Sunday, September 26, 2021
85.8 F
Fort Worth

Texas House committee backs budget plan with extra $9 billion for school finance, property tax reform

🕐 2 min read

March 18, 2019

A panel of House budget writers gave initial approval Monday to a budget that would spend $115 billion in state funds, including a $9 billion infusion of new funds for Texas public schools and property tax relief. 

Now that the House Appropriations Committee has approved the 2020-21 spending plan, House Bill 1, the legislation moves to the floor of the 150-member House. 

“I believe that we can all be very proud of the bill that you’ve all worked so hard on,” state Rep. John Zerwas, a Richmond Republican and the chamber’s chief budget writer, told fellow House Appropriations Committee members. 

State Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, was the committee’s lone no vote. 

The budget plan would spend $2 billion from the state’s savings account, known as the Economic Stabilization Fund, which currently holds more than $11 billion. 

The total two-year budget would spend state, federal and local funds totaling about $250 billion. After considering a limit imposed by the Texas Constitution, House lawmakers left about $500 million on the table, according to testimony from the Legislative Budget Board. 

Among the highlights of the House’s spending plan are: 

$9 billion in new state funding for K-12 education and property tax relief, contingent on lawmakers passing reforms to the way the state funds public schools. The budget does not dictate the breakdown of those funds, but a bill backed by Speaker Dennis Bonnen would give about $6 billion to school districts and use the remaining $3 billion to pay for a reduction in local school district property taxes. 

A $2.8 billion increase in state and federal funds for health and human services above what the House proposed in January. That includes a $25 million increase for early childhood intervention services, $6.7 million to reduce caseloads for Adult Protective Services workers, $31 million to expand capacity at local mental health clinics for low-income Texans and $87 million to raise the pay of personal attendants, who care for the elderly and disabled, by about 10 cents an hour. 

A $168 million expenditure to give some Texas prison guards and parole officers a pay raise. 

“Texas House committee backs budget plan with extra $9 billion for school finance, property tax reform” was first published at by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

Related Articles

Our Digital Sponsors

Latest Articles

Not ready to subscribe?

Try a few articles on us.

Enter your email address and we will give you access to three articles a month, to give us a try. You also get an opportunity to receive our newsletter with stories of the day.

Get our email updates

Stay up-to-date with the issues, companies and people that matter most to business in the Fort Worth.

  • Restaurants
  • Technology
  • and more!

FWBP Morning Brief

FWBP 5@5

Weekend Newsletter

  • Banking & Finance
  • Culture
  • Real Estate