Texas House and Senate budget negotiators agreed on a state budget for 2018-2019 during the last weeks of the 85th Legislative Session. Both chambers agreed on a $216.8 billion dollar budget that keeps state spending flat while making significant investments in critical priorities for our state. The budget appropriates $107 billion in General Revenue and almost $1 billion from the state's Economic Stabilization Fund, also known as the Rainy Day Fund. This budget will secure proper funding for public schools, the Department of Family and Protective Services, health insurance, border security, and other services.

Of all the money allocated in the budget, public education received the most out of any other category. The state legislature directed over $80 billion for public education. Recognizing that our state has a fast-growing population, the investment in public education strengthens our communities by making sure the next generation of Texans is ready for the workforce. Education funding included significant resources for pre-K and assistance to school districts experiencing losses. The second highest category to receive money is health and human services, at just under $80 billion.

Protecting our most vulnerable children in Child Protective Services was also a priority during the 85th Session. In addition to making significant changes to the agency, funding for the Department of Family and Protective Services was allocated at nearly $300 million to increase pay for caseworkers and another $88 million will be used to hire over 1,000 new caseworkers by 2019.