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Fiscal Discipline

Under Joe's leadership, the Texas House has passed balanced, responsible budgets that have funded key priorities while ensuring that the state lives within its means. With Joe at the helm, the Texas House has exercised fiscal discipline by:

Balancing every budget: The House has passed balanced budgets during each of Joe’s terms as Speaker of the House. Under these budgets, Texas has continued to have one of the lowest per-capita spending rates in the country. The budgets passed under Joe’s leadership have also consistently stayed below the state’s constitutional spending cap. During Joe’s time as Speaker, the Legislature has also increased the amount of money in reserves by billions of dollars in order to remain prepared for fiscal emergencies.

Scrutinizing expenditures: Joe created the Strategic Fiscal Review process to take a comprehensive look at how state agencies spend taxpayer dollars. This process requires agencies to explain how their expenditures directly relate to their mission. Joe has also successfully pushed for contracting reforms in order to eliminate conflicts of interest between government officials and the private vendors that receive taxpayer-funded contracts.

Reducing taxes: The House has approved billions of dollars in tax relief under Joe’s leadership, including a 25 percent reduction in the state’s main business tax, the franchise tax, in 2015. The House also voted to significantly expand the tax’s small-business exemption. The House has increased the statewide homestead exemption in order to reduce the amount of a home that is subject to local school property taxes. And Joe has pushed repeatedly for school finance reforms that would reduce the state’s reliance on local property taxes in funding education.