining funds going towards higher education research initiatives, including the new Governor's Research Initiative.
- Fully allocates the Sporting Goods Sales Tax to Texas Parks and Wildlife while providing flexibility to address deferred maintenance needs.
- Continues to spend down General Revenue-Dedicated Accounts, ensuring the fees collected go towards their intended purposes.