AUSTIN— The Texas Senate today approved the Conference Committee Report on SB 1, the Appropriations Bill authored by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, establishing the state's priorities for the next two years. Upon approval by the House tomorrow, it will head to the Governor's desk.

"Never underestimate Texas! Despite the challenges of the last year, we are passing a budget that maintains our commitment to education, keeps Texans healthy, strengthens public safety and invests in our future while adhering to the principles of fiscal restraint. That's a testament to the resilience o four people, our businesses and our economy," Senator Nelson, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, said.  "This budget is compassionate, responsible and meets the needs of our growing state."

CCRSB 1appropriates $248.5 billion in All Funds and $116.4 billion in General Revenue for the FY 2022-23 biennium. This represents 5.5 percent growth in General Revenue and is well within population and inflation estimates.  

Highlights of CCRSB 1 include:

·        Funding for the full Foundation School Program entitlement, reflecting changes made last session to the school finance formula, including:

o  $3.1 billion to fund enrollment growth for public education; and

o  $1.1 billion in additional state aid related to property tax compression in the2022-23 biennium;

·        Continued reforms to the Teacher Retirement System passed last session through SB 12;

·        $8.5 billion for higher education institution formulas, an increase of $486 million from the previous biennium;

·        An additional $110 million for financial aid programs at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board;

·        $199 million for Graduate Medical Education to meet the 1.1 to 1 ratio of first-year residency positions for each Texas medical school graduate;

·        Combined projected funding of $8.4 billion for mental health across 25 state agencies, including:

o  $86 million to bring additional state hospital beds online;

o  $30 million for new rural and urban community mental health beds;

o  an increase of $19.5 million to maintain operations for the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium;

o  over $1 million in new funding for Senator Nelson's SB 64, to create a peer-to-peer counseling network and increase access to licensed mental health providers for Texas Law Enforcement Officers;

·        $352.6million, an increase of $10.2 million, for women's health programs, including the continuation of the Healthy Texas Women program’s enhanced post-partum care services implemented by the Legislature last session;

·        $7 million to maintain funding for Maternal Mortality and Morbidity safety initiatives as well as public awareness and prevention activities; 

·        $123.5 million for increased reimbursement rates for rural hospitals;

·        $76.9 million increase to address the interest list for Medicaid community waiver programs;

·        Over$40 million increase to lower target caseloads for conservatorship workers at Child Protective Services;

·        $44.2 million to expand Community Based Foster Care into new geographic areas;

·        An additional $21.9 million for Children's Advocacy Centers and $13 million for family violence shelters that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19;

·        $57.6 million to combat human trafficking;

·        $34.4 million to support Rape Crisis Centers, an increase of $4.7 million from the budget as filed, to provide mental health counseling and to address waitlists;

·        $128.5 million for Department of Public Safety Crime Lab services, prioritizing timely testing of sexual assault kits (between SB 1 & HB 2);

·        $33.6 million to preserve the Capitol, including replacing the Capitol roof and waterproofing the Capitol Extension;

·        $34 million to provide a 3-percent pay increase to Department of Criminal Justice correctional officers working in maximum security units;

·        $39 million to fortify security at the Texas Capitol, including additional troopers and enhanced safety measures (between SB 1 and HB 2);

·        $2.2 billion to address cybersecurity, replace legacy systems and upgrade information technology (between SB 1 and HB 2);

·        Full restoration of state funding to Texas food banks and home-delivered meal programs;

·        100 percent appropriation of estimated available Sporting Goods Sales Tax, totaling over $400 million, to support state parks and historical sites;

·        Additional staff resources to strengthen the Public Utility Commission's oversight of ERCOT activities;

·        $200 million to continue protecting our Gulf Coast from natural disasters; and

·        Over $30 billion to address the state's transportation needs, including $26.5billion dedicated for highway planning, design, construction, and maintenance.

 

Highlights of CSHB 2 (the supplemental bill) include:

·        $1 billion to help shore up the Employee Retirement System, contingent on passage of SB 321;

·        $209.7 million to address shortfalls at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice;

·        $321.3 million to finish construction of the Austin and San Antonio State Hospitals and plan for a new state hospital in the Dallas area;

·        $23.7 million to address the most critical infrastructure needs at our State Supported Living Centers and State Hospitals;

·        $271 million for the Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan;

·        $63.6 million to respond to natural disasters across several universities;

·        $25 million for courthouse preservation;

·        $22 million for bullet resistant windshields to protect our state troopers;

·        $36 million to finish interior facilities in Phase I of the Capitol Complex construction project;

·        $36 million for Capitol repairs and renovations, including the Texas Capitol, Capitol Extension, Capitol Visitors Center, and Texas State History Museum;

·        $50 million to preserve, maintain, and restore the Alamo and its surrounding complex;

·        $893 million for IT needs across state agencies, including cybersecurity, legacy system modernization, and other projects; and

·        $583 million for statewide capital needs at various agencies.

 

SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, including portions of Tarrant and Denton Counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the highest-ranking Republican in the Texas Senate.

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