78th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, House Bill 1, Chapter 1330 Page: 1 of 978
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TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME:
House Bill 1, the General Appropriations Act, having been duly certified by the
Comptroller of Public Accounts pursuant to Article III, Section 49a of the Texas
Constitution, has been presented to me for action. The bill would appropriate an
estimated S 117.4 billion from all fund sources, including $58.2 billion from the General
Revenue Fund for the fiscal biennium beginning September 1, 2003. General revenue
spending would decrease by $2.6 billion or 4.3% compared to the current biennium.
This budget accomplishes what we set out to do. We kept the trust by keeping our
promises. We told the citizens of Texas that...despite tough economic times...we would
not raise the price of government to balance the budget. We delivered on that promise.
This bill meets the basic needs of Texans. Key provisions include:
* $1.2 billion in new funding for public education. including a new science
initiative, the Governor's High School Completion and Success Initiative and the
Early Start Initiative to foster strong early childhood learning. More than S580
million was provided for textbooks and instructional materials.
* SI. 1 billion in new funding for vital health care programs. This budget enhances
accountability while maintaining eligibility under the Children's Health Insurance
Program at 200 percent of poverty while providing increases for Medicaid acute
care coverage, HIV medications and children with special health care needs. An
additional S172 million is also provided to help trauma centers handle more.
* Increased funding to the Texas Grant Program to assist in keeping access to
higher education open to those students with the drive and determination to
succeed in college.
* Funding for research carried out by public universities was significantly increased
by allowing'universities to retain 100% of their Indirect Cost Recovery for
research purposes. Health-related institutions were also appropriated funds to
increase their research into biotechnology initiatives.
* Seed money to generate billions in bond funds for the Texas Mobility Fund, an
unprecedented commitment to building needed road, rail and public infrastructure
* $295 million in new funding (appropriated through House Bill 7) for the Texas
Enterprise Fund. These funds will assist the state's efforts to attract employers
and create new jobs.
This budget also lays the groundwork to ensure Texas has the safe, abundant water
supply it needs by moving forward with funding for plans to desalinate ocean water, and
provides the funding necessary to bring the state's clean air plan into federal compliance.
The legislature has done a commendable job in reducing the growth of state government,
leaving me with little to veto in the state budget. However, as I discussed, in my State of
the State address, Texans have a need and a right to see and understand how their tax
dollars are spent. The Texas state budget should have transparent items of appropriation.
Continued reliance on outdated text and excess verbiage makes it more difficult than
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JUN 2.2 2003
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Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. 78th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, House Bill 1, Chapter 1330, legislative document, June 22, 2003; [Austin, Texas]. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth158047/m1/1/: accessed June 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.