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Budget Basics: Where Are We Now?
Anticipation about the budget is in the air. A new fiscal year begins on September 1, 2010, agencies are beginning to submit their Legislative Appropriation Requests, and the newspapers and blogs are awash with stories about the projected $18 billion deficit for the 2012-2013 biennium.
However, to understand potential budget proposals and possible cuts during the 82nd Legislative Session, it is necessary to have an understanding of the current budget. Below is some baseline information to get you up to speed:
Click here to read "Budget Basics: The Budget Process"
Texas has a two year budget cycle-- called a biennium-- that starts on September 1st after the legislative session. The current 2010-2011 biennium began on September 1st, 2009 and will be in effect until August 31st, 2011.
The total amount of all funds for the 2010-2011 biennium is
$182.2 billion, which is an increase of $10.1 billion from the previous biennium. This includes the following sources:
$80.6 billion, 44.2% of all funds (non-dedicated)
$6.4 billion, 3.5% of all funds (dedicated)
Non-dedicated General Revenue (GR) is the state's primary operating fund and was created in 1991 after
several funds were consolidated. It is used to pay for programs that do not have another source of funding. Included to GR is the Available School Fund, the State Textbook Fund and the Foundation School Fund.
Dedicated GR includes about 200 funds that are dedicated by the Constitution toward a certain purpose, for example the State Park Account an
d college operating accounts.
$65.5 billion, 36% of all funds
Texas receives $65.5 billion from the federal government in the form of grants, allocations, and reimbursements. More than half of federal funds (52%) are allocated to Health and Human Services. About 14% went toward education spending, and 12% toward business and economic development.
This year federal funding increased 4% because of the $12 billion that Texas received in the form of American Recovery and Reinvestment (ARRA) funds. Of this $12 billion, $6.4 billion went to replace General Revenue, while $5.6 billion
was used to fund new projects, including energy conservation, housing and job training. These programs will not continue receiving a higher level of funding once ARRA money runs out.
$29.6 billion, 16.3% of all funds
Other funds include all funds that are not financed through GR or federal funds, such as the State Highway Fund, Texas Mobility Fund, other trust funds and bond proceeds.
The budget bill, known as the General Appropriations Act is divided into 12 articles, each article representing an section of spending. The articles are listed below, along with how much was appropriated in the 2010-2011 biennium.
Article 1: General Government ($4.4B)
Article 2: Health and Human Services ($59.7B)
Article 3: Education ($75.4B)
Article 4: The Judiciary ($ .8B)
Article 5: Public Safety and Criminal Justice ($10.7B)
Article 6: Natural Resources ($3.4B)
Article 7: Business and Economic Development ($20.7B)
Article 8: Regulatory ($ .8B)
Article 9: General Provisions ($ .03B)
Article 10: The Legislature ($.3B)
Article 12: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ($5.6B)