Nelson files supplemental budget bill
Senate Finance Chair Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) this week filed SB 500, the Senate’s supplemental budget bill. Supplemental budget bills are filed to address funding obligations from the previous session’s budget. While SB 500 covers topics ranging from public safety to Medicaid payments, there are a few education-related items included.
- SB 500 accounts for a funding reduction (an amount unexpended by TEA) from the 2017 budget bill in the amount of $643 million, which is more than likely due to a number of incorrect estimates such as increased property values above the expected decreasing state share of education funding or enrollment growth below expected numbers.
- More than $1.2 billion in funding for Hurricane Harvey related expenses, with up to $905.5 million directly related to loss of revenue to school districts due to property value reduction, reduced enrollment, and other expenses to schools due to the storm. There is still an undetermined amount in the bill that is set to repay agencies for Harvey-related costs, making the total cost of Harvey anywhere between the $1.2 billion in SB 500 to the $2 billion estimated in the immediate aftermath of the storm.
- $300 million for TRS state payment of benefits.
Senate committees announced
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Friday posted Senate committee information, which included new faces on the Senate Education Committee:
- Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), chair
- Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville), vice-chair
- Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston)
- Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels)
- Pat Fallon (R-Prosper)
- Bob Hall (R-Canton)
- Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola)
- Angela Paxton (R-McKinney)
- Beverly Powell (D-Burleson)
- Kirk Watson (D-Austin)
- Royce West (D-Dallas)
Senate Finance posts upcoming meetings
The Senate Finance Committee wasted no time on Friday posting several meetings to consider their version of the state budget bill, SB 1. After an organizational meeting on Jan. 22 at 10 a.m., the committee will hold a hearing on the Texas Education Agency and Teacher Retirement System (Article III) portions of the budget on Feb. 11 at 10 a.m. View the hearing livestreams.