budget

Ryan E. Poppe

AUSTIN — A newly struck budget deal is giving new Republican Gov. Greg Abbott the tax cuts he demanded but remains blemished by skepticism that Texas homeowners will notice any savings.

Ending weeks of discord between the House and Senate, the agreement late Thursday on a $3.8 billion package of new exemptions puts Abbott close to signing Texas’ biggest tax cuts in a decade and the bragging rights of finishing his first legislative session on time.

Republicans campaigned hard on tax cuts in 2014, and after the Legislature adjourns June 1, they can boast to voters back home they delivered. But even House Republicans have doubted their base will feel roughly $120 knocked off their property taxes, given fast-rising home appraisals in Texas, is enough.

Texas Tribune http://bit.ly/1DUindV / cc

With a steep decline in oil revenues and a state Senate determined to cut taxes, Texas' coffers aren't looking as full as they did a year or two ago. 

We talk to the state's CFO, Glenn Hegar about what picture is developing when it comes to the state's fiscal future. 

Hegar called for reforms to the state's contract bid process in the wake of several bid-related scandals.

Buoyed By Rising Economy, Obama Calls For Spending Surge

Jan 30, 2015

WASHINGTON — Declaring an end to "mindless austerity,” President Barack Obama called for a surge in government spending Thursday, and asked Congress to throw out the sweeping budget cuts both parties agreed to four years ago when deficits were spiraling out of control.

Eileen Pace

Bexar County commissioners Tuesday approved a nearly $1.7 billion budget for the next fiscal year.

Officials say higher property values allowed the county to lower the tax rate while increasing services for family justice, neighborhoods, and public safety.

County commissioners took a long look at a law enforcement budget request and in the end, approved the largest program change, according to Sheriff Susan Pamerleau, in anyone’s memory.

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

San Antonio’s texting-while-driving ban is four years old and some city officials, like District 10 Councilman Mike Gallagher, don’t think it is working well enough.

Last week Gallagher proposed revising the current cell phone ordinance, which prohibits use of a mobile phone except for dialing or talking, to make it even stricter.

Gallagher’s proposal is to prohibit use of mobile phones entirely, except for in a hands-free capacity. A news release outlined the councilman's concerns that more than 90,000 crashes across the state in 2012 were linked to distracted driving. 

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