Texas Senate Budget Leaders Approve $308B Plan: What Does It Mean For Texans?

Texas Senate budget leaders approved on Wednesday a $308 billion proposal for the next two years.

Texas Senate budget leaders
Texas Senate budget leaders approve $308B spending plan for teachers, mental health, and juvenile justice. (Photo: ABC13)

Texas Senate Budget Leaders Approved $308 Budget Proposal

A $308 billion budget proposal was approved by the Texas Senate budget leaders on Wednesday.

The budget plan is set for two years and would include billions of dollars to be spent on juvenile justice, mental health services, community colleges, property tax cuts, and pay raises for teachers and state employees.

According to CBS Austin, the Texas Senate budget leaders approved the billion budget spending plan by a vote of 16-0, which pushed it to the Senate floor debate set to happen next week.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Joan Huffman, R-Houston said that the budget is great, and she looks forward to bringing it to the Senate floor. She also thanked everyone for participating in the process.

READ ALSO: Texas House Budget: A Whooping $545 Million For Prison Air Conditioning!

Texas Senate Budget Leaders’ Proposal Brings Billions in Benefits for Texans

The billion budget proposal approved by the Texas Senate budget leaders includes $142.1 billion in general revenue spending, which is higher than last week’s proposal by the Texas House.

Texas Senate budget leaders allocated the following budget:

  • $5 billion in additional money for schools which would pay for the teachers’ increase in salary and other educational programs, including private school allowances
  • $3.7 billion for retired teachers
  • $650 million for efforts to help schools enhance security
  • $650 million to revamp community college funding
  • $1 billion to fund water projects
  • $10 billion commitment to support Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s focus package of legislation handling the stability of the electric grid.
  • $16.5 billion for property tax cuts
  • $4.6 billion for border security

However, there are differences between the Senate and House versions of the budget, with billions of dollars at stake in upcoming negotiations.

The House version spends about $306 billion in all state and federal funds and $137 billion in general revenue. The two chambers have also approved emergency spending bills to address immediate needs.

The Senate version includes:

  • $900 million for mental health care
  • $2.3 billion to raise wages for personal care “community attendants” who assist patients through Medicaid
  • $1.8 billion for state employee pay raises
  • $370 million for addressing issues at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department
  • $500 million each for parks redevelopment, broadband development, and Gulf Coast protection programs
  • $600 million was allocated for port and ship channel funds and projects

There was also a brief clash among Texas Senate budget leaders over a rider in the budget bill that bans funding from universities that use diversity, equity, and inclusion practices in their hiring processes, with concerns raised about lack of clarity on the issue.

In conclusion, the budget approved by the Texas Senate Budget Leaders brings benefits to Texans.

READ ALSO: $302.6 Billion Texas State Budget: Texas House Approves!