The Capitol Report
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It’s a short week in Austin – both chambers will observe Good Friday, as will the Capitol Update team. In this edition, we’ll share documents and information about the proposed House and Senate budgets, as we promised last week.
First, let’s hop in our DeLorean and go back in time. During the 84th legislative session in 2015, HB 1 (general appropriations) provided funding for the 2016-17 biennium. Community college funding falls under Article 3. Overall, $1.745 billion in instructional funds was allocated for all of our state’s two-year colleges; that figure included $50 million in core operations, $169.2 million in success points and $1.52 billion in contact-hour funding. In 2015, the House bill was the lead appropriations bill. Following tradition, this year the Senate bill will be the lead appropriations bill. In 2015, DCCCD was appropriated a total of $170,455,213. This amount does not reflect special-items funding like Starlink and Small Business Development Centers.
This year, during the 85th legislative session, both chambers have passed their versions of an “ideal” 2018-2019 biennium budget. How much are they spending and where is it going? For a Senate summary, please click here. For a House summary, please look here. In response to 2018-2019 instructional funding for community colleges, the Senate version appropriates $1.779 billion; the House budget appropriates $1.755 billion.
First, here’s what the House budget means for our district: biennium instructional funds allocated for DCCCD total $172,064,027. The House budget also allocates funding for Starlink ($585,876) and Small Business Development Centers ($3,270,770), for a grand total of $175,920,673.
In the Senate version, biennium instructional funds allocated for DCCCD total $176,085,148. The budget allocates money for core operations, student success and contact-hour funding. The Senate budget added dollars for instructional funding, but it does not appropriate dollars specifically for special items such as Starlink or Small Business Development Centers.
It’s important to note that the House budget taps into $2.5 billion of the Economic Stabilization Fund, better known as the Rainy Day Fund. The Senate budget does not touch the Rainy Day Fund, and it’s very likely there will be opposition from the Senate to do that.
The next step is for both the House and Senate to resolves their differences. Each chamber will appoint members to a conference committee. The conferees will work to produce a final version of the budget bill that will be submitted to the House and Senate. Next week, we should learn who the conferees will be. We will post more information as it becomes available.
The Texas Budget Process: A Primer
Legislative Budget Board
Writing the State Budget
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar pitches Rainy Day Fund overhaul (Texas Tribune)
Texas budget wish list: Big dreams, low expectations (Dallas Morning News)
Texas House approves its budget plan 131-16 after 15 hours of debate (Houston Chronicle)
Listed below are bills of importance to DCCCD. We track these and other bills that may have an impact on our district during the legislative session. You can view those House and Senate bills by visiting our site.
Interested in learning more about other bills?...for example, the status of the Employees Retirement System of Texas and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, SB 1750 and SB 1751? (Spoiler alert! So far, both bills have not been scheduled yet for a committee hearing.) Visit our legislative bill tracker to learn the status of several bills.
As always, please feel free to contact our office with any questions.
Tomorrow we are “officially” closed. Have fun, be safe and remember the tax deadline is upon us. Enough said!