Senate Budget Eliminates $1 Billion in Special Item Funding

Last week we reported on how the House and Senate budget proposals were shaping up to look very different. This week we find an example of just how different.

Today the Senate budget eliminated $1 billion in “special item” funding, while The House indicated plans to keep the funding in place. “Special item” funding allows money to be added into the budget for university programs outside the standard appropriations formulas. Depending upon how it ultimately ends up, it could impact millions of dollars going to universities for a variety of things including research and new programs.

However, one key Senate leader says for schools not to panic stating that the budget is a work in progress and it will be months before negotiations are settled and the final spending plan is produced. According to Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, “There will be some money in there going forward,” but special items are “going to be a much smaller part of the budget going forward.” Source Texas Tribune Article, Texas colleges fret about $1 billion in expected funding missing from budget plan.

Biannual Legislative Day
The TACT 2017 Spring Legislative Day will be held March 3rd at the Texas State Capitol. Agenda and details coming soon.

Want to stay up-to-date on proposed bills for the 85th Legislative Session? You can do so by visiting the TACT Legislative Bill Tracker: