Texas Budget Trends In Article I
The 84th Texas Legislature passed a 2016-17 total budget including state and federal funds of $209.1 billion for an increase of 2.9 percent from the previous budget’s expected expenditures. Although this was a conservative budget, defined as an increase at or below the increase in population growth plus inflation of 6.5 percent during the prior two fiscal years, individual budget functions that increase by more than this key metric deserve scrutiny.
Increases in functions in Article I by more than population growth plus inflation should be watched as agencies make their requests and during the legislative process next session. Of course, budget increases in other areas of General Government should also be watched so that the Article I budget only funds essential government services such that the total budget does not increase by more than population growth plus inflation each session.