Right now, Texas legislators are grappling with hundreds of competing needs to create a state
budget for the next two fiscal years. But Texas Comptroller Glen Hegar says “they should keep in mind certain continuing, longterm financial obligations that will only make the process more
difficult over time.”
A new special edition of Fiscal Notes, Texas State Government and Long-Term bligations,examines some of these in detail. They include state employee pension funding; health care coverage for retired public school employees and their dependents; the
Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan, a state-sponsored prepaid tuitionplan, and a growing backlog of deferred maintenance projects for state facilities.
While these obligations vary in scope and urgency, all four can be expected to become more serious over time, putting growing pressure on the budget and potentially affecting state government’s credit rating — unless the Legislature takes action to address them. “As a former legislator, I know too well the difficulties associated with the budgeting process, as lawmakers attempt to reconcile thousands of competing needs,” Hegar said. “Hopefully this report will be helpful as the Legislature works to put the finishing touches on the 2018-19 biennial budget.
Although all of the issues discussed in this report cannot be addressed this session, it is important that Texas continues to take positive steps in each legislative session to address our long-term obligations.”