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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.

The instructions for 2018-19 call for agencies to identify ways to trim spending by 4 percent, as compared to current operations. A handful of programs and areas of the budget are excluded from the request, including the Foundation School Program, Child Protection Services, border security and mental health programs.

Speaker Straus released the following statement about the LAR instructions:

"This is the first step in writing a balanced budget for the next two years. These instructions highlight some of the state's most important responsibilities, such as child protection and public education, while ensuring that Texas will continue to live within its means. Due to the slowdown in parts of our economy, some difficult decisions will be required to balance the next state budget, and the process of making those decisions begins now. I look forward to working with the Members of the House, as well as the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor, to address the needs of our growing state while keeping our commitment to fiscal discipline and efficiency."