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Border security, tax breaks top priorities in Texas House and Senate budget proposals

The Texas House and Senate have closely aligned their priorities on how to spend the $288.7 billion budget over the next two years, focusing on border security, employee pay increases and property tax relief.

House and Senate provisional budgets released Wednesday came as state lawmakers gear up for a tougher battle over how to spend an unprecedented $32.7 billion budget surplus over the previous biennium.

Some lawmakers have proposed spending it on one-off infrastructure investments, while Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick say they want to give it back to homeowners through a property tax break. Complicating the challenge are limits on budget increases under the Texas Constitution and state law, which state officials have set at 12.3% for the 2024-2025 budget.

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