Texas House Unanimously Passes Budget
In a relatively low-key manner, the Texas House of Representatives approved the 2010-2011 178.4 billion dollar state budget early Saturday morning.
At the start on Friday, there were about 400 amendments to discuss but House members eventually whittled it down to about half that.
This budget is about four billion dollars less than the Texas Senate’s version but the approved budget is also five percent bigger than last session’s House budget.
The House approved about 11 billion dollars in spending from the federal stimulus package. That money would go to education, transportation, and Medicaid. The stimulus money helped lawmakers fill the projected budget gap and avoid dipping into the Rainy Day Fund. If left intact over the next two-years, the Rainy Day Fund is expected to grow to about 9 billion dollars.
There were a couple of differences between the Senate and House versions of the budget. The House passed pay increases and bonuses for some state workers while the Senate did not. The House also approved less bond money than the Senate did for cancer research. And the budget language over state money used for embryonic research was left for open in the House version.
The approved House budget will move to to the conference committee along with the Senate’s. It is here where differences will be worked out and a handful lawmakers from both the Senate and House will ultimately decide what get’s funded and what’s out.