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Newsletter: A Responsible Starting Point

With the next legislative session about six months away, I'm working with other state leaders to make sure Texas continues to live within its means. 

I recently joined with other state leaders to instruct state agencies to prepare for a 4 percent reduction in their operating revenues. These instructions will require agencies to highlight their most important expenditures and contemplate how they could operate more efficiently. We also issued these instructions in order to guard against unneeded growth in our state budget and to provide a responsible starting point for the process of writing the state's next two-year budget.

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State Leaders Call For Restraint As Agencies Prepare Budget Requests

Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus instructed state agencies this week how to prepare their Legislative Appropriations Requests (LAR) for the next state budget. Each agency submits an LAR highlighting priorities and strategies for carrying out their mission over the next two years. Legislators take those requests into consideration as they prepare to introduce budgets at the beginning of the legislative session.

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Newsletter: The Slowdown We Expected

A couple of key indicators have recently shown that the Texas economy is slowing down.

Because we have wisely decided as a state not to have an income tax, the sales tax is a primary revenue source for education, transportation and other services the state provides. But in six of the last nine months, sales tax collections declined compared to last year.

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Speaker Straus Issues Statement on House Bill 2 ruling

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus issued the following statement Monday in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on House Bill 2. House Bill 2 was overwhelmingly approved by the Texas Legislature and signed into law by then-Governor Rick Perry in 2013.

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Newsletter: Constitutional, but flawed

The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled that our system of paying for education meets the requirements of the state Constitution. But the Court didn't exactly endorse the status quo. In fact, the Court said the way we pay for education in Texas is "undeniably imperfect, with immense room for improvement." The justices also stressed that it is the Legislature's job, and not that of the judicial branch, to strengthen education policy.

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