AUSTIN, TEXAS–The State of Texas’ Legislative Budget Board (LBB) released a report late Monday showing that Texas’ budget has increased faster than population and inflation–while also collecting more than needed to operate government.
The report was released after the Wall Street Journal, Texas Public Policy Foundation and others criticized Texas lawmakers for increasing state spending some 25 percent. (The sums in this most recent LBB report still do not include spending done in 2013 that was attributed to previous budget years.)
A June 2013 Wall Street Journal editorial was titled “Texas Goes Sacramento” and unfavorably compared the legislature’s rapid spending increases in comparison to the fiscal straits of California.
The new LBB report, which is usually released in December, was offered to the public on the eve of the 2014 Joint Primary.
According to a posting by Vance Ginn of Texas Public Policy Foundation, “The report shows that General Revenue, or discretionary income, is projected to increase by 10.4 percent over the next two years, which is faster than the Comptroller’s estimate of the 9.85 percent rate of population growth and inflation.”
Ginn also noted that the LBB is “projecting a $2.6 billion surplus for the end of the 2014-15 biennium; dollars that should be returned to hard-working Texans.”
TPPF’s Bill Peacock last year described lawmakers as having gone on “a spending spree.” According to Peacock, “The fact that state appropriations increased significantly from 2011 to 2013 is beyond dispute.”
The full report from the Texas Legislative Budget Board may be read below.
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