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General Appropriations Act - H.B. 1

by Representative Junell

Senate Sponsor: Senator Ratliff

§ Final recommended appropriations for the 1998-99 biennium total $86.2 billion from all fund sources-a $5.5 billion, or 6.8 percent, increase in state funding from the 1996-97 biennial level. These numbers do not include the over $1 billion in property tax relief provided through H.B. 4. (See Figures 1 and 2.)

§ General revenue funding, including funds dedicated within the general revenue fund, totals $53.1 billion for the 1998-99 biennium-a $3.6 billion, or 7.3 percent increase in funding over the 1996-97 biennial level. State-funded education received the largest share of general revenue funding equal to $31.7 billion, or 59.6 percent, for the 1998-99 biennium. (See Figures 3 and 4.)

Factors Affecting Growth in the State Budget

§ A significant factor affecting the growth of the state budget is the growth in the number of people using government resources. The following table shows the major growth indicators comparing fiscal year 1988 with 1997. Other cost-related factors, such as debt service, employee benefits, and capital budget items also impacted budget growth.

Major Budget Growth Indicators
Actual

1988
Estimated 1997
Percent

Change
Average Daily Attendance - Public Schools 2,991,3253,521,191 17.7%
Fall Headcount Enrollment - State Universities 368,344397,731 8.0%
Fall Headcount Enrollment - Community/Junior Colleges 302,085412,464 36.5%
Average Monthly Caseload - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Formerly Aid to Families with Dependent Children - AFDC) 504,551606,518 20.2%
Average Monthly Caseload - Nursing Home Clients 56,27770,190 24.7%
Average Monthly Caseload - Medicaid Clients 928,0571,998,535 115.3%
Inmate Population - Department of Criminal Justice 39,664137,243 246%
Average Daily Population - Texas Youth Commission Institutions 1,1823,675 210.9%

Source: Legislative Budget Board

§ The Texas Constitution requires a balanced budget, which must fall within a spending limit adopted by the Legislative Budget Board. This budget meets both requirements.

Figure 1

Biennial Recommendations for 1998-99

All Funds - $86.2 Billion (In Millions)


Figure 2

Comparison of All Funds

1998-99 Recommended to 1996-97 Budgeted/Expended (In Millions)


_ 1996-97 amounts include emergency appropriations in S.B. 886.

* Totals may not add due to rounding.

** Biennial change and percent change calculated on actual amounts before rounding.

Source: Legislative Budget Board

Figure 3




Figure 4

Comparison of General Revenue & General Revenue-Dedicated Funds

1998-99 Recommended to 1996-97 Budgeted/Expended (In Millions)


_ 1996-97 amounts include emergency appropriations in S.B. 886.

* Totals may not add due to rounding.

** Biennial change and percent change calculated on actual amounts before rounding.

Source: Legislative Budget Board

Texas Performance Review (TPR) Proposals

§ The 1998-99 budget includes 28 Texas Performance Review recommenda-tions having fiscal impact. These TPR recommendations total $152.5 million in general revenue savings and gains and $33.8 million in appropriations, for a net gain of $118.7 million. Sixteen TPR proposals were added to the bill with uncertain or no fiscal impact.

Texas Performance Review 1998-99 Proposals Included in

Recommended General Revenue Budget (In Millions)
TPR Recommendations
Savings

(Appropriations)
Enhance State Tax Collections $40.1
Use Selective Contracting for Some Medicaid Services 30.0
Reduce Medicaid Overpayments 24.7
Eliminate Funding for Excessive Undergraduate Credit Hours 15.1
Maximize Return on Prison Land 8.5
Improve Medicaid and Welfare Enforcement 6.2
Ensure Appropriate Nursing Home Reimbursement and Quality 5.1
Improve the Recovery of Erroneously Paid Public Assistance Benefits 1.2
Ensure Appropriate Use of Medicare-Funded Services and Equipment 4.5
Reform State and Local Health Care Purchasing 3.8
Increase Recovery of State Housing Costs 3.6
Require Prisoners to Pay for Some Health Care Services 2.9
Reduce Drug Reimbursement Costs 1.5
Establish Child Care Training Centers for Recipients of Public Assistance 1.3
Improve Consumer Information on Child Care Centers 0
Improve Tax Refunds for AFDC Recipient Employers 0.8
Purchase the Most Cost-effective Substitute Care 0.6
Improve Access to Automated Teller Machines in State Facilities 0.3
Increase the Number of Texas Children Covered by Health Insurance 0.1
Eliminate Vacant State Positions* 0.0
Subtotal: Savings $152.5
Make the Texas Poison Center Network a National Resource (0.1)
Streamline Grocery Store Regulation (0.6)
Improve Health Agencies' Subrogation Collection Efforts (1.0)
Reduce Tobacco Use by Texas Youth (3.8)
Establish the Texas Child Care Fund (7.3)
Increase Funding for Tuition Equalization Grants (20.0)
Reduce Drug Reimbursement Costs (1.0)
Subtotal: Appropriations (33.8)
TOTAL 118.7

*Used in establishing FTE caps for individual agencies.

Source: Legislative Budget Board

Education: Public Schools and Higher Education

§ Public Schools. All funds for public education total $25.4 billion, an increase of $1.7 billion or 7.1 percent, above the 1996-97 biennium. General revenue-related and consolidated funds total $20.8 billion, including a $1.5 billion, or 7.9 percent increase in public school funding.

§ Includes $814 million for projected enrollment growth of 156,000 students.

§ Provides $370 million to finance school facilities, an increase of $200 million.

§ Increases minimum teacher salaries.

§ Funds the Governor's Reading Initiative with $32 million.

§ Provides $36 million for Safe Schools programs, an increase of 30 percent.

§ Increases funding for the student technology allotment by $5.2 million.

§ Increases contributions to the Teacher Retirement System by $180.7 million.

§ Creates a $100 million contingency fund for possible unforeseen enrollment increases.

§ Higher Education. All funds for higher education total $11.9 billion, an increase of $806 million, or 7.3 percent, above the 1996-97 biennium. General revenue-related and consolidated funds appropriations total $10.9 billion representing an increase of $684 million, or 6.7 percent, above the 1996-97 level.

§ Adds $160.7 million to fund new incentives for higher graduation rates and increased availability of classes taught by tenured faculty.

§ Provides costs for payment of debt service to allow colleges to finance $638.5 million in new facilities.

§ Provides $165.1 million for junior college enrollment growth and formula funding increases.

§ Adds $60.2 million for health science centers and $25 million for graduate medical education.

§ Increases contributions to the Optional Retirement Program by $31.2 million and the Teacher Retirement System by $31.9 million, and increases funding for health insurance by $15.8 million for higher premium costs.

Health and Human Services

§ The second largest function of government supported by the state budget is health and human services, which amounts to $26.1 billion of all funds, an increase of $1 billion, or 4.2 percent, above the 1996-97 biennium. General revenue-related and consolidated funds appropriations to health and human services total $10.6 billion, which represents an increase of 3 percent above the 1996-97 level. These numbers include emergency appropriations for the 1996-97 biennium authorized by S.B. 886.

§ Provides $146.4 million for community care services for 14,815 additional clients.

§ Adds $177.3 million for increased nursing home caseloads and federal minimum wage increases.

§ Provides $44.2 million for 3,800 new foster care and adoption placements.

§ Adds $11 million to fund 246 new child protective services caseworkers.

§ Provides $52.5 million for increased Medicaid costs.

§ Continues services for elderly, disabled, and young legal immigrants who could lose Medicaid coverage due to federal welfare restrictions.

§ Saves $107 million as a result of lower AFDC caseloads and approval of Texas Performance Review recommendations.

Business and Economic Development

§ All funds for business and economic development total $10.3 billion, an increase of $505 million or 5.2 percent, over the 1996-97 biennium. General revenue-related and consolidated funds appropriations total $897 million, which is an increase of $72.3 million, or 8.8 percent, above the 1996-97 level. These numbers include emergency appropriations for the 1996-97 biennium authorized by S.B. 886. The bill provides full biennial funding for the Texas Workforce Commission.

Public Safety and Criminal Justice

§ All funds for public safety and criminal justice total $7 billion, an increase of $353 million or 5.3 percent, over the 1996-97 biennium. General revenue-related and consolidated funds appropriations total $5.7 billion, which is an increase of $375 million, or 7 percent, above the 1996-97 level.

§ Includes $159.6 million to fund 22,500 existing state jail beds and open 2,500 more.

§ Provides $53.7 million to supervise 10,800 additional parolees and 4,600 more probationers, including $19.1 million for more intensive supervision.

§ Adds $88.2 million for the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) to operate 2,144 additional beds.

§ Includes $33.3 million in bond funds to repair or renovate prison facilities.

§ Adds $68.3 million in bond funds to construct two prison units with 1,320 beds and one TYC facility with 330 beds.

The Judiciary

§ All funds for the judiciary total $331 million, an increase of $58 million, or 21.4 percent, over the 1996-97 biennium. General revenue-related and consolidated funds appropriations total $277 million, which is an increase of $47.8 million, or 20.9 percent, above the 1996-97 level.

§ Includes $13.5 million for a salary increase for state judges and prosecutors, and an additional $15 million, if the comptroller certifies that it becomes available.

Regulatory Agencies

§ All funds for regulatory agencies total $427 million, an increase of $30 million, or 7.6 percent, over the 1996-97 biennium. General revenue-related and consolidated funds appropriations total $405 million, which is an increase of $31.9 million, or 8.6 percent, above the 1996-97 level.

§ Includes provisions to make regulatory agencies cover the cost of agency appropriations, including indirect costs, with agency revenues.

General Government

§ General government agencies include the Office of the Governor, and the administrative support agencies of state government such as the Comptroller of Public Accounts, Attorney General's Office, General Services Commission, and other agencies. All funds for general government total $2.1 billion, an increase of $78.2 million, or 3.8 percent, when compared to the 1996-97 biennium. General revenue-related and consolidated funds appropriations total $1.4 billion, a reduction of $28.6 million, or 2 percent, when compared to the 1996-97 biennium. These numbers include emergency appropriations for 1996-97 authorized by S.B. 886.

§ Includes $345.7 million for a state employee and non-faculty college employee pay raise.

§ Lowers the cap on the number of state employees by 4,350.

§ Provides $2.7 million bond debt service to construct the state history museum.

§ Sets aside $57.2 million to prepare state computers to convert to the "Year 2000."

Natural Resources

§ All funds for natural resources total $1.7 billion, an increase of $98.6 million, or 6.2 percent, over the 1996-97 biennium. General revenue-related and consolidated funds appropriations total $1.3 billion, which is an increase of $32.1 million, or 2.5 percent, above the 1996-97 level. These numbers include emergency appropriations for 1996-97 authorized by S.B. 886.

§ Provides $34 million to fund the statewide water plan.

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EMS and Trauma Care System Fund - S.B. 102

by Senator Zaffirini, et al.

House Sponsor: Representative Kamel

§ Creates the emergency medical services and trauma care system fund (fund) as a special account in the state treasury and allows revenue generated from the 9-1-1 emergency service fee to be appropriated to the fund.

§ Requires the commissioner of the Texas Department of Health (TDH) to use money in the fund for county and regional emergency medical services and trauma care systems. The chief executive of the county determines how the money is to be spent, except for counties with a population of 291,000 or more, where joint authorization of the chief executive and mayor of the principal municipality in that county is required. Requirements and restrictions on use of the money include the following:

§ maintenance of $250,000 reserve in the fund for extraordinary emergencies;

§ 70 percent of the money is to be allotted to counties based on size, population, and emergencies to fund the cost of supplies, operational expenses, education and training, equipment, vehicles, and communications systems for local emergency services;

§ 25 percent of the money is to be allotted for operation of the 22 trauma support areas and for equipment, communications, and education and training for the areas;

§ no more than 3 percent of money may be spent on administrative costs to the bureau of emergency management at TDH for administering the state emergency medical services program, the trauma program, and the fund; and

§ at least 2 percent of money is to be allotted to fund a portion of the uncompensated trauma care provided at facilities designated as state trauma facilities by TDH.

§ Prohibits TDH from distributing money from the fund, for a period of one to three years, to a county, municipality, or local recipient that has used money for a non-approved purpose.

§ Imposes a $2 fee for issuing or renewing a driver's or commercial driver's license, or a commercial driver learner's permit to be deposited in the fund.

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Emergency Appropriations - S.B. 886

by Senator Ratliff

House Sponsor: Representative Junell

§ Authorizes emergency appropriations for certain state programs:

§ $5,106,092 of the federal funds from the TANF block grant to the Texas Workforce Commission for the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Program, and $18,681,494 to the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services for substitute care services; and $4,998,517 (general revenue), $5,052,187 (federal receipts), and $116,716 (from interagency contracts) to TYC for maintaining the "Six-Month Minimum Length of Stay" objective. In addition, $2,788,748 to the Employee Retirement System, and $1,293,718 to the Comptroller of Public Accounts, is appropriated for related employee benefits.

§ $500,000 to the Texas Water Development Board from the Governor's trusteed programs for funding a contract between the board and the Edwards Aquifer Authority. The bill also provides for repayment.

§ $992,000 is appropriated out of the general revenue fund to the Department of Information Resources for the purpose of developing and implementing a plan to make the state's information resource systems compatible with the year 2000. An additional $253,000 is appropriated out of the general revenue fund to the department to cover the costs of developing and implementing the plan.

§ $550,000 is appropriated out of the general revenue fund to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) for the purpose of financing regional precipitation enhancement programs through grants to political subdivisions that agree to provide local funding for the same purposes in an amount not less than the amount of state funding provided to that political subdivision.

§ $10,827,069 is appropriated to the Attorney General from the general revenue fund for payment of workers' compensation benefits.

§ $5,600,000 is appropriated out of the general revenue fund to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for the purpose of providing a loan to certain corporations. Amounts appropriated to TxDOT by this section may be expended only for the purpose of funding payments under a loan agreement that provides for the repayment of the loan, not later than August 31, 1999.

§ Allows the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board to pay salaries of not more than 18 FTEs during the current biennium out of funds previously appropriated.

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Emergency Appropriations - S.B. 1898

by Senator Ratliff

House Sponsor: Representative Junell

§ Authorizes emergency appropriations and other actions for the following programs of the state:

§ $3,517,300, from the TANF block grant, to the Department of Human Services for the purpose of making modifications to automation systems necessary to administer federal grants.

§ $653,211 in bond proceeds to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for paying a settlement in Lucia, Inc. v. Manhattan Construction Company, Inc., et al. v. The State of Texas, et al.

§ $275,000 of general revenue funds (GR) to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) for the Texas Pre-freshman Engineering Program.

§ $10,000,000 of GR to THECB for the Tuition Assistance Grant program.

§ $2,500,000 of GR to THECB for the supporting centers for teacher education at private, independent, general academic institutions that are component institutions of the Texas Association of Developing Colleges.

§ $10,400,000 of GR to Texas Southern University for funding existing financial obligations of the university.

§ $2,500,000 of GR to the Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System for funding scholarships for needy students.

§ $300,000 of GR to Texas A&M University at Galveston for restoration and rehabilitation of certain severe shoreline erosion.

§ Allows the reappropriation of unexpended balances of GR appropriated by the 74th Legislature for the student center at Sul Ross State University.

§ $2,000,000 of GR to the Governor's Office to provide disaster funding.

§ $11,000,000 out of the Clean Air Account to TNRCC for making a payment to MARTA Technologies, Inc.

§ Requires the comptroller to transfer the unobligated balance deposited to the Waste Tire Recycling Fund Account to the undedicated portion of GR, less $9,065,460 appropriated out of the account to TNRCC for making payments to end users of shredded tire pieces and of whole scrap tires, if the account expires on January 1, 1998. Requires all unobligated and unexpended balances as of December 31, 1997, from the appropriation to TNRCC to be transferred to TxDOT and deposited to the credit of the scrap tire recycling account.

§ Requires the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to expend all funds appropriated for Strategy A.1.2 regarding textbooks in 1995, for the purchase of textbooks during the current fiscal biennium. Requires the State Board of Education to increase the per capita rate for distribution of the available school fund to distribute all projected revenues during the current biennium. Prohibits use of funds appropriated from the available school fund, the textbook fund, or the foundation school fund for the current biennium for payment of a technology allotment in excess of the $30 per student.

§ Prohibits any of the funds appropriated to TEA by the 74th Legislature regarding the accountability system, to be expended by TEA, and requires the appropriation to lapse to GR.

§ $70,000,000 from the Clean Air Account, the Petroleum Storage Tank Remediation Fund, and the Hazardous and Solid Waste Remediation Fee Fund, to the comptroller for making partial payment of the settlement agreement entered in Tejas Testing Technology One, L.C., et al. v. The State of Texas.

§ $300,000 out of the Clean Air Account to TNRCC for paying outside legal counsel to represent the state in the matter of Tejas Testing Technology One, L.C., et al. v. TNRCC, et al.

§ $10,481,134 out of the Hazardous and Solid Waste Remediation Fee Fund to TNRCC for the purpose of making partial payment of the settlement agreement entered in Tejas Testing Technology One, L.C., et al. v. The State of Texas, et al.

§ Allows TNRCC to use, from the amounts appropriated out of the Petroleum Storage Tank Remediation Fund, the sum of $33,684,778 for making partial payment of the settlement agreement entered in Tejas Testing Technology One, L.C., et al. v. The State of Texas, et al.

§ $10,000,000 out of the general revenue fund to the comptroller for the purpose of making payments to operating contractors of local stations in full satisfaction of the parties' claims arising out of Tejas Testing Technology One, L.C., et al. v. The State of Texas, et al.

§ Amends H.B. 1, the General Appropriations Act, by adding rider provisions to TDH regarding the contingent appropriation and transfer of certain responsibilities of TNRCC to TDH; and the contingent imposition, use, and appropriation of fees imposed on certain milk and milk products.

§ Amends H.B. 1 by increasing appropriations to Lamar University at Port Arthur; decreasing appropriations to the Public Integrity Unit in the District Attorney's Office of the 53rd Judicial District; adding a rider provision to the Department of Public Safety regarding an appropriation for the purpose of implementing S.B. 35; and adding a rider provision to TxDOT regarding an appropriation contingent upon passage of S.B. 370, for the purpose of implementing scrap tire recycling duties.

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Limiting State Investments in Certain Music Companies - S.B. 1923

(Died in the House)

by Senator Ratliff, et al.

§ Prohibits the comptroller, the state or an entity of the state, and the boards of trustees for the Texas County and District Retirement System and Texas Municipal Retirement System from using state funds to invest in or purchase securities of a private corporation or business entity that directly or indirectly writes, records, produces, advertises, markets, sells, or otherwise promotes any musical work that explicitly describes, glamorizes, or advocates acts of criminal violence, including murder, assault, assault on peace officers, sexual assault, and robbery; necrophilia, bestiality, or pedophilia; illegal use of controlled substances; criminal street gang activity; degradation or deni-gration of females; or violence against a particular sex, race, or ethnic group.

§ Requires a governmental entity or retirement system that owns such an investment to divest the investment as soon as reasonable and practical, but not later than January 1, 1999.

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Crime Victims Compensation Fund - S.J.R. 33 and S.B. 987

by Senator Moncrief, et al.

House Sponsor: Representative Gallego

§ Proposes the establishment of a constitutional dedication of the Crime Victims Compensation Fund and the Crime Victims Compensation Auxiliary Fund and provides that proceeds from those funds may only be expended for the purposes of compensating victims of crime or of adjudicated juvenile misconduct and for providing services to those victims. Ballot Date: November 4, 1997.

§ Requires the attorney general, after consulting with the comptroller of public accounts, to certify each year how much money will be necessary to make awards to crime victims.

§ Authorizes the legislature to appropriate amounts in the fund over that which is certified for the current awards program if the receiving program or purpose provides substantial and direct benefits, services, or assistance to crime victims or other persons affected by crime.

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Unfunded Mandates on Local Government- H.B. 66

by Representative Cuellar, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Zaffirini

§ Establishes an interagency work group to catalogue and review unfunded mandates imposed by the Texas Legislature on local governmental bodies.

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Disaster Relief Programs - H.B. 99

by Representative Gray, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Armbrister

§ Sets forth regulations regarding the activation and operation of disaster relief programs and provides for funding of the disaster management fund.

§ Allows the governor to request federal assistance if the governor determines that a situation is of such severity and magnitude that an effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and the affected political subdivision and that federal assistance is necessary.

§ Allows the governor, under certain circumstances, to:

§ issue grants to meet disaster-related necessary expenses or other serious need of individuals or families adversely affected by the disaster;

§ provide funds to a political subdivision for expenses incurred in the repair or replacement of a damaged highway, street, or water control structure; and

§ provide funds for hazard mitigation measures.

§ Sets forth regulations regarding funding of the disaster management fund and use of the fund.

§ Provides for an assessment on certain public utilities to be deposited in the disaster management fund.

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Creation and Recreation of Certain Funds and Accounts - H.B. 2948

by Representative Sylvester Turner

Senate Sponsor: Senator Ratliff

§ Provides regulations for the creation and recreation of funds and accounts in the state treasury, the dedication and rededication of revenue, and the exemption of unappropriated money from use for general governmental purposes.

§ Abolishes all funds and accounts created or recreated in the state treasury by an Act of the 75th Legislature and all dedications or rededications of revenue in the state treasury or otherwise collected by a state agency for a particular purpose by the 75th Legislature. Sets forth exemptions for certain funds, accounts, dedications, and fees.

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Crime Victims' Compensation Act - H.B. 3062

by Representative Hightower, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Whitmire

§ Provides that the Compensation to Victims of Crime Fund and the auxiliary fund are the payers of last resort.

§ Amends the time period in which a claimant or victim may file an application for compensation.

§ Prohibits an award of compensation payable to certain victims or claimants sustaining pecuniary loss because of injury or death from exceeding $50,000, rather than $25,000, in the aggregate.

§ Allows the attorney general to make payments to a provider on an individual's behalf.

§ Sets forth provisions regarding the attorney general's duties when assessing, denying, or reducing an award.

§ Authorizes the Compensation to Victims of Crime Fund to be used by the attorney general for the operation of the Crime Victims' Institute created by Chapter 412, Government Code.

§ Sets forth provisions allowing for an emergency reserve fund not to exceed $10,000,000.

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Texas Tomorrow Fund - H.J.R. 8 and H.B. 8

by Representative Stiles, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Barrientos, et al.

§ Proposes a constitutional amendment to transfer to the Texas Tomorrow fund the first money deposited into the state treasury that is not otherwise appropriated by the constitution. Ballot Date: November 4, 1997.

§ Requires the comptroller to transfer to the Texas Tomorrow fund the first money deposited into the state treasury that is not otherwise appropriated by the constitution.

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Debt Limit - H.J.R. 59

by Representative Delisi, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Ratliff

§ Prohibits the legislature from authorizing additional state debt payable from the general revenue fund, if the resulting annual debt service exceeds 5 percent of the average of general revenues for the three preceding fiscal years. The average excludes revenues constitutionally dedicated for purposes other than payment of state debt. Ballot Date: November 4, 1997.