On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that he had signed the state budget passed by the Texas Legislature at the end of May, making only minor line-item vetoes.
Despite having to contend with a relatively tight budget year, state lawmakers passed a relatively conservative budget that fell within population and inflation. In a statement, Abbott touted the maintenance of border security funding as well as the increase in DPS fundings as political victories while also making the case for even stronger spending limitations.
“Even in a tight budget climate, this budget prioritizes the safety and well-being of all Texans. It continues to fund our state’s role in securing the border, adding an additional 250 troopers to keep our communities safe,” said Abbott. “It funds the state’s natural disaster response costs to provide state resources when disaster strikes. And it better protects our law enforcement officers across the state by funding grants for bulletproof vests.
This budget achieves all of these goals while restraining state-controlled spending below the growth in the state’s estimated population and inflation. During the upcoming special session of the 85th Legislature, passage of legislation or a constitutional amendment to ensure the state continues to budget within responsible spending limitations will remain a top priority.”
Strengthening Texas’ spending limit has been a goal of conservatives’ for more than a decade, and though legislation to that effect has passed the Texas Senate on multiple occasions, the reform has repeatedly been killed in the Texas House.
While conservatives would normally have to wait until next session to tackle the issue, Abbott has included spending limits on his agenda for lawmakers in a special session that begins July 18.
Abbott’s vetoes were relatively minor in nature, but consisted of cuts to various environmental programs and eliminations of issues he deemed redundant. The full extent of them, as well as his rationale behind each one, may be viewed here.