Today, the committee on House Appropriations took up several bills that would generate non-tax revenue and other bills that address additional revenue for the state. ALL bills were left pending but it is anticipated they will be brought back up next week with substituted language.
The bills reviewed:
Accelerator Bill – HB 3640 (Pitts)
Relating to the remittance and allocation of certain taxes and fees.
Taxes will be collected a quarter earlier next year The bills would apply to gasoline & diesel fuel tax collections, certain franchise taxes, and mixed beverages taxes and fees on certain alcoholic beverages.
Chairman Jim Pitts said the bill would bring substantial additional revenue – approximately $1 billion.
Consolidation Bill – HB 3644 (Pitts)
Relating to the creation and re-creation of funds and accounts in the state treasury, the dedication and rededication of revenue, and the exemption of unappropriated money from use for general governmental purposes.
Chairman Pitts points out a similar bill is filed every session. He also stated if the bill is not passed, the House will have to look for an additional $3 billion in cuts.
Cost Savings Bill – HB 1645 (Zerwas)
Relating to efficiencies and cost-savings in the health and human services and other related regulatory agencies, including the state medical assistance and child health plan programs.
Rep. John Zerwas noted the bill is a work in progress but expands managed care which would lead to parity across the state. It is expected there will be $360 million in savings with the expansion of managed care but this savings is already embedded in HB 1.
Furlough Bill – HB 2720 (Pitts | et al.)
Relating to unpaid furloughs for state employees.
Chairman Pitts noted the bill would protect employees’ benefits if there was a break in service. After the exemption of essential employees the total savings estimated would be $22 million a day.
School Funding Bill – HB 2646 (Orr | et al.) & HJR 109 (Orr | et al.)
Relating to distribution by the School Land Board of revenue derived from permanent school fund land or other properties to the available school fund.
HB 2646 proposes allowing the School Land Board to transfer at least half of the net revenue it collects from a land trust it oversees to the Available School Fund (ASF), an endowment that puts money directly into public schools in Texas. Orr said that trust has risen to more than $2.5 billion in market value and contains more than $1 billion in cash.
The fiscal note on the bill anticipates $400 million per biennium in additional revenue.
State Fiscal Matters Bills
Chairman Pitts laid out all the bills at the same time noting the bills are shell bills and that he plans to lay out the bills again with substituted language which will give specifics and further details on possible additional revenue measures.
- HB 3417 (Darby) Relating to state fiscal matters regarding business and economic development (Article VII)
- HB 3418 (Darby) Relating to state fiscal matters related to natural resources and the environment (Article VI)
- HB 3419 (Darby) Relating to state fiscal matters related to certain regulatory agencies (Article VIII)
- HB 3639 (Pitts) Relating to state fiscal matters related to public and higher education (Article III)
- HB 3648 (Otto) Relating to state fiscal matters related to the judiciary (Article IV)
- HB 3649 (Otto) Relating to state fiscal matters related to law enforcement and criminal justice (Article V)
- HB 3665 (Otto) Relating to state fiscal matters related to general government (Article I)
- HB 3666 (Zerwas) Relating to state fiscal matters related to health and human services and state agencies administering health and human services programs (Article II)
- HB 3790 (Pitts) Relating to state fiscal matters (all articles)
Chairman Pitts announced it is his intention to pull all these bills up again on Thursday with substituted language ready.