Investing in Texas’ long-term needs

This is a preview of our Texas 2036 newsletter that highlights Texas 2036-endorsed government performance, long-term legislation from the 88th Legislature. To receive this weekly look at our work, sign up here.

Investing in the Future of Texas: Government Performance 🏛

Making moves: With a historic budget surplus, the 88th Legislature enacted a judicious $321 billion budget that invests in our state’s long-term needs.

  • Texas policymakers leveraged these funds toward strategies that will fuel economic growth, better serve Texas taxpayers and ensure our state remains financially secure into the future.

Where we stood: Texas 2036 testified 26 times in legislative appropriations hearings to help provide guidance on how to ensure one-time and continuous investments can promote fiscal sustainability and improved government performance.

  • The resulting budget underscored a stewardship of taxpayer dollars that will underpin a robust and sustainable future for Texas.

Dive deeper: Find our top government performance legislative highlights below.

👋 We want to hear from you:

Which investments in Texas are you most excited to see come to fruition?

Tell us in our short survey!


Ensuring fiscal sustainability 

The Legislature took prudent steps to ensure that a temporary surplus could finance long-term growth by buying down unfunded pension liabilities and creating of endowment and revolving funds for higher education and infrastructure.

  • Lawmakers built on historic 2021 pension reforms by including supplemental payments to speed up the retirement of the state’s legacy pension debt.
  • Budget writers also included payments to fully pay off the unfunded liabilities of law enforcement and judicial pensions.

👉 These budget actions combined with the recent pension reform laws offer more than $39 billion in future savings to the state.

Supporting the state workforce 

A high performing government requires that state agencies employ qualified public servants. After significant turnover, the Legislature responded with much-needed pay raises for agency and legislative staff.

  • This ensures targeted pay raises for some of the more specialized, high-turnover  positions.

▶️ Learn more

Manager of Policy and Advocacy Hope Osborn discusses state employee pay raises and other government performance wins on our YouTube channel.

Modernizing state data and technology 

Smart investments in state data and IT capacity will help yield long-term savings and improve the efficiency of government operations.

  • Budget writers funded strategic investments in upgrading agency technology and data analysis, and lawmakers bolstered efforts to address cybersecurity risks and adopt artificial intelligence-based tools.
  • They also included a directive for a timeline and funding needed to modernize the state’s child welfare system.

⚙️ More government performance legislation

Other notable Texas 2036-supported legislation will:

✔️ Create a paid parental leave program for state employees
✔️ Start to study and monitor state agency artificial intelligence systems
✔️ Clean up technical corrections to the Employees Retirement System pension reform bill from last session, and more!

Download our report.


🗣 Texans are talking!

We asked: How will a $1.5 billion investment in broadband expansion impact you?

You answered: “I hope this includes rural areas. Many Texans that live in rural areas should come into the 21st century. I’m hoping this will include free or low-cost broadband for those that need it.” –Linda, June 28, 2023

Join the conversation for your chance to be featured in our newsletter!


Love this newsletter? Support our data-driven work with a donation.