The Budget Puzzle–Part One

With three weeks remaining before the 83rd Session starts, one major piece of the budget puzzle is missing–the total amount of money our state legislators will have as they tackle the 2014-15 budget. The state comptroller will add this piece to the puzzle before Jan. 8, and based on recent sales tax improvements, more money should be on the way.
It may be more, but will it be enough?
Based on what agencies have asked for, Texas needs $108 billion in state funds (General Revenue and the Rainy Day Fund) to deal with ongoing population and cost growth and undo the 2011 cuts to schools, universities, health care, public safety, and other state services. And that’s just the bare minimum.
Over the next three weeks in this blog series, we’ll explore in detail what exactly is included in that $108 billion in spending needs and what it would really take to get public schools, higher education, health care, and other state services back on track.
We’ll start with public education this Friday.

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