Abbott Expresses Caution on High-Speed Rail

Sep 15, 2016
Patrick Svitek / The Texas Tribune

WACO — Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday expressed caution about high-speed rail in Texas, warning that any investment in transportation must not be a "money-losing proposition."

It was one of several notable topics that came up during a wide-ranging Q-and-A with the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, where Abbott also vouched for the continuation of the Texas Enterprise Fund and provided a brief preview of the next legislative session.

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

The City of San Antonio’s $2.5 billion budget for fiscal year 2017 was approved in an unanimous vote by City Council on Thursday morning.

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

The City of San Antonio’s 2017 Budget is in the final stages of approval. City Manager Sheryl Sculley presented a $2.5 billion dollar budget Thursday that includes additional police officers, extra parental leave when employees have new children, and smart cities initiatives.

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

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.