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Press Release

    Texas Budget is One for the History Books

    06/26/2003

    The state budget recently passed by the Texas Legislature is historic! This is the first time in 20 years that state spending has been cut. Yet those cuts did not preclude the legislature from providing more than $1 billion in new money to both education as well as to health and human services. The following are highlights of the budget as well as of the Gubernatorial vetoes!

    Highlights of the budget/vetoes by Gov Perry
    • $117 billion state biennial budget
    • State budget represents $3 billion more last biennium
    • State spending was cut $2.6 billion from the current biennium
    • This represents the first time in 20 years the state spending has been cut
    • Governor Perry cut $81.2 million from the budget sent to him
    • Governor Perry vetoed 48 bills
    • Governor signed 1,320 bills

    The 2004-05 state budget will take effect September 1, 2003.

    Examples of government programs cut or consolidated:
    • $7.4 million Aircraft Pooling Board was eliminated
    • $2.5 million Criminal Justice Policy Council was eliminated
    • Research and Oversight Council on Workers’ Compensation was eliminated saving $2 million
    • The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will assume the work of the Texas Council on Environmental Technology saving $3 million
    • $6.6 million for the Texas Wildlife Damage Management Service
    • The board of Nurse Examiners will be consolidated with the Board of Vocational Nurse Examiners saving $451,237
    • $2 million for the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board
    • $9.5 million for Higher Education Coordinating Board for Advanced Research Program
    • $250,000 in FY 2005 for the Parker Chiropractic College and the Texas Chiropractic College

    Increases in the budget include:
    • Increases public education funding $1.2 billion
    • Creates a new $324 million science initiative
    • $56 million increase for the TEXAS Grant Program
    • Increases funding for health care by $1.1 billion
    • Eligibility for CHIPS remained at 200% poverty level
    • Increased Medicaid acute care coverage
    • Includes an additional $172 million for trauma care centers
    • New dollars to increase the number of federally qualified health centers to provide care for a quarter million uninsured Texans

    Among the vetoed bills –
    • Texas CSE requested veto of SB 315, which was taxation without representation in the Del Mar Community College district and would have set a dangerous precedence for taxing entities.
    • Texas CSE also requested veto of HB 1131, which limits the ability of insurers to own repair facilities, but that legislation was signed into law.

    For a listing of the bills vetoed: http://www.governor.state.tx.us/divisions/press/bills/veto
    For a listing of the bills signed: http://www.governor.state.tx.us/divisions/press/bills2003