Lawmakers seek to control elements of state spending

AUSTIN — Debates over the Texas House and Senate versions of the state budget lie ahead, and movement toward setting budget controls to blend into a final, agreed-upon budget for 2016-2017 emerged in low-numbered bills filed last week. SB 20 by Senate Finance Chair Jane Nelson, R-Grapevine, would strengthen state agency contract reporting requirements, require agency heads to sign off on contracts worth more than $1 million and require agencies to post a list of all contracts on their state website, according to a report posted by the Senate’s in-house news service. “These contracts are paid for with taxpayer dollars,” Nelson said. “We must ensure that they are awarded with the highest degree of ethics and transparency.” Nelson said her committee would vote on SB 20 this week.

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