AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued this statement today on the bipartisan final passage of House Bill 1, the 2024-2025 State Budget, and Senate Bill 30, the Fiscal Year 2023 Supplemental Budget, both carried by Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston:
“The Texas economy is the envy of America and the entire world. As our economy continues rapidly growing into the middle of the 21st century, it is more important than ever that we double down on the conservative principles that have brought prosperity to millions of Texans. Our budget for the 2024-2025 biennium is within all constitutional spending limits, does not exceed population growth times inflation, and addresses key priorities for Texans statewide.
“A few of the many highlights of our historic budget include:
- $17.6 billion to combat skyrocketing property taxes, the largest property tax cut in Texas history
- $5.1 billion for border security, the most in Texas history, including funds for a new border force
- $3.4 billion for a cost-of-living adjustment for Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) retirees and $1.6 billion for one-time supplemental payments for certain TRS retirees
- $1.4 billion for school safety measures, the most in Texas history
“Additionally, we deepened our continued commitment to public education, increasing general revenue funding by 21.6%. There are billions of dollars set aside for teacher pay, curriculum, and formula funding increases. We spent an unprecedented $2.2 billion on mental health care to build new hospitals or add to existing hospitals. We are creating a $1 billion fund to greatly expand our state park system for generations to come. Under a plan that I developed on my rural bus tour last fall, for the first time in history, we set aside state money to financially support rural law enforcement in addition to our continued long-standing practice of strengthening the Texas Department of Public Safety. These appropriations should lead to a smarter, healthier, safer, and more prosperous Texas.
“As you can see, we have taken advantage of our unprecedented budget surplus to make strategic one-time and ongoing investments to address many issues that we previously could not afford to address. As a conservative, I insisted that the Senate maintain a healthy reserve of $10 billion, with an additional $5 billion in loans to build more dispatchable energy generation. By the end of the 2024-25 biennium, our rainy day fund is projected to be the largest it has ever been at $22 billion.
“Texas is the 9th largest economy in the world and writing our state budget is a gigantic undertaking. I want to congratulate Senate Finance Chair Joan Huffman on the completion of her first appropriation bill and for her leadership and wonderful work with the entire Texas Senate and my budget team. Our state is stronger than ever, and our budget will secure Texas’ conservative future.“