Legislation to strengthen the state’s limitation on the growth of spending has passed another hurdle on the way to the governor’s desk.
On Tuesday morning, the House Appropriations Committee approved Senate Bill 1336 by State Sen. Kelly Hancock (R–North Richland Hills). The measure would cap the growth of state spending at the rate of population plus inflation.
An exception is made, however, for “an appropriation to pay costs associated with recovery from a disaster declared by the governor,” as well as funds dedicated to tax relief.
Texas’ current constitutional spending limit only applies to state tax revenue not dedicated by the Constitution, which constitutes about half of the total state budget.
Hancock’s bill would subject all state funds—but not federal funds—to the growth limit.
The Senate passed SB 1336 last month. Having now passed the House Appropriations Committee, the legislation will now be sent to the House Calendars Committee to be scheduled for a vote on the floor.
If the bill makes it through the entirety of the legislative process and becomes law, it would not take effect until the fiscal biennium starting in September 2023.