AUSTIN – Today, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 9 (SB 9) by Senator Kelly Hancock.
“This historic bill has been a priority for more than a decade and I am proud that the Texas Senate has finally accomplished this goal,” said Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.
SB 9 tightens the state spending limit (cap) by using population growth and inflation, instead of personal income, to calculate growth in the state’s economy. It will consider a two-biennium (previous and upcoming) average of population growth and inflation, using both actual and projected data, to calculate the spending limit. Current law requires only projected data for the upcoming biennium. These changes will provide more precise data for budgetary considerations.
“Tightening the spending cap by using population growth and inflation will ensure that, like all Texans, our budget addresses our needs before our wants,” said Patrick. “SB 9 establishes a three-fifths vote threshold, instead of a simple majority, to exceed the Consolidated General Revenue spending limit. This higher standard will require the legislature to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars and restrain unnecessary spending.
“Population and inflation are more appropriate measures of growth in the state’s economy than the current method using personal income. A spending limit based on population and inflation will separate the state’s wants from the state’s needs. I am proud of Sen. Hancock and the Senators’ hard work in keeping our Texas economy strong by being fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars,” concluded Patrick.
More than twenty billion in state spending currently exempt from the spending limit will now be included under the broader limits of SB 9. A spending limit based on population and inflation will limit state funding increases to those driven by economic factors (population and inflation) rather than an individual’s personal income.