Provisions in SB 1, passed by the Texas Legislature in the final days of June’s special session, will require publication of more timely information on the state of the state’s finances.
The transparency measures were sponsored by Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, and developed in cooperation with state Comptroller Susan Combs.
“Texans will see how much money is coming into the state’s coffers, where it’s coming from, and whether it’s measuring up to projections,” Combs said.
“As technology evolves, we should keep raising our expectations for public access to information,” she said. “In this uncertain economic climate, transparency initiatives are vital, and open books allow government to function with the scrutiny and respect of citizens.”
Watson said the measures are designed to avoid the questions over the size of the state’s revenue shortfall that arose before the 2011 legislative session.
Updated fiscal information will be posted monthly on the comptroller’s web site, along with all budget documents provided to legislative committees.
The state’s fiscal condition will be presented each year at a public meeting of the Legislative Budget Board. The measure also requires public hearings if state leaders call for budget cuts when the Legislature is not in session.