Just as articles appeared in the news today about how Comptroller Combs underestimated the revenue for the current biennium, Combs made her projections for the next biennium today. It breaks down like this:
- $101.4 billion available for general purpose spending
- $8.8 billion will be the current year ending balance
- $92.6 billion in net general revenue for the biennium
- $11.8 billion Rainy Day Fund balance
- $8.2 billion balance at current year end
- $3.6 billion added during the next biennium
- $208.2 billion total funds available for the next biennium, including estimated federal receipts of $112 billion
These estimates presume that the legislature does not use any of these funds in supplemental appropriations to fund the anticipated $5 billion Medicaid shortfall for the current year, or for anything else. The Rainy Day Fund balances are also predicated on the legislature leaving them alone. The Comptroller’s press release has more details, including a link to the actual revenue estimate report.
The Texas Constitution requires the legislature to appropriate no more spending than anticipated revenue, so the Comproller’s revenue estimate sets the maximum expenditures that can be budgeted for the 2013-14 biennium. Typically the Comptroller will revise the estimate later during the legislative session when she has a few more months of revenue collection data and more information to better project the Texas economic outlook.