Sen. Tommy Williams Breaks Down the 2014-15 Texas State Budget

Senate Finance Committee Chairman talks Tax Cuts Education Water & more TommyTexas Insider Report: AUSTIN Texas Weve really bent the curve for the growth of state spending. This idea thats out there that weve spent every dime we can get our hands on is simply not true. Id say in a state growing as fast as ours anything thats below 10 is well below population and inflation. This budget is growing well below population and inflation said Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams analyzing the State Legislatures work during the first 5 months of 2013. I think when you look at it as a whole we accomplished a tremendous amount this Session ... But theres a bigger story that needs to be told here.

Senator Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands) Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee was the Senates lead negotiator and a key player in writing the 2014-2015 Texas State Budget.

Join Insiders Jim Cardle as he & Sen. Williams discuss the details of the 2013 Session and further details of the Texas State Budget here.    

TommyWhat weve accomplished since Republicans took control of the legislature in the 2003 after the 2002 Election Cycle since that time ... if you adjust the budget for population and inflation and you take out the tax savings that we had in the 05 Session ... the budget has gone down by 1.

Theres always a balance that has to be struck between the different members and between different parties. But weve written a good budget that addresses the states priorities said Williams recently as Texas lawmakers completed a new two-year State Budget on Saturday May 25th.

  The new budget will include an:
  • All Funds Appropriation of $196.9 billion an increase of 3.7 over FY12-13.
  • General Revenue Appropriation of $94.6 billion an 8.3 increase over FY12-13.
  • General Revenue and General Revenue-Dedicated appropriation of $101.4 billion an 8.1 increase over FY12-13.
The 2014-15 budget includes a $3.4 billion increase in public education formula funding which will dramatically improve equity for Texas schools.
TommyWe targeted the money in our increase in public education funding to address the concerns that were raised in the lawsuit said Williams of the school funding litigation pending in State District Court. This is a significant improvement in school funding formulas work. It makes the entire school finance system more predictable in how it yields results for our schools as a result of SB 1.
As Texas continues to be one of the fastest growing states in the country public school enrollment increases by more than 80000 students each year. That growth puts a lot of stress on our infrastructure and demands on our state budget said Sen. Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock) one of the Senates budget leaders. You cant educate the additional 80000 students every year with the same amount Sen.Robertof money that you spent last year Duncan (left-center) said. The Texas Senate voted overwhelmingly (27-4) in favor of 2014-15 Budget which reflects priority investments in education Medicaid fraud reduction mental health services substance abuse treatment and veterans services the Senate Finance chairman noted. The states Rainy Day Fund will likely have a balance of at least $8 billion by the end of the FY14-15 budget cycle. At the beginning of the session legislators committed to a Truth-in-Budgeting plan that uses funds for their dedicated purpose which this budget takes a big step toward for responsible accounting. Its a budget that makes responsible use of our resources. It protects the health of our citizens as well as protects our fiscal health said Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound a budget leader and expert on Health & Human Services. Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston right) emphasized the importance of providing up to 20 pay raises for Peace Officers including State Troopers Tommyand the Texas Department of Public Safety. We are losing them faster than we can train them to other jurisdictions who just love to hire them away from the Texas Department of Public Safety because they are the best trained and most elite in the state of Texas Sen. Williams responded. I hope the pay raise will help stem that tide. We have a lot of vacant positions. Texas will have a balanced budget lawmakers said that meets essential needs keeps spending increases below the states increase in population and inflation growth while passing more than $1 billion in tax and fee cuts and financing the State Water Plan 16 years after its creation.

2014-15 Budget Highlights

  • General Revenue … $94.609 billion (8.3 increase over FY12-13 Estimated/Budgeted $87.394 billion).
  • GR**-Dedicated …$6.810 GR-Dedicated  (6.5 increase over FY12-13 Estimated/Budgeted $6.397 billion).
  • Subtotal GR/GR-D …$101.419 billion (8.1 increase over FY12-13 Estimated/Budgeted $93.792 billion).
  • Federal Funds … $68.706 billion (6.2 increase over FY12-13 Estimated/Budgeted $64.683 billion).
  • Other funds …$26.824 billion (-14.6 decrease over FY12-13 Estimated/Budgeted $31.412 billion).
  • All Funds** … $196.951 billion (3.7 increase over FY12-13 Estimated/Budgeted $189.888 billion).
  • More than $500 million left in the treasury and even more room left under the constitutional spending limit - even after accounting for anticipated tax relief bills.
  • Includes more than $298 million AF increase for mental health substance abuse and behavioral health services and training across the Department of State Health Appellate Courts Adjutant Generals Office and Juvenile LoneJustice Department.
General Government:
  • $600 million in general obligation bonds to maintain the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (contingent on reform bill passing). Adds 8 full-time employees to implement grant compliance and accountability measures.
  • $34.5 million in GR dedicated services fee to pay for 9-1-1equipment upgrades including the use of highly accurate and current maps.
  • Appropriates $7.2 million in unexpended balances and $50 million for the Emerging Technology Fund (36 decrease).
  • Reappropriates $120 million in unexpended GR-dedicated balances to the Texas Enterprise Fund (33 decrease).
  • Directs $4 million and 50 full-time equivalent employees to continue and fully develop the State Strike Force Teams created to address the federal Veterans claims backlog.
Health & Human Services:
  • $259 million GR total funding increase for Mental Health Service Expansion ($298 million all funds increase) including: $48.2 million to reduce Mental Health Service waiting list to serve an additional 6242 adults and 286 children currently waiting for services and $4 million for Veterans Mental Health counseling and suicide prevention.
  • $166.2 million GR increase for Child Protective Services ($260.4 million all funds increase) to significantly reduce caseworker caseloads and delinquent investigations improve staff retention initiatives and provide essential IT enhancements.
  • $400 million GR savings initiatives in the Medicaid program - achieved through quality based payments increased efficiency and incentives for providers and patients.
  • Medicaid-reform3bAdds 106 FTEs in the Office of Inspector General dedicated to reduce Medicaid fraud and overpayment.
  • $100 million GR for comprehensive preventive health care to an additional 170000 low-income women and men.
  • $3.8 million GR/$376.5 million AF to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for approximately 17000 primary care physicians.
  • $71.3 million GR/AF for family planning services sexually transmitted infection treatment and breast and cervical cancer screening for women.
  • $18.1 million AF ($1 billion total funding) for state hospital patient safety initiatives resident stipends and a 10 percent pay raise for 3081 psychiatric nursing assistants; $10 million bond and $4.4 million GR in SB 1 and $24 million GR funding in HB 1025 for capital improvement projects and essential health and safety repairs.
  • $75.8 GR/$169.3 AF to significantly reduce CPS caseloads delinquent investigations and improve staff retention initiatives.
  • $35 million GR for targeted rate increases for foster care providers.
  • $32.4 billion GR/$40 billion AF for Foundation School Program; funds enrollment growth (85000 to 87000 additional students per year).

** Note:  All Foundation School Program (FSP) numbers including hold harmless reductions and average statewide WADA increases include the $201.7 million appropriation made in HB 1025 in the FSP.

  • $3.4 billion of new revenue for Foundation School Program (FSP) over SB 1 as introduced.
  • Reduces target revenue/hold harmless by $282 million in FY 14 and $417 million in FY 15.
  • Average statewide WADA increase is $228 in FY 14 and $300 in FY 15. Largest gains go to districts with the lowest wealth per WADA.
  • schoolAdds $11.5 million for Communities in Schools for $40.7 million total and serving 25000 additional students.
  • Increases Student Success Initiative by $24 million for total of $60.5 million GR.
  • Provides $30 million in supplemental funding for prekindergarten programs. Total Foundation School Program funding for eligible prekindergarten students is approximately $1.5 billion.
  • Total TEXAS Grants funding of $724.6 million an increase of $145 million (AF) to serve a projected 84 percent of newly eligible students. GR increase of $135 million over 2012-13 base.
  • Per the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) the All Funds increase across the Coordinating Boards financial aid strategies is $167.3 million (inclusive of the $145 million All Funds increase in TEXAS Grants).
  • Increases GR formula funding for general academic institutions Lamar State Colleges and Texas State Technical Colleges by 8.2 ($249.7 million); All funds formula funding is $4.5 billion.
  • Increases GR formula funding for health related institutions by 16.5 ($239 million); All funds formula funding is $1.8 billion.
  • Increases funding in the Graduate Medical Education formula by $8.8 million.

** Note:  This $8.8 million increase is included in the total GR formula funding increase for Health Related Institutes noted above.

  • Increases GR formula funding for community colleges by 1.9 ($33 million); formula funding totals $1.77 billion.
Adjutant General Criminal Justice DPS:
  • $850000 GR for four new mental health counselors to serve returning veterans in the Adjutant Generals Office.
  • $97.3 savings from closing two privately operated correctional facilities
  • $110.4 million for a 5 pay raise for correctional officers
  • $15.2 million GR increase for mental health services funding for Juvenile Justice Department.
  • $74.9 million AF for state trooper pay raise.
Texas Parks & Wildlife:
  • $51.6 million increase for Parks and Wildlife Department from Sporting Goods Sales Tax ($133.9 million total from Sporting Goods Sales Tax).
  • $13.6 million increase for state park operations to ensure no state parks will be closed ($158.7 million AF).
  • $15.5 million increase for local park grants.
  • roads-transportation-traffic$8 million maintenance increase for  state parks.
  • $11.1 million in General Obligation bonds to perform necessary maintenance at state parks.
Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):
  • $850 million additional Fund 6 for TxDOT as a result of $400 million of GR for Fund 6 method of finance swap at the Department of Public Safety and $450 million in GR in  HB 1025 to repair roads in shale areas.
  • 1 pay raise for general state employees in FY 14 and a 2 percent pay raise in FY 15.
  • 12 pay  raise for Texas judges.
  • State employees at agencies with high turnover will receive a pay raise ranging from 3 to 10.
    • Affected employees include DFPS CPS caseworkers (3)
    • DADS state-supported living center direct care staff (10)
    • DSHS state hospital psychiatric nursing assistants (10)
    • certain employees of the Department of Public Safety Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission as well as TDCJ medical personnel and TDCJ and TJJD corrections officers (5).
**  GR (General Revenue) **  AF (All Funds) **  FY 14 begins Sept. 1 2013
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