The Texas Senate unanimously signed off on a two-year, $250 billion state budget Tuesday, though there are still questions about how tens of billions of dollars in expected federal aid will be used — and whether it will arrive in time for lawmakers to use this legislative session.
“This budget … meets our essential needs in this growing state [and] it holds true to the principles of fiscal responsibility that make Texas strong and successful,” state Sen. Jane Nelson, the Flower Mound Republican who chairs the budget-writing Senate Finance Committee, told senators as the chamber took up Senate Bill 1.
The Senate’s budget as passed includes $117.9 billion in general revenue, which is roughly $5 billion over the amount Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar projected lawmakers would have to work with. But it does not factor in over $35 billion in federal funding in coronavirus aid, much of which will go to the state government. Senators acknowledged during Tuesday’s debate that those funds may be a challenge to appropriate, depending on when they come in and what strings could be attached to them.