Thanks to the excessive prices for oil products due to the attempted embargo of Russian oil to punish the country for its war on Ukraine, the Texas state budget will benefit to the tune of some $27 billion, according to Comptroller Glenn Hegar, who released an estimate of state finances this week.
Huge state budget
This means legislators will have an estimated budget of $149.07 billion in general funds to expend this coming legislative session. In the last legislative session, they had $112.5 billion to spend
A further boon of some $3.5 billion will go into the Legislative rainy day fund, giving legislators access to another $13.5 billion.
Who will benefit?
How state legislators will spend this bonanza is the question.
According to the Texas Tribune, "When asked how lawmakers should spend the money, Hegar recommended funding water infrastructure, road infrastructure and broadband internet connectivity. A panel of lawmakers this week asked Hegar for recommendations, and Hegar also mentioned a need to address rising property taxes and increase pay for state employees, especially since Texas is growing by 1,000 people per day."
Opportunity for a fee increase for Medicaid providers?
This $27 billion windfall represents an opportunity for Medicaid providers, especially dental providers, to seek an increase in their rate schedule to reflect the reality of inflation and costs associated with delivering services.
Bare-bones dental fees reduced by 2% over the last decade have been detrimental to providers in the current economic climate.
We hope legislators will take the opportunity to review Medicaid provider fees in light of this budget bonanza.