TTARA Research Release: A Once-in-History Cash Bonanza

For Immediate Release                                                                                     Contact: Kirsten Voinis

January 30, 2023                                                                              (512) 922-7141,

TTARA research release: A Once-in-History Cash Bonanza

Texas legislators have an unprecedented amount of money to spend this legislative session – actually more than the state’s spending limits will allow. A new research brief from the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association breaks down where the money came from, the Texas House and Senate budget proposals to spend it – and possible challenges that come with an historic amount of money to spend – in a new research brief, A Once-in-History Cash Bonanza.

“Texas lawmakers in 2023 are going boldly where no one has gone before – climbing a mountain of revenue they are never likely to see again,” said TTARA President Dale Craymer. “Veteran lawmakers who are used to the knock-down, drag-out battles of the past over a few hundred thousand dollars now face an excess of cash that is literally tens of billions of dollars more than they can spend under the state’s spending limits.”

Among the findings in the research brief:

  • The 88th Legislature has a whopping $188.2 billion in general revenue to spend, but proposed budgets leave $42 billion untouched. Obligating that money, however, will require somehow working around the state’s spending limits for the first time in years.
  • With the start of the 2023 regular session, the Comptroller notified lawmakers they would end the current budget and start the 2024-25 budget with a $32.7 billion surplus – roughly three times higher than the state’s previous record surplus.
  • While a sixth of the $188.2 billion now available to the Legislature is the $32.7 billion surplus carried over from the previous budget, the remaining $155.5 billion is current revenues that will form a base that will carry forward into future years.
  • Lawmakers will have $27.2 billion in the state’s Economic Stabilization (“Rainy Day”) Fund available for future use – the highest balance currently allowed under the law. That is nine times greater than the single biggest use of the fund during a time of fiscal difficulty ($3.2 billion in 2011’s HB 275).

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The Texas Taxpayers and Research Association (TTARA) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership-supported organization of businesses and individuals interested in state and local fiscal policies in Texas and the way those policies impact our economy.

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