Leaky Umbrella: The Need to Reform Texas’ Rainy Day Fund

Texas’ Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF) acts as a rainy day fund to cover state government budget shortfalls during economic downturns or emergencies and is often used for other purposes. The ESF’s shortcomings include it being rather easily raided for purposes other than covering budget shortfalls and stockpiling of taxpayer dollars in the fund. Legislators should raise the threshold vote to use the ESF for nonemergency purposes to four-fifths of each chamber, and consider lowering the cap and allocating funds above the cap to return to taxpayers or pay state liabilities.

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