2014-15 Biennium Budget

2014-15 Biennium Budget

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Introduced Budgets for 2014-15 Biennium




Constitutional Spending Limits

Texas has four contitutional limits on spending:

  • The "Pay-as-you-go" limit

Article III, Section 49a, of the Texas Constitution sets out the "pay-as-you-go" limit. It requires that bills making appropriations be sent to the Comptroller of Public Accounts for certification that appropriations are within available revenue.

  • Limit on the growth of certain appropriations

Article VIII, Section 22, of the Texas Constitution limits the biennial rate of growth of appropriation from state tax revenue not dedicated by the Constitution to the estimated rate of growth of the state's economy.

  • Welfare Spending Limit

Article III, Section 51-a, of the Texas Constitution provides that the amount that may be paid out of state funds for assistance grants to or on behalf of needy dependent children and their caretakers shall not exceed 1 percent of the state budget in any biennium.

  • Debt Limit

Article III, Section 49(j) of the Texas Constitution limits the authorization of additional state debt if in any fiscal year the resulting annual debt service payable from the unrestricted General Revenue Fund - which excludes revenues constitutionally dedicated for purposes other than payment of state debt - exceeds 5 percent of the average annual unrestricted General Revenue Funds for the previous three years.

To monitor the constitutional limit, the Bond Review Board (BRB) calculates two debt ratios. The first debt ratio is the debt service on outstanding (issued) debt as a percentage of the unrestricted General Revenue Funds. The second debt ratio is the debt service on outstanding debt, plus estimated debt service for authorized buy unissued debt as a percentage of unrestricted General Revenue Funds.