As our nation mourns the passing of President George H. W. Bush, we reflect on his steadfast devotion to his faith, family, and country. In this time of increased political divisiveness, the legacy of our nation’s 41st President serves as a timely reminder of an era when we were able to put aside our differences to serve the greater good. Though we grieve with the loss of a great man and selfless servant, it is my sincere hope that we will strive to live by his example of what it means to be a husband, a father, a leader, and an American.
With that, we begin a series of columns describing the prominent issues of the upcoming legislative session. . .
What to Watch For: 86th Legislative Session
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Glenn Hegar, recently announced that sales tax revenue totaled $2.998 billion this November, which is nearly eight percent more than in November of 2017. This increase comes on the heels of three straight months of strong economic growth, which collectively amount to an increase of 10 percent during the same time period last year. This is excellent news for the state of Texas, as the sales tax represents our largest source of state revenue – almost 60 percent – for the state budget. The importance of additional revenue is underscored when you consider the vast number of outstanding obligations legislators will be faced with this session. Whether you consider long-term obligations like healthcare and pension programs, unexpected natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey, or meeting the needs of a growing state like transportation infrastructure and improvements in education, the health of our economy is a key component in addressing the many challenges we face.
For Texas legislators, increased resources for the state budget are even more important than in other state legislatures, as passing a balanced budget is the only constitutionally mandated obligation during the 140 days of the legislative session in Texas. While these additional revenues are a positive sign, we will have a more precise assessment of available funds when the Comptroller releases his final revenue estimate in mid-January.
With the holiday season upon us and many special events in all areas of House District 57, please be advised that the mobile office has suspended its regular Wednesday schedule until the start of 2019. For any questions you may have, or issues you need help resolving, please reach out to one of our offices. We will make every effort to facilitate meetings and respond to your needs. Our district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762, or you can call our Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.