House Budget Writers Signal Readiness to Use Reserve Fund as Intended to Cover Shortfalls

The one must-pass bill in the current legislative session is the budget, which holds the key to equitable and adequate funding of public pre-K/12 and higher education. Now that House committees have been named by Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio), the House Appropriations Committee has been quick to start its hearings on the drafting of a budget for fiscal 2018 and 2019. Texans who hope, as we do, for a budget that covers needed education spending and other key priorities such as health care can take some encouragement from the initial House budget discussions. It seems clear the House budget writers are prepared to tap the Economic Stabilization Fund (also known as the Rainy Day Fund) for billions of dollars needed to cover the cost of educational and other vital services.

Given the importance of the Appropriations Committee, it is a good idea to get familiar with the roster of 27 committee members who will be doing the budget drafting for the House. Check to see if your own state representative sits on this crucial committee. Here’s the list:

John Zerwas, chair (R-Richmond)
Oscar Longoria, vice-chair (D-Mission)=
Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin)
Greg Bonnen (R-Friendswood)
Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake)
Scott Cosper (R-Killeen)
Sarah Davis (R-Houston)
Jay Dean (R-Longview)
Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin)
Helen Giddings (D-Dallas)
Larry Gonzales (R-Round Rock)
Mary Gonzalez (D-Clint)
Donna Howard (D-Austin)
Linda Koop (R-Dallas)
Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land)
Sergio Munoz, Jr. (D-Palmview)
Mary Ann Perez (D-Houston)
Dade Phelan (R-Port Neches)
John Raney (R-Bryan/College Station)
Kevin Roberts (R-Houston)
Justin Rodriguez (D-San Antonio)
Toni Rose (D-Dallas)
J.D. Sheffield (R-Gatesville)
Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton)
Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston)
Armando Walle (D-Houston)
Gene Wu (D-Houston)

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