Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus today sent a letter directing the process by which each state agency will develop its legislative appropriations request for the 2012-2013 biennial budget. Those requests will be submitted to the governor and Legislative Budget Board between August 2 and 30. The letter also directs agencies to submit a supplemental schedule detailing how they would reduce their baseline request by an additional 10 percent (in five percent increments) in general revenue-related funding.
"As we move into the upcoming budget cycle, state leadership will continue to identify ways to trim spending, just as families and businesses across the state have done, in order to balance our budget," Gov. Perry said. "This request for 10 percent reduction proposals for the next biennium builds on our ongoing call on state agencies to tighten their belts so Texas can continue our commitment to keep taxes low, attract businesses and create jobs as we continue to lead the way out of the national economic downturn."
This notification provides a starting point for state agencies as they prepare their budget requests for the 82nd Legislative Session. It is similar in scope to directives provided by leadership in previous years to begin the budget writing process.
"Texans demand the same kind of fiscal responsibility with their tax dollars that they exercise at home with their hard earned money. Now is not the time to waver from the conservative budgeting decisions we've made over the past eight years that have kept taxes among the lowest in the nation, our economy outpacing the rest of the country and helped make our state a national leader in job creation," Lt. Gov. Dewhurst said. "While we face challenges to our budget, Texans can rest assured we will preserve essential services as we identify further savings for taxpayers."
The letter also details certain exceptions to the baseline request limitation, including funding for the Foundation School Program, funding to satisfy debt service requirements for bond authorizations, and funds to maintain eligibility in Medicaid entitlement programs, the Children's Health Insurance Program and the foster care program, among others.
"These requests are a continuation of efforts to meet our constitutional duty to balance the state budget," Speaker Straus said. "We take our responsibility to Texas taxpayers very seriously, and I believe, together, we can make the necessary choices to help the Texas economy rebound and grow stronger."
To view the leadership's letter to state agencies, please visit http://www.lbb.state.tx.us/LAR/LAR_Policy_Letter.pdf
To view the LBB's instructions to state agencies, please visit http://www.lbb.state.tx.us/LAR/LAR.htm