Representative Frank Files Budget Consistency Bill

February 18, 2015

By Rep. James Frank

Today, State Representative James Frank (Wichita Falls) filed HB 1592 to ensure that financial information presented by the Legislative Budget Board for budget purposes is consistently prepared over time.

One of the most important informational tools for legislators are the historical comparisons between bienniums in the budget. Currently, there is no requirement that this information be presented consistently by taking into account changes in accounting methods or assumptions. This bill would require the LBB to incorporate current accounting method changes to previous bienniums when comparing different budgets.

“Publicly traded companies are required by law to restate prior years when they change accounting methods because failure to do so is misleading to those reading financial statements,” Rep. Frank said. “As legislators, we should hold ourselves to the same standard.”

Consistent representation of budget information helps legislators to make the best decisions when facing difficult choices on budget priorities and budget growth. Requiring that new changes to factors that comprise a budget are accounted for in previous budgets would help to ensure meaningful comparisons and, thus, better decisions.

“I have had discussions with House Leadership, and there is agreement that it is time to change certain long-time budget practices. Structural changes like this one in HB 1592 help the Legislature create a better budget,” Rep. Frank said.

Contact:
Jim Johnson
(512) 463-0534

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