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On the same day they unanimously approved a budget which spends $5 billion above population and inflation, the Texas Senate approved legislation to strengthen the state’s spending limits.

Senate Bill 1891 by State Sen. Kelly Hancock (R–North Richland Hills) seeks to cap the growth of state spending at population plus inflation, a longtime goal for fiscal conservatives.

Though the state legislature must pass a balanced budget (meaning spending can be no greater than the revenue anticipated), the state Constitution and enacting statutes only limit the spending growth in certain areas. The net effect is that less than half of all appropriated funds are subject to a cap.

SB 1891 seeks to fix this problem by including dedicated tax revenue into the total “consolidated general revenue appropriations.”

The result is a meaningful cap on state spending that, should it be passed into law, will curb out-of-control spending spree budgets like the ones passed by both chambers this session.

The legislation passed the chamber 20-11 on what was largely a party-line vote with the exception of Democrat State Sen. Chuy Hinojosa (McAllen) who voted for the bill.

The legislation will now be sent to the House where it will be referred to committee.

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