Houston Matters

Report: Methods Used To Balance The Texas Budget Will Lead To Bigger Challenges In 2019

A new report from the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association says state lawmakers are digging themselves an $8 billion financial hole they’ll have to dig their way out of in the next regular session in 2019.

The Texas Capitol in Austin.

Let’s say one month you didn’t have enough money to pay your rent. But your landlord was nice enough to let you skip this month. And while that might take some pressure off your bank account this month, you’ll have to pay double next month. And that’ll be way more stressful when that rolls around.

That’s essentially what state lawmakers are doing with the budget for the next two years, according to a non-partisan taxpayer watchdog and research organization.

The Texas Taxpayers and Research Association report says state lawmakers are digging themselves an $8 billion financial hole they’ll have to dig their way out of in the next regular session in 2019. They’re doing so by using several one-time accounting measures to balance the budget the legislature just passed and the governor signed.

Dale Craymer, the TTARA’s president, tells Houston Matters that lawmakers are doing things like deferring payments to public education and putting less money into Medicaid in order to essentially borrow money form a future budget. And Craymer says that, while such methods aren’t anything new in state government, the magnitude of the dollar amount is greater than ever before.

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Abner Fletcher

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