Tonight the Texas House (finally) passed HB 1, the state budget for the next 2 year budget cycle. HB 1 passed on a near party line vote of 98-39.
Two Republicans voted against the bill, south Texas Rep. Aaron Pena, and freshman Rep. David Simpson, stay tuned for their reasons why they voted against HB 1. Democratic Rep. Sylvester Turner white lighted the vote, meaning he was present but not voting, and Rep. Alma Allen was not present to vote due to a death in the family.
The Texas House’s budget priorities, as reflected in HB 1 as passed tonight can been seen as a percentage of proposed total spending,
- Education, consisting of about 46% of the budget;
- Health and Human Services, consisting of 32.8 % of the budget;
- Transportation and Highways, consisting of 9.9% of the budget; and
- Public Safety and Prisons, consisting of 6.7% of the budget.
Keep in mind this is not the final state budget, it is just one more step in a long process. Next HB 1 will go to the Senate for consideration and passage, then it will go a conference committee with each chamber being represented by 5 members each to work out the differences in the two bills. Once a final bill comes out of the conference committee then it goes back to the House and Senate for final approval. Once this happens then it goes to Governor Perry. The Governor can sign the bill, let it pass with out his signature, or veto the whole bill.