Government Performance

High-quality, cost-effective public services drive economic growth, improve Texans’ quality of life, and build trust in government.

Public sector services must reliably address the challenges they are created to solve. Well-administered government services — particularly in the areas of education, workforce development, justice and safety, health care, infrastructure, and natural resources — establish strong foundations for economic growth and prosperity. Moreover, programs that address real problems increase confidence in government and reciprocal civic engagement. Unfortunately, only 36% of Texans believe our state is headed in the right direction, and Texas ranks near the bottom on voting rates in the last two election cycles.

Budgets should emphasize operational stability, invest in long-term needs and minimize liabilities. The state should ensure its revenue structure remains stable and sustainable for wise investments in Texas’ future. Volatile and variable revenue sources contribute to unstable budgeting environments, weakening the capacity to consistently fund key government services. Public expenditures should align with long-term needs, and all unfunded liabilities should be addressed responsibly. Currently, long-term liabilities account for two-thirds of state obligations, and Texas ranks in the bottom half among its 12 peer states on revenue volatility.

State government must prioritize modern technologies, improved data quality and infrastructure, and a talented workforce to spur growth and innovation. Antiquated information technology systems and high workforce turnover make the government less capable of providing core services and fixing real problems. State leaders can significantly improve services and accountability by investing in talent and funding proven modern information technology enhanced cybersecurity, and better data and analytics.

Texas must be disaster-ready. Texas is prone to a wide range of natural disasters, including hurricanes, floods, wildfires, drought and severe storms. Disaster events threaten life, property, economic stability and natural resources. Therefore, Texas must also invest in crisis readiness to plan for increasingly likely natural disasters. The state is currently ranked ninth among peer states on an index of crisis preparedness.

Government Performance Staff

Policy & Data

The Future of AI in Texas

AI is rapidly transforming various aspects of our lives, from revolutionizing workplaces and sparking creativity to accelerating breakthroughs in health care. We explore how Texas is working to reap AI’s many benefits while responsibly managing the technology’s risks. (May 2024)

Future Trends of Extreme Weather in Texas

Produced by the Texas State Climatologist at Texas A&M University, Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, in collaboration with Texas 2036, this updated study details significant increases in 100-degree days, intensifying droughts and heightened urban flooding events. (April 2024)

Investing in Texas: Cybersecurity and IT Modernization

Given recent sizable state and federal appropriations for technology upgrades, the report delves into both challenges and opportunities for the state government. Included are optimal cybersecurity financing, identifying unique risks, allocating limited resources despite competing priorities and coordinating efforts with stakeholders. (June 2022)

Key Insights