AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued this statement today following the passage of Senate Bill 1, the General Appropriations Act, for fiscal year 2018-19. The budget passed by a vote of 30 to 1:
“This state budget is more than a billion dollars less in general revenue than our current budget. It upholds our commitment to spend taxpayer dollars wisely and to live within our means. It maintains almost $11 billion in the Rainy Day Fund. I said at the beginning of this session that we would not spend the Rainy Day Fund on ongoing expenses, and I have kept that promise. This budget contains no new taxes and no new fees. At $106.7 billion, it reduces spending for most state agencies.
“The Texas economy is the tenth largest in the world and we are one of the fastest growing states in the United States, but we have met the challenge of keeping this budget well below the growth of our population times inflation while meeting the critical needs of the state in a tight budget cycle.
“This budget maintains $800 million for border security and fully funds the Foundation School Program including the estimated 80,000 students added to our schools each year from population growth. It includes a half billion dollars for 600 additional Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) workers and adds an additional $230 million for mental health services. Additional highlights include:
- $25 million for protective vests capable of high-caliber rifle protection for every Texas law enforcement officer
- $40 million for Texas ports infrastructure projects
- $440 million to renovate our deteriorating state hospitals
- $100 million to restore the Alamo and make repairs on our National Guard armories.
- $44 million in graduate medical education to increase the number of doctors in Texas
- $27 million for military and veteran education
“This budget also provides property tax relief for the spouses of first responders who are killed in the line of duty. It reduces the cost of concealed handgun license fees from one of the highest in the nation to one of the lowest. It strengthens the ban on any state funds going to Planned Parenthood.
“I want to thank Senate Finance Committee Chairman Jane Nelson and all the members of the Finance Committee for their hard work on the budget. This budget will help ensure that Texas continues to be the economic leader of the nation.”