Texas Senate Finance Chairwoman Lays Out Priorities In 2018-19 Budget Plan | KERA News

Texas Senate Finance Chairwoman Lays Out Priorities In 2018-19 Budget Plan

Jan 17, 2017

Texas Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson on Tuesday proposed a $213.4 billion two-year base budget, offering her chamber a starting point for haggling over how to spread limited funds this legislative session.

The proposal would tap $103.6 billion in state general revenue. That’s less than the $104.87 billion that Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar estimates is at lawmakers’ disposal

“While we will need to prioritize and make efficient use of our resources, I am confident we can meet the challenges ahead,” Nelson, R-Flower Mound, said in a statement.

Her proposal does not touch the state’s funding formulas for public and higher education, and it would add $2.65 billion to cover student enrollment growth — expected to top 80,000 each year. But Nelson suggested that the school funding mechanism would be a major issue for her colleagues this session, along with addressing skyrocketing health care costs in Medicaid and state pension programs and improving the state's mental health system.

The proposal would also add $260 million in Child Protective Services spending to aid the state’s crisis-ridden foster care system and maintain the extra $800 million lawmakers approved last session for security along the Texas-Mexico border. 

The Texas Tribune provided this story.