Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar today announced his certification of Senate Bill 1, the general appropriations act that was approved by both houses during the recently gaveled regular session of the 87th Texas Legislature. The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott.
SB 1 appropriates $248.6 billion in total spending for the state’s budget during the 2022-23 biennium. It is certified based on the most recent total revenue projection released in May, which included an upward revision of $3.1 billion in General Revenue-Related funds after a decline in COVID-19 cases contributed to a further opening of the Texas economy, and substantive federal action on relief funding.
“I commend the Legislature for crafting a conservative state budget while also addressing key issues facing our state,” Hegar said. “Our state’s financial forecast improved before lawmakers completed their work, and I was pleased to have the opportunity to work with lawmakers as they wrote the budget under rapidly evolving circumstances. The Legislature took key steps to address issues like power grid reliability and employee pension reform, but equally important is the fundamental work ensuring our school districts, universities and myriad state programs can rely on a specific amount of state funding. I’m proud to certify this budget and send it to Gov. Abbott for final approval.”
Hegar also commended the Legislature for approving legislation to revamp the state’s power grid following February’s deadly winter storm and for overhauling pension funds for future state employees by putting them into a new cash balance plan. Pension legislation will also require the state to make annual amortization payments to the Employees Retirement System (ERS) to pay down existing unfunded liabilities.
“For more than six years, I have talked about our long-term liabilities in ERS, and I am thankful the Legislature took much-needed action this year,” Hegar said.
Hegar said the pandemic makes it impossible for anyone to predict with complete accuracy how the economy will unfold through the next budget cycle, which ends Aug. 31, 2023.
“As the extreme shifts in economic conditions we’ve experienced in the last 15 months show, we still do not fully understand exactly what will happen with the pandemic’s long-term effects on businesses, workplace practices, employee availability and consumer behavior,” Hegar said. “But what we can do, and will do, is carefully track what’s going on and keep everyone informed as we collect and analyze information.”
Media can access images and video footage of the budget certification on the Comptroller’s website.