P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2017
AUSTIN — Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, issued the following statement about today’s signing of SB 1, the General Appropriations Act.
"All Texans will benefit from the budget signed into law today. This is a smart, responsible fiscal roadmap for the next two years. It stays within our means and addresses key priorities – protecting children, improving education, expanding our highways and securing our border,” Senator Nelson, who authored SB 1, said.
As sent to the governor, SB 1 establishes a $107.8 billion budget for FY 18-19, including General Revenue and approximately $990 million from the Emergency Stabilization Fund for local grants, state hospitals, capital needs and other one-time expenditures. In all funds, the budget appropriates $216.75 billion -- up $352 million (0.16%) from FY 16-17. All funds highlights of SB 1 include:
- Continues formula funding at current levels with a basic allotment of $5,140 per student;
- Adds $2.65B to cover enrollment growth (80,000 students per years);
- The school funding formula combines local and state funding. Considering both local and state funding sources, aggregate funding for public education increases by roughly $5.2 billion over the current biennium, or a 5.7% increase.
- $350M for the Teacher Retirement System to continue healthcare benefits for retirees;
- Public Education grants:
- E-Rates - $25M;
- Student Success Initiative - $12M;
- Communities in Schools - $31M; and
- Boys & Girls Club (Texas AIM) - $4.5M.
- Provides overall increase in funding;
- Non-formula support:
- Sunsets all non-formula support (formerly known as "special items") by August 31, 2019;
- Reduces by 50% university special items categorized as "start-up" or "formula generating" that have been in existence for longer than 8 years;
- Categorizes all special items to allow for greater transparency; and
- Creates a Joint Committee to study this issue during the interim and make recommendations for budget writers to incorporate in the next budget.
- $44M for Graduate Medical Education to continue our medical residency expansion efforts;
- $71M to TEXAS Grant to fund 92% of all eligible residents; and
- $19M increase to fund community colleges, including success points (outcome-based funding).
Health & Human Services
- Increases funding to Child Protective Services by over $500M, including nearly 600 new caseworkers (above the emergency appropriation);
- Adds funding for prevention services by $33M;
- Provides additional funding for mental health services, including:
- $63M to address capacity and eliminate waitlists for community mental health services;
- $67.5M for community collaborative grants for jail diversion and other local mental health projects;
- $30M to maintain and add community purchased psychiatric hospital beds;
- $25M to maintain state hospital service levels; and
- $10M to increase maximum security capacity at state hospitals.
- $300M from ESF to begin overhaul of our state hospital system.
- Increases Early Childhood Intervention funding by $22.4 million.
- Restores 25% of the therapy rate reductions.
- $56M to the Railroad Commission for operational stability and pipeline safety.
- $87.8M to fund preservation and updates to the Alamo.
- $40M to support infrastructure projects at Texas ports.
- $800M for border security, including 250 new troopers.
- $4.2M to eliminate current rape kit backlog.
- $4.7M for pretrial diversions.
- $25M for bullet proof vests.
- $12M for grants to local police departments.
- $12M for border prosecution grants.
- $5M for a statewide guardianship program at the Office of Court Administration.