Late Tuesday evening, the Texas House of Representatives gave initial approval to a bill that would cap the growth of state spending to that of population plus inflation.

It will be considered one final time on Wednesday. Assuming it passes and is not amended, it will then be sent to Gov. Greg Abbott for his approval.

The bill is authored by State Sen. Kelly Hancock (R–North Richland Hills) and was introduced by the House Appropriations Committee chairman, State Rep. Greg Bonnen (R–Friendswood), in the House of Representatives.

The bill would not, however, apply to federal funds.

The bill previously passed the Texas Senate on April 13 by a vote of 19-12.

Brief History

Similar bills have been tried before. The same bill was passed out of the Senate last legislative session (2019), but it ultimately died in the House of Representatives without ever getting a hearing in the House Appropriations Committee.

It was also filed in 2015 by then-State Sen. Van Taylor (R–Plano) as Senate Bill 403 but never received a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee. A somewhat similar bill authored by Hancock passed both chambers in 2017 but died in the conference committee at the end of the legislative session. It would have limited spending on six specific categories, including transportation, public education (primary and secondary), higher education, healthcare, public safety and corrections, and other general government entities.