Budget memo says hold the line

Texas is predicted to be awash in cash, with predicted supluses for both the current and next biennium.  So what are the budget instructions to state departments as they begin the process of developing the budget for the next biennium?  Hold the line and, by the way, give us proposals that include a 5% and 10% budget cut.  The Legislative Budget Board, the financial arm of the state legislature, has issued budget instructions to state departments in preparation for the 2015 legislative session.  Those instructions ask for no-increase budgets with contingency plans for 5% and 10% cuts, if necessary. 

According to an article in the Texas Tribune "Some things were exempted: public education; debt service for bonds; state pensions and benefit programs; and several health and human services programs, including Medicaid, children’s health insurance, foster care and adoption subsidies. The agencies are allowed to include 'exceptional items' that exceed current spending levels."

Despite predicted surpluses of as much as $4.5 billion, most state agencies are expected to keep spending flat.  If that seems strange, you might want to read the TT article For Budget Cutters, It's Not About Revenue.

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