Bill Text: TX HJR34 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Proposing a constitutional amendment providing for an annual state budget and annual legislative sessions for budget purposes.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-11-24 - Filed [HJR34 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HJR34-Introduced.html
  87R568 MAW-D
 
  By: Raymond H.J.R. No. 34
 
 
 
A JOINT RESOLUTION
  proposing a constitutional amendment providing for an annual state
  budget and annual legislative sessions for budget purposes.
         BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 5(a), Article III, Texas Constitution,
  is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The Legislature shall meet every odd-numbered year in
  regular session and every even-numbered year in budget session [two
  years] at such times [time] as may be provided by law. The
  Legislature also shall meet [and] at other times when convened by
  the Governor.
         SECTION 2.  Section 24(a), Article III, Texas Constitution,
  is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Members of the Legislature shall receive from the Public
  Treasury a salary of Six Hundred Dollars ($600) per month, unless a
  greater amount is recommended by the Texas Ethics Commission and
  approved by the voters of this State in which case the salary is
  that amount. Each member shall also receive a per diem set by the
  Texas Ethics Commission for each day during each Regular, Budget,
  and Special Session of the Legislature.
         SECTION 3.  Article III, Texas Constitution, is amended by
  adding Section 40a to read as follows:
         Sec. 40a.  (a) A budget session of the legislature may not
  exceed 60 days in duration, except that the legislature by majority
  vote of the membership of each house may extend a budget session by
  not more than 30 days. When convened in budget session, a house of
  the legislature may not consider a bill or proposed constitutional
  amendment on a matter other than:
               (1)  appropriations, transfers of state money among
  funds and accounts, or state revenue; or
               (2)  an emergency matter submitted by the governor in a
  special message to the legislature.
         (b)  Except as otherwise provided by this constitution, a
  budget session is treated in the same manner as a special session of
  the legislature for purposes of this constitution.
         (c)  Unless otherwise provided by general law, a budget
  session shall be convened at noon on the third Tuesday in April.
         SECTION 4.  Section 49(c), Article III, Texas Constitution,
  is amended to read as follows:
         (c)  The legislature may call an election during any regular
  session or budget session of the legislature or during any special
  session of the legislature in which the subject of the election is
  designated in the governor's proclamation for that special session.
  The election may be held on any date, and notice of the election
  shall be given for the period and in the manner required for
  amending this constitution. The election shall be held in each
  county in the manner provided by law for other statewide elections.
         SECTION 5.  Section 49a(a), Article III, Texas Constitution,
  is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  It shall be the duty of the Comptroller of Public
  Accounts in advance of each Regular Session and Budget Session of
  the Legislature to prepare and submit to the Governor and to the
  Legislature upon its convening a statement under oath showing fully
  the financial condition of the State Treasury at the close of the
  last fiscal period and an estimate of the probable receipts and
  disbursements for the then current fiscal year. There shall also be
  contained in said statement an itemized estimate of the anticipated
  revenue based on the laws then in effect that will be received by
  and for the State from all sources showing the fund accounts to be
  credited during each of the next two fiscal years, [the succeeding
  biennium] and said statement shall contain such other information
  as may be required by law. Supplemental statements shall be
  submitted at any Special Session of the Legislature and at such
  other times as may be necessary to show probable changes.
         SECTION 6.  Sections 49-g(b), (c), (g), (h), (j), (k), and
  (l), Article III, Texas Constitution, are amended to read as
  follows:
         (b)  The comptroller shall, not later than the 90th day of
  each fiscal year [biennium], transfer to the economic stabilization
  fund one-half of any unencumbered positive balance of general
  revenues on the last day of the preceding fiscal year [biennium].
  If necessary, the comptroller shall reduce the amount transferred
  in proportion to the other amounts prescribed by this section to
  prevent the amount in the fund from exceeding the limit in effect
  for that fiscal year [biennium] under Subsection (g) of this
  section.
         (c)  Not later than the 90th day of each fiscal year, the
  comptroller of public accounts shall transfer from the general
  revenue fund to the economic stabilization fund and the state
  highway fund the sum of the amounts described by Subsections (d) and
  (e) of this section, to be allocated as provided by Subsections
  (c-1) and (c-2) of this section.  However, if necessary and
  notwithstanding the allocations prescribed by Subsections (c-1)
  and (c-2) of this section, the comptroller shall reduce
  proportionately the amounts described by Subsections (d) and (e) of
  this section to be transferred and allocated to the economic
  stabilization fund to prevent the amount in that fund from
  exceeding the limit in effect for that fiscal year [biennium] under
  Subsection (g) of this section.  Revenue transferred to the state
  highway fund under this subsection may be used only for
  constructing, maintaining, and acquiring rights-of-way for public
  roadways other than toll roads.
         (g)  During each fiscal year [biennium], the amount in the
  economic stabilization fund may not exceed an amount equal to 10
  percent of the total amount, excluding investment income, interest
  income, and amounts borrowed from special funds, deposited in
  general revenue during the preceding two fiscal years [biennium].
         (h)  In preparing an estimate of anticipated revenues for a
  succeeding fiscal year [biennium] as required by Article III,
  Section 49a, of this constitution, the comptroller shall estimate
  the amount of the transfers that will be made under Subsections (b),
  (d), and (e) of this section. The comptroller shall deduct that
  amount from the estimate of anticipated revenues as if the
  transfers were made on August 31 of that fiscal year.
         (j)  The comptroller may transfer money from the economic
  stabilization fund to general revenue to prevent or eliminate a
  temporary cash deficiency in general revenue. The comptroller
  shall return the amount transferred to the economic stabilization
  fund as soon as practicable, but not later than August 31 of the
  fiscal year in which the transfer is made [each odd-numbered year].
  The comptroller shall allocate the depository interest as if the
  transfers had not been made. If the comptroller submits a statement
  to the governor and the legislature under Article III, Section 49a,
  of this constitution when money from the economic stabilization
  fund is in general revenue, the comptroller shall state that the
  transferred money is not available for appropriation from general
  revenue.
         (k)  Amounts from the economic stabilization fund may be
  appropriated during a regular or budget [legislative] session only
  for a purpose for which an appropriation from general revenue was
  made for the current fiscal year [by the preceding legislature] and
  may be appropriated in a special session only for a purpose for
  which an appropriation from general revenue was made in a preceding
  legislative session of the same legislature. An appropriation from
  the economic stabilization fund may be made under this subsection
  only if the comptroller certifies that appropriations from general
  revenue made for the current fiscal year [by the preceding
  legislature for the current biennium] exceed available general
  revenues and cash balances for the remainder of that fiscal year
  [biennium]. The amount of the [an] appropriation [from the
  economic stabilization fund] may not exceed the difference between
  the comptroller's estimate of general revenue for the current
  fiscal year [biennium] at the time the comptroller receives for
  certification the bill making the appropriation and the amount of
  general revenue appropriations for that fiscal year [biennium]
  previously certified by the comptroller. Appropriations from the
  economic stabilization fund under this subsection may not extend
  beyond the last day of the current fiscal year [biennium]. An
  appropriation from the economic stabilization fund under this
  subsection must be approved by a three-fifths vote of the members
  present in each house of the legislature.
         (l)  If an estimate of anticipated revenues for the [a]
  succeeding fiscal year [biennium] prepared by the comptroller
  pursuant to Article III, Section 49a, of this constitution is less
  than the revenues that are estimated at the same time by the
  comptroller to be available for the current fiscal year [biennium],
  the legislature may, by a three-fifths vote of the members present
  in each house, appropriate for the succeeding fiscal year
  [biennium] from the economic stabilization fund an amount not to
  exceed this difference. Following each fiscal year, the actual
  amount of revenue shall be computed, and if the estimated
  difference exceeds the actual difference, the comptroller shall
  transfer the amount necessary from general revenue to the economic
  stabilization fund so that the actual difference shall not be
  exceeded. If all or a portion of the difference in revenue from one
  fiscal year [biennium] to the next results, at least in part, from a
  change in a tax rate or base adopted by the legislature, the
  computation of revenue difference shall be adjusted to the amount
  that would have been available had the rate or base not been
  changed.
         SECTION 7.  Section 51-a(b), Article III, Texas
  Constitution, is amended to read as follows:
         (b)  The Legislature may provide by General Law for medical
  care, rehabilitation and other similar services for needy persons.
  The Legislature may prescribe such other eligibility requirements
  for participation in these programs as it deems appropriate and may
  make appropriations out of state funds for such purposes. The
  maximum amount paid out of state funds for assistance grants to or
  on behalf of needy dependent children and their caretakers shall
  not exceed one percent of the state budget. The Legislature by
  general statute shall provide for the means for determining the
  state budget amounts, including state and other funds appropriated
  by the Legislature, to be used in establishing the [biennial] limit
  for a fiscal year.
         SECTION 8.  Section 9, Article IV, Texas Constitution, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 9.  The Governor shall, at the commencement of each
  session of the Legislature, and at the close of the Governor's [his]
  term of office, give to the Legislature information, by message, of
  the condition of the State; and the Governor [he] shall recommend to
  the Legislature such measures as the Governor [he] may deem
  expedient. The Governor [He] shall account to the Legislature for
  all public moneys the Governor has received and paid out [by him],
  from any funds subject to the Governor's [his] order, with
  vouchers; and shall accompany the [his] message with a statement of
  the same. And at the commencement of each regular session and
  budget session, the Governor [he] shall present estimates of the
  amount of money required to be raised by taxation for all purposes.
         SECTION 9.  Section 5(a), Article VII, Texas Constitution,
  is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The permanent school fund consists of all land
  appropriated for public schools by this constitution or the other
  laws of this state, other properties belonging to the permanent
  school fund, and all revenue derived from the land or other
  properties. The available school fund consists of the distributions
  made to it from the total return on all investment assets of the
  permanent school fund, the taxes authorized by this constitution or
  general law to be part of the available school fund, and
  appropriations made to the available school fund by the
  legislature. The total amount distributed from the permanent school
  fund to the available school fund:
               (1)  in [each year of] a state fiscal year [biennium]
  must be an amount that is not more than six percent of the average of
  the market value of the permanent school fund, excluding real
  property belonging to the fund that is managed, sold, or acquired
  under Section 4 of this article, but including discretionary real
  assets investments and cash in the state treasury derived from
  property belonging to the fund, on the last day of each of the 16
  state fiscal quarters preceding the regular or budget session of
  the legislature, as applicable, that begins before that state
  fiscal year [biennium], in accordance with the rate adopted by:
                     (A)  a vote of two-thirds of the total membership
  of the State Board of Education, taken before that [the] regular or
  budget session of the legislature convenes; or
                     (B)  the legislature by general law or
  appropriation, if the State Board of Education does not adopt a rate
  as provided by Paragraph (A) of this subdivision; and
               (2)  over the 10-year period consisting of the current
  state fiscal year and the nine preceding state fiscal years may not
  exceed the total return on all investment assets of the permanent
  school fund over the same 10-year period.
         SECTION 10.  Sections 20(d), (e), (f), and (g), Article VII,
  Texas Constitution, are amended to read as follows:
         (d)  In each state fiscal year [biennium], the legislature
  may appropriate as provided by Subsection (f) of this section all or
  a portion of the total return on all investment assets of the fund
  to carry out the purposes for which the fund is established.
         (e)  The legislature annually [biennially] shall allocate
  the amounts appropriated under this section, or shall provide for
  an annual [a biennial] allocation of those amounts, to eligible
  state universities to carry out the purposes of the fund. The money
  shall be allocated based on an equitable formula established by the
  legislature or an agency designated by the legislature. The
  legislature shall review and as appropriate adjust, or provide for
  a review and adjustment, of the allocation formula at the end of
  each state fiscal year [biennium].
         (f)  The portion of the total return on investment assets of
  the fund that is available for appropriation in a state fiscal year
  [biennium] under this section is the portion determined by the
  legislature, or an agency designated by the legislature, as
  necessary to provide as nearly as practicable a stable and
  predictable stream of annual distributions to eligible state
  universities and to maintain over time the purchasing power of fund
  investment assets. If the purchasing power of fund investment
  assets for any rolling 10-year period is not preserved, the
  distributions may not be increased until the purchasing power of
  the fund investment assets is restored. The amount appropriated
  from the fund in any fiscal year may not exceed an amount equal to
  seven percent of the average net fair market value of the investment
  assets of the fund, as determined by law. Until the fund has been
  invested for a period of time sufficient to determine the
  purchasing power over a 10-year period, the legislature may provide
  by law for means of preserving the purchasing power of the fund.
         (g)  The legislature shall establish criteria by which a
  state university may become eligible to receive a portion of the
  distributions from the fund. A state university that becomes
  eligible to receive a portion of the distributions from the fund in
  a state fiscal year [biennium] remains eligible to receive
  additional distributions from the fund in any subsequent state
  fiscal year [biennium]. The University of Texas at Austin and Texas
  A&M University are not eligible to receive money from the fund.
         SECTION 11.  Section 6, Article VIII, Texas Constitution, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 6.  No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in
  pursuance of specific appropriations made by law; nor shall any
  appropriation of money be made for a longer term than one year [two
  years].
         SECTION 12.  Section 22(a), Article VIII, Texas
  Constitution, is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  In no fiscal year [biennium] shall the rate of growth of
  appropriations from state tax revenues not dedicated by this
  constitution exceed the estimated rate of growth of the state's
  economy. The legislature shall provide by general law procedures
  to implement this subsection.
         SECTION 13.  The following temporary provision is added to
  the Texas Constitution:
         TEMPORARY PROVISION.  (a) The constitutional amendment
  proposed by the 87th Legislature, Regular Session, 2021, providing
  for an annual state budget and annual legislative sessions for
  budget purposes takes effect September 1, 2023.
         (b)  The amendment does not affect the validity of an
  appropriation made before that date for any part of the two
  consecutive state fiscal years ending August 31, 2025.
         (c)  This temporary provision expires January 1, 2026.
         SECTION 14.  This proposed constitutional amendment shall be
  submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 2, 2021.
  The ballot shall be printed to permit voting for or against the
  proposition: "The constitutional amendment providing for an annual
  state budget and annual legislative sessions for budget purposes."
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