The 2023 Fiscal Responsibility Index represents hundreds of hours of work reading legislation, compiling and distributing analysis, and publishing vote recommendations on nearly 500 pieces of legislation ahead of record votes taken by Texas lawmakers. This exhaustive work enabled us to compile this report card so the general public and Texas taxpayers can see where their lawmakers stand on issues related to the size and scope of government.
In this cycle’s edition of the Fiscal Responsibility Index, we also thought it was prudent to include additional analysis related to things like lawmaker membership on committees and the resulting philosophical disposition of those committees. We also continued our recognition of Taxpayer Champions, lawmakers who consistently voted and advocated for limited government, fiscal sanity, and in favor of the taxpayer. To add even more clarity, we identified lawmakers on the other side of that spectrum as well, recognizing them as Fiscal Foes to taxpayers. We also threw in some more subjective recognitions along the way.
It is our hope that Texas taxpayers can continue to use the Fiscal Responsibility Index as a tool to help them understand the Texas legislative process, their lawmaker’s vote record, and what all of that means for the future of Texas!
Continuing the now decades-long phenomenon, the Texas Senate on average was more fiscally responsible than the Texas House of Representatives, but not by much.
That being said, both legislative chambers are responsible for an overall dismal legislative session on behalf of Texas taxpayers. Lawmakers approved the largest spending increase in Texas history, successfully revived the largest corporate welfare boondoggle in Texas history while approving billions of dollars in new corporate welfare efforts, and provided no new property tax relief despite having a nearly $33 billion budget surplus (over-collected taxpayer dollars) and billions more available in additional revenue.
Though the Texas Senate is arguably more fiscally responsible by our own Index’s standards, it has trended downwards since 2017. This continued trend should raise alarms for Texas taxpayers.
Overall Partisan Split
Democrat Caucus Score Average
Republican Caucus Score Average
Texas House of Representatives
The Texas House on average continues to be a concern for Texas taxpayers. Until leadership prioritizes fiscal sanity, it is likely this trend will continue.