A Conservative Texas Budget (CTB) is one where biennial appropriations (General Appropriations Act and supplemental appropriations, when available) of state funds (excludes federal funds) and all funds—the footprint of government—increase by no more than population growth plus inflation. The 2018-19 CTB limits are $147.5 billion in state funds and $218.5 billion in all funds.
These CTB growth rate limit is based on a 4.5 percent increase in population growth plus inflation during fiscal years 2015 and 2016. The CTB limit amounts are a 4.5 percent increase above the 2016-17 initial appropriations. We include in a recent one-pager information on the starting points in the House and Senate versions of the 2018-19 proposed appropriations.
The table below shows agencies and programs of state government that increase in initial all funds appropriations by more than the CTB growth rate limit of 4.5 percent, except for General Academic Institutions and the Railroad Commission in the Senate version. Although these increases may be appropriate, these are some of the budget items that should be scrutinized during the legislative process so that the final budget will meet the CTB criteria.
Ph.D. Economist at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Blog posts are publications by the author.