AUSTIN – Today, a fiscally responsible and strong Senate budget, Committee Substitute for House Bill 1 (HB 1) by Senate Finance Chair Jane Nelson, passed 30-1.
“Texans have declared they want leadership that keeps this state the beacon of economic prosperity and freedom,” said Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. “The Senate has been working day and night to deliver on Texans priorities because it is what Texans deserve.
“This comprehensive budget addresses the priorities and needs of Texans. It includes business and property tax relief, strong border security, quality public education, prioritized transportation funding and more.”
Some of the highlights, include:
- The 2016-2017 budget is (all funds) less than a five percent increase over the biennium
- Guarantees cuts in business and property taxes by $4.5B
- Vastly strengthens border security with $811M to hire more Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers, add a new Ranger Company, provide additional technology and continue the Texas National Guard on the border until those DPS assets can be brought on-line
- Provides $4.9B in additional transportation funding
- Fully funds public education at current law, plus an additional $1.5B to increase the basic allotment formula from $5,040 to $5,134 in 2016 and $5,140 in 2017, improves equity and provides funding for more school facilities.
- Provides $60M for math and reading training for K-3 teachers. Adds $25M for career counseling for middle school students
- Eliminates the Emerging Technology Fund
- Adds $60M for Graduate Medical Education to provide sufficient funding for every Texas medical school graduate to have a residency in Texas
- Increases mental health funding by $258.8M and adds $50M for women’s health.
“Senator Jane Nelson has done an outstanding job in working with the entire Senate and bringing together a budget that is sound and right for Texas,” concluded Patrick. “She has delivered exponentially on my expectations – and more.”