The Texas House has approved a $302.6 billion state spending plan for the next two years, sending it to the Senate.
What is Inside the State Spending Plan Bill?
The state spending plan bill includes pay raises for state employees, tax cuts, and more mental health services for millions of residents. The plan allocates $136.9 billion in general revenue to some of the state GOP leadership’s most significant priorities for the next two years. This includes $17.5 billion for property tax cuts, $5 billion in new money for schools, and $4.6 billion for border security.
The budget plan leaves tens of billions of dollars in unspent general revenue available after record-breaking tax collections left the state with more cash than ever before. The surplus stands at $37.2 billion, higher than the entire budget of 24 states, according to an article published in Texas Tribune.
The House Appropriations Committee Chair, Greg Bonnen, expressed pride in the work done by the committee. He praised the bill, saying it provided historic investments in property tax relief, public education, higher education, and infrastructure critical to the state.
House Bill 1 Passed the House
In a published article in Ken5, House Bill 1 passed on a vote of 136-10, with a handful of Democrats and two Republicans, Rep. Tony Tinderholt of Arlington and Rep. Brian Harrison of Midlothian, voting against it.
However, some lawmakers who voted against the budget bill did so for various reasons. Some felt there was too little cash for public schools and teachers, while others felt that the ban on diversity, equity, and inclusion programs was inappropriate.
Despite this, other Democrats voted for the bill because they supported its historic efforts. Rep. Donna Howard, an Austin Democrat and member of the House Appropriations Committee, said the budget bill includes nearly $20 billion in new spending.
Furthermore, House Speaker Dade Phelan praised the spending plan, saying it was a spending plan that every Texas House member should be proud of. The House is looking forward to working with the Texas Senate to get House Bill 1 to the governor’s desk