Notes on the Texas Budget Process

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Here are some quick facts about the Texas budget.

The Texas Observer has Appropriations Chairman, Republican Jim Pitts, on the record saying the budget is on the horizon.

The House Appropriations committee voted out the budget today. Committee Chair Jim Pitts said it would probably be debated on the House floor next Friday, April 17.

That puts the current time line like this.

The House will adopt all the rules for the budget debate, amendments, etc. this Thursday.  The House will then have 72 hours to read the full appropriations bill and submit amendments, then the House will debate the budget in about 10 days.

Unless of course the members change the entire calendar because of Passover, Good Friday, and Easter this weekend.

If the House implements this calendar for the budget, there will be 45 days left of the entire 140 day session.  Over the course of those 45 days, the House and Senate will meet in a conference committee. The bodies will then vote again, and assuming it passes it goes to the Governor's desk to be signed or vetoed.

The window is getting a little tight.  However, it appears to be moving just as fast it did last session when then Speaker Tom Craddick was playing constant defense.

During the 80th session, the House led the budget process and sent HB1 over to the Senate March 30. The Senate then debated and voted on the budget on April 17 (the exact date the House is projected to debate the budget).

Both chambers, the House and Senate, adopted the conference committee report on May 27.

While this legislative session has been… boring… the budget process seems to be on track.  However, if any partisan shenanigans were to happen, it could derail the entire session and prevent the budget from passing.

Regardless of when the budget debate happens, I plan on being there until the early morning watching the amendments pass and fail.


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