Texas Legislature passes $217 billion two-year budget

May 28, 2017

Credit CC0 Public Domain

Texas lawmakers approved a $217 billion, two-year budget Saturday.

As The Texas Tribune reports, both chambers of the Texas Legislature voted to approve the budget, which will boost funding for the state’s beleaguered child welfare agency and avoid serious reforms to the state’s much-criticized school finance system.

The budget is shored up by $1 billion from the state’s savings account and $2 billion from a pot of funding intended for highway projects.

The final vote in the House was 135-14, which had favored using the savings account over the transportation funds and the final vote in the Senate, which took the opposite position, was 30-1.

While the budget includes funding to cover growing public school enrollment, it reduces state funding for schools by about $1.1 billion. It also includes $500 million for the state’s child welfare system, which is currently facing a shortage of foster homes.

The budget also increases the number of state troopers on the Texas-Mexico border.