This week, Gov. Greg Abbott directed state agencies to submit plans identifying budget cuts of 5% to his office and the Legislative Budget Board by June 15. The mandate came in anticipation of a major downward adjustment of state revenue projections to be released by State Comptroller Glenn Hegar in July. The governor’s order is likely to be only the first phase in cutting budgets, as state revenues have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and losses are expected to total billions of dollars.
Among the exemptions from the cuts are school funding (the Foundation School Program) and contributions to the Teacher Retirement System. However, that does not exempt TEA and TRS from the potential budget cuts, and those agencies will still submit a 5% budget cut plan. The reductions cannot include any cuts to school funding or TRS contributions, but will have to come out of other agency programs/expenditures.
Abbott’s letter to state agency heads includes suggestions such as deferring any unnecessary capital and travel expenditures, cutting non-mission-critical administrative expenses, and leaving nonessential open staff positions unfilled.
Click here to read the letter.