Chaired by Sen. Jane Nelson, the Senate Finance Committee met Monday for the first time this session in an organizational and informational meeting, prior to the detailed budget considerations that will happen over the next few weeks. The meeting to review budget proposals for school finance/TEA and the Teacher Retirement System will be held on Feb. 22.
The committee heard from Comptroller Glenn Hegar on the state’s current financial situation and projections of revenue. He reiterated the news from early January that the projected budget shortfall had shrunk to under $1 billion. Legislative Budget Board staff presented an overview of the Senate’s proposed base budget in SB 1.
Nelson commented on the base budget, noting that it proposed to fully fund the "historic commitment we made last year to public education" in HB 3, and includes more than $3.1 billion to pay for estimated enrollment growth. The bill also funds payroll growth that affects TRS contributions and continues the schedule of increased contributions from the state, districts and employees that was adopted in SB 12 last session.