01.07.2019 — Today Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced the Biennial Revenue Estimate (BRE) for the remainder of FY 2019 and the upcoming 2020-21 biennium. Hegar noted the state will have $119.1 billion in funds available for general-purpose spending — an 8.1 percent increase from funds available during the 2018-19 biennium. He noted the Rainy Day Fund is expected to be $15.4 billion at the end of the 2020-21 biennium, assuming no appropriations are drawn from it during session.
While Hegar noted the state had seen revenue growth in many areas of the state during recent months, he was “cautiously optimistic” about state revenue in the future for several reasons: a decline in oil prices that could impact the state’s severance tax, increasing interest rates, trade policy uncertainty, lower than expected car/truck sales, and a global economy that is slowing.
In July Hegar unexpectedly revised his prior revenue estimate to reflect an additional $2.8 billion available to the state due to increases in various taxes and oil prices. This additional funding will be used to pay for new and unexpected expenses such as those related to Hurricane Harvey and for programs the state underfunded in 2017 (Medicaid).