From Texans for Fiscal Responsibility
The big news this week is that the Texas House passed a budget. Here are some highlights.
• The House budget comes in under the Senate budget
• There was far less debate and record votes by comparison to other budgets
• There were some significant amendments accepted on SB 1
Texas House Passes the Budget
Yesterday the Texas House passed SB 1, The General Appropriation Act, after roughly 11 hours of debate. The House version of the budget came in roughly 3 billion less than the Senate version of the bill.
The bill has been reported to the Senate as passed. The next step in the process is the bill will head to conference committee to reconcile the two different versions into a final version. Rules stipulate that 5 members from each chamber will be chosen to do this reconciliation. After the committee agrees on a reconciled version, the report will head back to each chamber for a final vote.
House Budget Sees Far Less Debate and Record Votes by Comparison
With over 240 amendments filed for the budget, there was only an astounding 8 record votes taken in the debate that lasted nearly 11 hours. By comparison to the last three legislative session budgets had far more:
• 86th- 12 record votes
• 85th- 48 record votes
• 84th- 54 record votes
It does seem as though there has been a steady decline in record votes taken on House Budgets over the last 4 sessions. Yet there have been hundreds of amendments filed each session.
There also seemed to be far less contentious debate last night by comparison to other sessions as well. Have we seen the end of the long all night dog fight on house budget nights? It seems as though things have become more controlled in the last 2 budgets.
Significant Amendments Are Added to the House Budget
Despite a relatively calm budget night there were some notable wins for conservatives and telling record votes that happened.
• Bryan Slaton (R-Royse City) - Takes $100 million from the Enterprise Fund and gave to property tax relief fund
• Jeff Cason (R-Bedford) - Amendment to take nearly $600,000 from a defunct bureaucracy and use the liberated funds for bulletproof vests for police officers.
• Despite receiving the support of a majority of Republicans, the amendment was tabled. See how your lawmaker voted HERE.
• Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg)- Requires state agencies to identify potential 1%, 5%, 10% reductions in their budgets to prepare for future shortfalls
• Yvonne Davis (D-Dallas)- Protecting public schools’ ability to hire lobbyists
• Adopted look at vote HERE.
The Davis amendment likely being the most striking vote of the night where 22 Republicans voted to support taxpayer-funded lobbying. This being in stark contrast to the RPT priority to ban the practice.