April 2, 2019

TEXAS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PASS BUDGET BILL

By Texas State Representative Ryan Guillen

Shortly after midnight on Thursday, March 28th, the Texas House of Representatives voted unanimously to adopt House Bill 1, the General Appropriations Act and the state budget for the 2020-2021 biennium. With over 300 proposed amendments to consider, thoughtful debate went on for nearly 12 hours before HB 1 was passed in a vote of 149 to 0.

The passed version of the spending plan lays out a $251 billion budget that includes unprecedented investments to reform school finance, provide property tax relief and natural disaster recovery. HB 1 also allocates funding for school safety & mental health initiatives, sexual assault testing & response, human trafficking prevention and more.

The expansion of the budget comes as a result of record-level prosperity in the state’s savings account, often called the "Rainy Day Fund," which is partially fueled by gas and oil taxes. Currently the fund holds $11 billion and is projected to increase by $2 billion.

Now that it's been passed by the House, HB 1 will head to the Senate. Once the Senate passes their version of the spending plan, a conference committee comprised of both chambers will meet to address any discrepancies between the two versions of the bill before finalizing and sending to the Governor for approval.