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State budget awaits approval from governor

 

Gov. Greg Abbott as of June 4 had not signed Senate Bill 1, the 2018-19 state budget finally approved by both houses of the 85th Texas Legislature on May 27. SB 1 appropriates $216.8 billion in total spending for the state’s budget during the 2018-19 biennium.

A long wait for Abbott’s signature may fit a pattern. The governor did not sign the 2016-17 budget until June 20, 2015, the final day for him to approve or veto legislation. The governor has the power to veto line items in the bill, instead of rejecting it wholesale.

SB 1, a lot to contemplate at 969 pages in length, could take every remaining day for the governor’s office to digest, until this session’s veto deadline of June 18.

The budget bill, however, has already earned the approval of state Comptroller Glenn Hegar, who signed the document on June 1.

“Even before I released the Biennial Revenue Estimate back in January, lawmakers understood this session would be difficult and coming to a budget consensus would require sacrifice and compromise,” Hegar said. “I commend legislators for crafting a conservative budget that remains within my revenue forecast.”

Ed Sterling is the director of member services for the Texas Press Association in Austin. Contact him at 512-477-6755 or edsterling@texaspress.com.

 
 
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