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Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas Welcome to the Official Website for the Texas Senate
Seal of the Senate of the State of Texas
Welcome to the official website for the
Texas Senate
 
Senator Jane Nelson: District 12
Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 25, 2017
Contact: Melissa Duncan
512-463-0112
CONFEREES APPROVE TWO-YEAR STATE BUDGET

AUSTIN – Members of the Conference Committee on SB 1, the appropriations bill authored by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, have signed the final paperwork to establish the state’s budget priorities for the next two years. The final budget will likely be voted on by each chamber of the Legislature on Saturday.

"This is a responsible budget that keeps Texas moving in the right direction,” Senator Nelson said. “It prioritizes education, addresses transportation, secures our border and strengthens protections for abused and neglected children.”

SB 1 establishes a $107.8 billion budget (General Revenue (GR) + Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF)) for FY 18-19, including $990 million from the ESF for local grants, state hospitals, capital needs and other one-time expenditures. In all funds, the budget appropriates $216.75 billion -- up $352 million (0.16%) from FY 16-17 – an increase well within population times inflation and all spending limits. All funds highlights of SB 1 include:

Methods of Finance

  • Delays $1.8 billion in Proposition 7 transportation payment. SB 1 includes intent language to ensure $1.8 billion transfers in September 2019.
  • $990 million from the Economic Stabilization Fund for one-time expenses, primarily for:
    • Necessary health and safety repairs;
    • State facilities construction needs; and
    • One-time grants to local entities.

Health & Human Services

  • Increases funding to Child Protective Services by over $500M, including nearly 600 new caseworkers (above the emergency appropriation);
  • Adds funding for prevention services by $33M;
  • Provides additional funding for mental health services, including:
    • $63M to address capacity and eliminate waitlists for community mental health services;
    • $67.5M for community collaborative grants for jail diversion and other local mental health projects;
    • $30M to maintain and add community purchased psychiatric hospital beds;
    • $25M to maintain state hospital service levels; and
    • $10M to increase maximum security capacity at state hospitals.
  • $300M from ESF to begin overhaul of our state hospital system.
  • Provides additional funding for Early Childhood Intervention.
  • Restores 25% of the therapy rate reductions.

Higher Ed

  • Provides overall increase in funding;
  • Non-formula support:
    • Sunsets all non-formula support (formerly known as "special items") by August 31, 2019;
    • Reduces by 50% university special items categorized as "start-up" or "formula generating" that have been in existence for longer than 8 years;
    • Categorizes all special items to allow for greater transparency; and
    • Creates a Joint Committee to study this issue during the interim and make recommendations for budget writers to incorporate in the next budget.
  • $44M for Graduate Medical Education to continue our medical residency expansion efforts;
  • $71M to TEXAS Grant to fund 92% of all eligible residents; and
  • $19M increase to fund community colleges, including success points (outcome-based funding).

Education

  • Continues formula funding at current levels with a basic allotment of $5,140 per student;
  • Adds $2.65B to cover enrollment growth (80,000 students per years);
  • $350M for the Teacher Retirement System to continue healthcare benefits for retirees;
  • Public Education grants:
    • E-Rates - $25M;
    • Student Success Initiative - $12M;
    • Communities in Schools - $31M; and
    • Boys & Girls Club (Texas AIM) - $4.5M.

Other

  • $47.3M to the Railroad Commission for operational stability and pipeline safety.
  • $87.8M to fund preservation and updates to the Alamo.
  • $40M to support infrastructure projects at Texas ports.
  • $800M for border security, including 250 new troopers.
  • $4.2M to eliminate current rape kit backlog.
  • $4.7M for pretrial diversions.
  • $25M for bullet proof vests.
  • $12M for grants to local police departments.
  • $12M for border prosecution grants.
  • $5M for a statewide guardianship program at the Office of Court Administration.
SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, including portions of Denton and Tarrant counties. She is chair of the Senate Finance Committee and the highest ranking Republican in the Texas Senate.

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