budget | KERA News

budget

Graphic by Todd Wiseman

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the state’s two-year budget Monday, giving his approval to the $217 billion document crafted by the Legislature.

The Texas Tribune

Both chambers of the Texas Legislature voted Saturday evening to approve a $217 billion, two-year budget that would boost funding for the state's beleaguered child welfare agency, increase the number of state troopers on the Texas-Mexico border and avoid serious reforms to the state's much-criticized school finance system. 

From Texas Standard:

"Dead on arrival" is how Texas senior senator, Republican John Cornyn, characterized the formal budget plan unveiled by President Trump. It puts 66 programs on the chopping block, and includes a 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, a 30 percent cut for the State Department and 20 percent from the Department of Agriculture.

Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

After months of private squabbling and public threats of a legislative overtime session, the Texas House and Senate finally compromised to unveil a joint budget late Saturday.

Updated 2:10 p.m. ET

The Senate approved the bipartisan $1.1 trillion spending bill that funnels money to nearly every corner of the federal government and keeps it running through the end of the current fiscal year in September. The House approved the measure on Wednesday, and it now goes to President Trump for his signature.

From Texas Standard:

As the legislative session heads into its final six weeks, lawmakers have a lot left to do. They face the task of reconciling budgets passed by the House and Senate into a single document. They must act on the governor’s emergency agenda items. And they’ll need to decide the fate of the more than 6,000 bills filed during the session.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

A program to rehabilitate victims of sex trafficking may finally receive funding under a proposal added to the Texas House budget late last week.

Texas House Passes Budget After More Than 15 Hour-Debate

Apr 7, 2017
Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

After 15 and a half hours of debate on hundreds of amendments to the Texas House budget, lawmakers in the lower chamber passed the two-year, $218 billion document, with 131 votes in favor and 16 votes against.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Just one day after the Texas Senate passed its two-year budget, a key House committee sent their own spending proposal to the full House – but not before cutting $2.4 billion from the state’s largest health care program for the poor and disabled.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

Facing sluggish economic forecasts amid low oil prices along with billions in tax revenue already dedicated to the state highway fund, Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced Monday that lawmakers will have $104.87 billion in state funds at their disposal in crafting the next two-year budget, a 2.7 percent decrease from his estimate ahead of the legislative session two years ago.

Billions In Pension Shortfalls Threatening Texas Cities' Budgets

Dec 2, 2016
Illustration by Todd Wiseman / Vittorio Ferrari / Texas Tribune

The state’s largest cities face tens of billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities to employee pension funds, a series of separate financial situations that is spurring massive account withdrawals, ongoing lawsuits, mounting political friction and national media attention.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

For many people, the holidays mean hitting the stores, scouring the internet and for some of us, setting a budget. With that pressure to buy comes stress for folks living on the financial edge. According to WalletHub, one-third of Americans have already overspent.

As part of KERA’s series One Crisis Away at the Holidays, we meet two shoppers making tough decisions at the register.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Landing a good job is especially tough with a newborn to care for. When you're a teen mom, it's more complicated still. That’s where a Dallas non-profit called Alley’s House finds its mission.

Texas Tribune

After a marathon 17-hour debate, the Texas House gave tentative approval to its version of a new state budget this morning.

Texas Tribune executive editor Ross Ramsey tells KERA’s Sam Baker the $210-billion budget reflects a lot of Gov. Greg Abbott’s priorities.

KERA News

A.C. Gonzalez is six months into his job as Dallas' city manager, and Tuesday, he’ll present his first official budget to the city council. It includes a $5 million cut in police funding -- meaning 35 fewer officers -- and more money for libraries and animal services. Gonzalez sat down with KERA a day before his big reveal.

Flickr

Sen. John Cornyn on Wednesday expressed confidence he’ll be the Republican Party’s nominee despite a last-minute challenge by Congressman Steve Stockman. 

shutterstock.com

The two-year state budget deal that appears to be coming together in Austin would restore $3.93 billion of the $5.4 billion in public education money cut last session. 

It would also take $2 billion in Rainy Day savings money to create a loan fund to build water projects. 

It’s unclear whether another proposed loan fund of up to $2.7 billion to build new roads will be part of the new budget.  

Lockheed Martin

Texas agencies and programs that receive federal money are bracing for the automatic budget cuts that could begin Friday.

A White House analysis of how the so-called sequestration would affect each state indicates education, defense, and public health programs would be hit the hardest.

Marlith

Four schools in North Texas went into lockdown Tuesday morning for various reasons. Campus security officials are on heightened alert after last week’s school shooting in Connecticut.

Thomas Fowler / (cc) flickr

Fort Worth is scaling back its pension plan for employees. The city’s bill for future retirees is outpacing the pension fund budget by about half-a-billion dollars.

KERA News

The Dallas School Board unanimously approved a $1.16 billion budget for next year, smaller than this year’s amount because of state funding cuts. Trustees also plan on giving teachers a raise, but not for another year.

Despite the DISD’s billion dollar plus budget, Dallas and nearly every district in Texas say it’s been a tough year financially. That’s because the state cut education dollars by $5.4 billion last year. So Dallas’s 2012-2013 budget is $23 million smaller than the year just ended.

The Dallas budget shortfall is shrinking, from $40 million last month to $24 million.

The Dallas Independent School District has launched a week of town hall meetings on the upcoming budget of more than a billion dollars.

Tempers flared red hot at last night’s Dallas school board meeting, where the board president even ordered a speaker removed. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports that despite pleas from parents and students to keep their schools opened, trustees voted to shut eleven campuses down.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department faces a $4.6 million shortfall following a difficult period of wildfires and drought. Bill Zeeble has more on the Department's plan to improve the bottom line.

Parks and Wildlife Director Carter Smith says the Department has faced tough times before in its 88-year history.

Smith: But certainly now, this is a particularly daunting one. We have a very real and urgent and critical need, But fortunately we don't think it's an insurmountable one.

Dallas, TX – Dallas County Sheriff's Deputies are part of the County's 45-agency DWI Task Force, but their presence won't be as big as last year. KERA's BJ Austin says federal funding for holiday enforcement is frozen.

An investigation into possible cheating on overtime in a federal-grant program to catch "speeders" has cut off companion funding for holiday DWI enforcement.