AUSTIN— The Texas Senate today approved the Committee Substitute to Senate Bill 1, the Senate's version of the appropriations bill, sponsored by Texas StateSenator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, establishing the state's budget prioritiesfor the next two years.

"Today the Senate approved a responsible budget that meets the needs of our growing state — a testament to our resiliency after the year we just went through. Through hurricanes, recessions and natural disasters, we have proven time and time again that no one should ever underestimate Texas," Senator Nelson said. "SB 1 maintains our commitment to education, keeps Texans healthy, strengthens public safety and will help re-ignite our economy. This budget will keep Texas strong, healthy and prosperous."

 

CSSB1 appropriates $250.7 billion in All Funds and $117.9 billion in General Revenue for the FY 2022-23 biennium. This represents 2.6 percent growth in General Revenue and is well within population and inflation estimates.  Highlights of CSSB 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 billion in additional state aid related to property tax compression in the 2022-23 biennium;

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

·        $8.1 billion to maintain higher education institution formulas;

·        An additional $57 million to maintain 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 $8.1 billion for mental health across 25 state agencies, including:

o  over $87 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; and

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;

·        $352.6 million, an increase of $10.2million, 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;

·        Lower target caseloads for conservatorship workers at Child Protective Services;

·        $44.5 million to expand Community Based Foster Care beyond catchment areas and stages approved last session;

·        An additional $8 million for Children's Advocacy Centers and $7.5 million for family violence shelters that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19;

·        $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 to fund Department of Public Safety Crime Lab services, including maintaining
prioritization and timely testing of sexual assault kits;

·        $33.6 million to preserve and protect 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;

·        Maintains heightened security on the Southern border;

·        $39 million to fortify security at the Texas Capitol, including additional troopers and enhanced safety measures;

·        $1.2 billion to address cyber security, replace legacy systems and upgrade information technology;

·        Fully restores state funding to Texas foodbanks 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 enhance the Public Utility Commission's oversight of ERCOT activities; and

·        Over $30 billion to address the state's transportation needs, including $26 billion dedicated for highway planning, design, construction, and maintenance.

 

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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