After a marathon budget debate in the Texas House (documented through our real-time updates on Twitter), the budget bill establishing the state's priorities for the next two years now goes to a conference committee composed of five Senators and five Representatives.
We will be working with committee members to accomplish several goals, including:
- Use a portion of the Rainy Day Fund to avoid cuts (currently included in the House plan)
- Undo the Medicaid therapy rate cuts for children with disabilities (largely included in the current House plan and improved by a House budget amendment)
- Provide $236 million to fully fund the high-quality pre-k grant program (House and Senate plans currently provide partial funding to boost pre-k, but outside of the grant program)
- Fully fund Medicaid for children, pregnant women, and people with disabilities (House and Senate plans both currently fall short)
- Fully fund Early Childhood Intervention ($19 million request from HHSC is currently excluded from both the House and Senate plans, though a successful House budget amendment may cover it)
- Fully fund CPS' request for an additional $1.1 billion (House and Senate plans currently add about half that amount, a significant increase but not enough to meet the state's needs)
For more information, take a look at our blog on the House budget prior to the addition of the amendments on the House floor; our statement on the Senate budget; and recaps of the House budget debate from Texas Impact and CPPP.
We look forward to working with you and state legislators to get the job done for Texas kids.