Texas’ Budgetary Processes and Expenditures

Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Understand Texas’ Budgetary Processes
  • Understand Texas’ Budget Expenditures–Where Texas Spends Its Money

Texas Budgetary Process

The budget process for Texas is outlined below[1] :

  1. Request for Funds. On even numbered years all government agencies submit a strategic plan requesting funds to the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) and the Governor’s Office of Budget, Planning and Policy (GOBPP). The strategic plans’ request for funds must adhere to Texas’s mission statement provided by the Governor and the LBB. The instructions and forms to submit the request for funds are prepared by the LBB.
  2. Analysis of Requests. The requests for funds and strategic plans are then reviewed by the LBB and the GOBPP. The LBB is made up of ten members from the Texas Senate and Texas House and Co-Chaired by the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House. The GOBPP is an agency in the Executive Branch that answers to the Governor.
  3. Budget proposals sent to the Legislature. The LBB and Governor then submit their budget proposals to the Texas Legislature. The Texas Legislature then reviews the proposals through the Senate and House Finance Committees. After both chambers approve an appropriations bill, then the bill is sent to each respective chamber for a vote .
  4. Comptroller verifies. Once the Texas Legislature has approved the appropriations bill, then the Texas State Comptroller must certify that enough tax revenue will be generated to fund the budget. The Texas Constitution mandates a balanced budget (Article 3, Section 49). If the Comptroller cannot certify the appropriations bill, then the Texas Legislature has the option to vote on allowing the state to go in to debt by a 4/5ths vote from each chamber.
  5. Governor. Once the Comptroller certifies the appropriations bill, then the Governor is allowed to sign the bill in to law. The Governor of Texas also has the power of line item veto, where only parts of the budget are rejected.

Texas Budget Expenditures

The state of Texas spends over half of their budget on Health and Human Services & Education. 36.8% of the state’s budget is spent on Health and Human Services, and 36.7 was spent on Education. Health and Human Services includes Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Department of Aging and Disability Services. Education is split in to two categories: Public education, and Higher education.[2]