Submitted by Ken Paxton, State Senator
This Friday marked the 130th day of the 140-day legislative session. With a little more than one week left in the 83rd legislative session, members are rushing to finalize passage on the remaining bills and, as of this writing, a state budget.
The Texas Constitution requires that the legislature vote on and pass a state budget every two years. Unlike Washington, D.C., our constitution requires a balanced budget that ensures we live within our means and not become dependent on borrowed funds.
Both the Texas House and the Texas Senate have passed their own versions of a two-year budget. Like many other bills passed by both chambers, the two versions of the budget are being reconciled in a Conference Committee that consists of both House and Senate members.
Setting a budget is an important role of the legislature, just like budgeting is an important function of any family. I believe that we must remember what our constitution requires and strive to adequately fund essential priorities without relying on borrowed funds or higher taxes to meet our needs. That is why I have championed ideas like ending the diversion of auto-related sales tax revenue to non-transportation purposes, ensuring that it is directed to the State Highway Fund, and eliminating the state Franchise tax. Measures such as these would help fund key areas of need and provide tax relief without increasing our debt.
Next Wednesday at midnight is the deadline for passage of any legislation and the remainder of the week will be spent reconciling differences in versions of bills passed by both chambers in Conference Committees and making technical corrections on passed legislation. As we move into the final week of this legislative session, I will continue to champion ways to keep our state spending in check and keep Texas as the best place to live, work, and raise a family.