The LBB has a wide range of responsibilities that are intended to serve the fiscal policy and analysis needs of the Texas Legislature. These responsibilities incorporate those mandated by general law, those directed by the General Appropriations Act and those that have been designated by the Board and its staff.
The following is a summary of significant responsibilities assigned by statute to the LBB:
- Adopt a constitutional spending limit (Section 316.002, Government Code; Article 8, Section 22, Texas Constitution) ;
- Prepare a General Appropriations Bill draft (Section 322.008(a), Government Code) ;
- Prepare a budget estimates document (Section 322.008(c), Government Code) ;
- Review programs and operations of state established entities and prepare a performance report (Section 322.011, Government Code) ;
- Conduct comprehensive reviews of school districts’ educational, financial and operational services and programs (Section 322.016, Government Code) ;
- Guide, review, and finalize agency strategic plans (Chapter 2056, Government Code) ;
- Prepare fiscal notes, impact statements on proposed legislation (Chapter 314, Government Code) ; and
- Maintain and provide public online access to state contract database (Section 322.020, Government Code).
The LBB also provides services and fiscal publications and maintains a website that provides information on the LBB, budget information and documents (e.g., the General Appropriations Act), and online data entry applications for state agencies.
During the interim, the LBB provides assistance to standing and special committees, as requested. In addition, several reports serve to keep the Legislature informed about significant budget and performance developments among state agencies. A major publication, Fiscal Size-up, summarizes important fiscal actions of the prior legislative session, describes the purpose and services of state agencies, and provides comparative information on Texas state government.
During the legislative session, the LBB supports the legislative appropriations process by providing staff resources for the House Appropriations Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and the Conference Committee on Appropriations. To a great extent, staff support takes the form of tracking committee decisions, answering inquiries from committee members, and performing analyses. The LBB staff records committee funding decisions in order to produce bill texts and summaries for each step of the appropriations process. In addition to committee support services, LBB staff members prepare fiscal notes and impact statements about proposed legislation.
LBB duties also include oversight related to information resources as well as state contracts.
In 1999, responsibilities for approval of information resource strategic plans and quality assurance review of major information resource projects were transferred by interagency contract from the Department of Information Resources to the LBB. In 2001, amendments of the General Appropriations Act and the Government Code resulted in additional LBB responsibilities for state agency information resources.
State agencies began reporting contracts to the LBB in 1999 for Major Information Systems, Construction, Professional and Consulting Services. Contract reporting was later expanded to include all contracts more than $50,000 and in 2007 the LBB was charged with posting contracts to a centralized database. In 2015 the reporting requirements were further revised through the General Appropriations Act, and the LBB now monitors high-risk contracts and major information technology projects to identify and mitigate risks.