Texas Lobbyist Update: Texas 82nd Legislative Session News.

Last night, the Conference Committee on House Bill 1 the General Appropriations Act – was passed out of Committee, but without action on Article 3, the education portion of the state’s budget.

As discussions between the House and Senate Conferees continued today on how to fund the state budget’s education portion, Comptroller Susan Combs came in with some good news on the state’s budget forecast.

State revenues over the next the two years will be over a billion dollars more than previously thought.

According to Comptroller Susan Combs, she has raised the revenue forecast based on recent economic data. The new tax revenue available will be an additional $1.2 billion. Just a few minutes ago, the Comptroller announced, “Maintaining a cautious outlook for the next biennium, my office estimates sales tax, oil production tax and motor vehicle sales tax will bring in more revenue than previously estimated in the next biennium. We are updating the revenue estimate after reviewing numerous economic indicators and yesterday’s franchise tax filing deadline.”

Texas has seen sales tax receipts rise dramatically since the beginning of the year, and the price of oil has helped fill the state coffers.

The report is good news on Texas’ future economic forecast and particularly good news to budget writers as lawmakers battle a $27 billion shortfall to maintain existing state services. However, lawmakers must still close a gap in public education funding between the House and Senate versions of the bill.

Deliberations on Article 3, Education, will likely determine the final fate of this Regular Session and whether or not the Legislature will have to go into Special Session to pass a budget….