House Senate continue to move closer to passing budget
AUSTIN — Last week, with 60 days remaining until the end of the 140-day regular session of the 86th Texas Legislature, the House and Senate vaulted closer toward finalizing a state budget.
On March 27, the House of Representatives voted 149-0 in favor of HB 1, its version of the state budget for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. The lower chamber’s bill allocates some $251 billion to cover the two years and puts $9 billion more than the current budget into education reform, including a teacher pay increase and pension funding, and property tax reform.
SB 1, the Senate’s version of the state budget, is scheduled for more early-April hearings in the Senate Finance Committee before coming to a Senate floor vote. SB 1, like HB 1, presently contains some $9 billion for education reform and a property tax break. Since mid-January, the committee chaired by Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, heard more than 750 witnesses present public testimony in 25 meetings, helping members craft a bill that totals more than 1,000 pages. Nelson broke down the $9 billion as follows:
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