Senate committee approves budget proposal
Date Posted: 3/22/2017 | Author: Monty Exter
The committee substitute to Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Senate's budget bill, was voted favorably out of the Senate Finance Committee on a vote of 15 to 0 this morning. The SB 1 committee substitute, which appropriates $106.3 billion in general revenue, reflects all of the recommended modifications to individual articles of the budget made by the work groups and adopted by the full Finance Committee.
In her comments, committee chairwoman Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) stated that SB 1 fully funds the Foundation School Program (FSP), including $2.6 billion for enrollment growth. Nelson also touted $25 million in spending for broadband expansion through the e-Rate program; $65 million to a new public / private partnership for pre-K (the committee substitute cuts $180 million in pre-K grants from SB 1 as it was originally filed); and $316 million to fund SB 788 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), which would reform TRS-Care.
Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) probed staff from the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) on how to reconcile claims that SB1 fully funds the FSP while spending nearly $1.4 billion less in general revenue on the program. In response, LBB staff confirmed that SB 1 does fund the amount that current law calls for in FSP entitlements, but the funding level is $1.4 billion lower this session because increases in local property values mean that less funding is required through state general revenue. Due to this continued supplanting of state funding with local property taxes, the proportion of the state's share of FSP funding is projected to decline to 38% or less by the end of the biennium.
SB 1 as substituted is expected to be brought up for a vote on the floor of the full Senate on Tuesday, March 28.
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
School Finance, Retirement | TRS | Social Security, Texas Legislature, Privatization | Vouchers, Educator Compensation | Benefits
Voucher dies as final weekend of 88th Legislature brings conflict between House and Senate
HB 100 was a casualty of a breakdown in communications between the House and Senate as the regular session drew to a close.
School Finance, Texas Legislature, Privatization | Vouchers, Educator Compensation | Benefits
Statement on legislative impasse over teacher pay raise
ATPE thanks legislators who stood strong with public education students and educators during the 2023 regular legislative session.
School Finance, Retirement | TRS | Social Security, Texas Legislature, Educator Rights, Curriculum | Instruction, Privatization | Vouchers, School Safety, Educator Compensation | Benefits
Teach the Vote’s Week in Review: May 26, 2023
Vouchers are still a threat and the attorney general faces impeachment in the final days of the 88th Legislature.