Texas Budget Assignment In 2019, Texas legislators approved a $251 billion bienn
Texas Budget Assignment
In 2019, Texas legislators approved a $251 billion biennial budget to fund our state government for the next two years. Amazingly, Greg Abbott did not issue a single line-item veto – the first governor since Allan Shivers in 1955 to sign a budget without a single change. Last month, legislators sent the governor a $248 billion budget, which he is still considering as I write this assignment.
Take a look at the Texas Tribune’s overview:
https://www.texastribune.org/2021/05/27/texas-legislature-budget-approved/ (Links to an external site.)
For this assignment, you are now a state representative serving on the House Appropriations Committee, which is the budget-writing committee chaired by Representative Greg Bonnen, a neurosurgeon from League City who is serving his fourth term in the House of Representatives. For this assignment, you represent the district where you live, wherever that is. What do you think your constituents want in a state budget? Are they more worried about public education? Higher Education? Health care? Highways? Crime? Are they more worried about keeping their taxes down? Without trying to write an entire budget, explain in our standard 2 – 5 page essay what spending priorities would be important to you and why. For what changes would you advocate?
Note: (This is the important part) Texas is required by its Constitution to have a balanced budget, so if you argue in your essay for a $50 million increase in a program that’s important to your district, make sure you tell where you would either cut $50 million from another program, or how you would raise $50 million in additional revenue.
Submit in Word. Cite your sources.
The House Research Organization just came out with a great background piece on writing the state budget: https://hro.house.texas.gov/pdf/focus/writing87.pdf (Links to an external site.)
Here’s the House Research Organization’s breakdown of this year’s budget bill: https://hro.house.texas.gov/pdf/focus/2021CSSB_1.pdf (Links to an external site.)
How do I know which state representative district I’m in? Click here: https://wrm.capitol.texas.gov/home (Links to an external site.) (Remember, your state representative district is not your congressional district.)
Budget 101, from the Senate Research Center, will tell you WAY more than you need to know about how the state budget is written (but you might want to use it to look something up): https://senate.texas.gov/_assets/srcpub/87th_Budget_101.pdf (Links to an external site.)