State Budget Unanimously Passed By the Texas Senate

March 28, 2017

The Texas Senate has approved CSSB 1, the appropriations bill authored by Senator Nelson. The bill, which passed unanimously, establishes a $106.3B FY 18-19 budget.

"This is a smart budget that meets our priority needs and keeps Texas on path to a successful future. It fully funds the Foundation School Program, fulfills our commitment to transportation and stays true to the policies of fiscal discipline that have served Texas well," Senator Nelson said.

Education Highlights of CSSB 1:

  • Continues the current funding formulas for public education;
  • Adds $2.65B to cover student enrollment growth, which is projected to be more than 80,000 per year over the next two years;
  • Provides $65M for a new public-private partnership to ensure high quality pre-kindergarten throughout the state;
  • Includes $25M for E-Rate, a program to bring broadband infrastructure to Texas schools lacking those services;
  • Includes $5M for Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), a new program designed to help students pursue careers in technology;
  • Adds $316M to fund SB 788 by Senator Huffman to mitigate the Teacher Retirement System shortfall;
  • Increases financial aid for public institutions of higher education, including an additional $45M for TEXAS Grant;
  • Replaces special items with $700M in additional formula funding, which ensures that at least 90 percent of each higher education institution’s FY 16-17 formula and special items are funded; and
  • Increases Graduate Medical Education funding by $44.1M with the goal of ensuring that residency slots are available for Texas medical school graduates.

Health & Human Services Highlights of CSSB 1:

  • Provides $3.4B for Child Protective Services, an increase of $430M over FY 16-17 levels, including:
    • $180M increase to continue pay raises and the 828 additional caseworkers and support staff approved over the interim;
    • $116M to strengthen foster care capacity by increasing rates and expanding community-based foster care to four additional regions; and
    • $55M to hire 382 new conservatorship caseworkers to reduce caseloads;
  • Provides an additional $15M in child abuse prevention funding to maintain programs and services;
  • Allows the Department of Family and Protective Services to allocate $3M to address youth homelessness and human trafficking;
  • Provides a $780M commitment for new construction and significant repairs to the state hospital system, plus $145M for other critical life and safety capital needs at state hospitals and state supported living centers;
  • Adds $244M for mental health services in Article II, including:
    • $63M to eliminate waitlists for community mental health services;
    • $44M to maintain indigent behavioral health services to former clients of the NorthSTAR program;
    • $10M to maintain level funding for current purchased psychiatric hospital beds; and
    • $35M to maintain state hospital service levels and increase maximum security capacity;
  • Provides $20M for the Texas Veterans + Family Alliance, a grant program to assist veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress and other mental health issues;
  • Adds $18.2M for an additional 276 Home and Community-based Services waiver slots for foster children aging out of the system;
  • Increases funding for Medicaid to provide caseload growth at FY 18 levels and assumes over $400M in cost containment initiatives; and
  • Maintains funding for women’s health programs at current appropriated levels, a $31M increase over current spending levels, and requires additional program reporting requirements.

General Highlights of CSSB 1:

  • Dedicates approximately $5B for transportation in accordance with Proposition 7;
  • Adds $44.9M to the Railroad Commission to maintain current operational stability and increase pipeline safety;
  • Provides $46.2M to fund preservation and updates to the Alamo;
  • Includes $40M to support infrastructure projects at Texas ports;
  • Maintains veterans' services at current levels;
  • Increases funding for the Commission on Jail Standards to improve the safety of local jails;
  • Provides additional resources to the Department of Public Safety to prevent crimes against children;
  • Fully funds the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute;
  • Maintains the $800M for border security approved last session;
  • Includes $25M for high caliber bullet-proof vests to protect Texas peace officers;
  • Increases Crimestoppers funding by $4M;
  • Adds $6.3M to strengthen oversight of guardianship;
  • Directs the Department of Information Resources to study the state’s vulnerability to cyberattacks;
  • Fully funds behavioral health peer assistance programs at the dental, pharmacy, nursing and veterinary boards; and
  • Fully funds the prescription monitoring program at the Board of Pharmacy.