Budget Commentary

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Handout on Budget Process

Coalition Partners

Texas Forward: A Balanced Approach to a Balanced Budget

www.txforward.org

 

The State Budget

The Texas Legislature is tasked with drafting and passing the state budget each session. The budget is the only piece of legislation that is constitutionally mandated to pass, and is the most important piece of legislation because it outlines how the state funds all other bills passed each session.

With special interest groups, state agencies, and advocates all fighting to influence budget decisions, the process of drafting the budget bill can be a contentious juggling act. As people of faith, we call for a balanced budget that prioritizes people—especially those who are in need—over special interests.

Texas has a two-year budget cycle—called a biennium—that begins on September 1st of every even-numbered year. In the current biennium (2012-2013), Texas allocated $173.4 billion various agencies and institutions, almost $14 billion less than was allocated in previous biennium. The graph below shows how state funds are currently spent.

 

State Budget Updates