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November 29, 2000     (512) 463-0300

Texas Economy Estimated to Grow 14.09% in the Next Biennium

AUSTIN - The Texas Legislative Budget Board (LBB) met today, Wednesday, November 29, 2000, in the Senate Chamber. The 10-member board was created in 1949 to recommend legislative appropriations for all agencies of state government. Its duties include the evaluation of state agency programs and estimating the costs of legislation to be introduced in the legislative session.

The Legislative Budget Board is made up of Lieutenant Governor Rick Perry serving as chair and Speaker of the House of Representatives James "Pete" Laney serving as vice chair. Senate members include Bill Ratliff, chair of the Senate Committee on Finance; Florence Shapiro, chair of the Senate Committee on State Affairs; and Ken Armbrister and Robert Duncan appointed by Perry. The members from the House of Representatives are Robert "Rob" Junell, chair of the House Committee on Appropriations; Rene O. Oliveira, chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means; and Paul Sadler and Ron Wilson appointed by the Speaker.

The Texas Constitution contains a provision known as the " pay-as-you-go" spending limitation, meaning appropriations can not exceed anticipated revenue, unless approved by a four-fifths vote of each house. Also, the Tax Relief Amendment of 1978 limits the growth of appropriations from state tax revenues not dedicated by the Constitution, to the estimated rate of growth of the state's economy.

Today's meeting began with the approval of minutes from the November 19, 1998 meeting. The board then heard figures on the estimated growth of the state's economy from John Keel, Director of the LBB. The estimated rate of growth from the 2000-2001 biennium to the 2002-2003 biennium is 14.09%, based on the growth of personal income in Texas.

The appropriation for the 2000-2001 biennium is $55,600,791,145. This amount includes taxes dedicated by the Constitution ($1,691,722,287), non-tax revenues ($9,114,051,519), and tax revenue not dedicated by the Constitution ($44,795,017,340). This amount serves as a base for calculating the limitation on 2002-03 appropriations from non-dedicated state taxes as required by Article VIII, Section 22, of the Texas Constitution.

The LBB recommended state budget will be presented to the Legislature at the beginning of next session, which begins January 9, 2001.

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