General Fund: Does the General Fund Help or Hurt Texans?
Texas legislators often divert dedicated taxes into a general fund, which the state then uses to balance its budget. In 2011, for example, of the $7 billion raised in dedicated revenue, nearly $5 billion was diverted. If that seems like a lot, you’re not alone.
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1. Are budget diversions more harmful to certain groups of Texans than to others?
2. What are the arguments for diversion from the point of view of a Texas legislator?
3. Are budgetary flexibility and transparency mutually exclusive? State your reasons.
4. Would diversion increase or decrease if Texas lawmakers were not constitutionally required to balance the budget?