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January 15, 2015      5:19 PM

Texas House offers budget blueprint that flat-lines spending and ends gas tax diversion

DPS would be paid for out of GR, public education enrollment growth is fully funded, and the “super surge” of border security is maintained.

As Gov. Perry was saying farewell to the Texas Legislature on Thursday in a speech largely about his accomplishments over the past 14 years, Texas House leadership was looking toward the future by offering a budget roadmap that would barely increase spending – essentially flat-lining it – and will leave plenty of room for a robust debate about tax relief, education funding, and more.

“It’s very much a starting point,” one House official told Quorum Report.

The House Introduced Budget, the base budget proposal required by law to be put on the table early in the session, would nominally increase spending by 0.2% with a boost in general revenue spending of about 4%.

The proposal, which also takes no money from the Economic Stabilization Fund, would spend $98.8 billion from general purpose revenue, well under the $113 billion in revenue estimated for the biennium by Comptroller Glenn Hegar. It is also well under the $107 billion cap created by constitutional constraints. The budget proposal would spend a little more than $202 billion in both state and federal dollars, or “all funds” as we say around the Capitol.

Of course there will be much discussion in the coming months about all that’s in this massive document. So for right now, we’ll take you through just a few of the highlights.

By Scott Braddock