Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced today he recently completed the transfer of more than $2.91 billion into the State Highway Fund (SHF) and the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF; commonly known as the “Rainy Day Fund”). Each fund received nearly $1.46 billion, or 50 percent of the total transfer.
“The Rainy Day Fund and the State Highway Fund are key components of Texas’ long-term economic success and help provide the foundation needed for our future growth,” Hegar said. “Texas is experiencing a strong economic recovery, and our population continues to boom as more and more people and businesses seek out the jobs and opportunities created here in Texas. It is critical that we continue to invest in the infrastructure needed to maintain our fiscal health and keep our economy growing while at the same time acknowledging the uncertainty that remains and setting aside dollars to ensure we are able to weather future downturns.”
The transfer amounts are based on crude oil and natural gas production tax revenues in excess of 1987 collections. If either tax generates more revenue than the 1987 threshold, an amount equal to 75 percent of the excess is transferred.
In November 2014, voters approved a constitutional amendment allocating at least half of these severance taxes to the ESF, with the remainder going to the SHF for use on non-toll highway construction, maintenance and right-of-way acquisition.
According to the Texas Constitution, the ESF transfer must occur within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year. When fiscal 2021 ended on Aug. 31, the ESF balance was $10.3 billion.
With this most recent transfer, the new balance will be about $11.4 billion, not accounting for currently outstanding spending authority of approximately $1.43 billion. The balance in the ESF will change as agencies spend down this remaining appropriation authority and investment earnings are realized.
Fantasy of Lights Festival welcomes the arrival of the Christmas season
Downtown Bowie shined brightly this weekend as the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Festival heralded the start of the holiday season.
“Winter Lights” Sip and Stroll With Me opened the festival Friday night with a total of 31 vendors participating in the popular festival Friday night. Moderate fall-like temperatures made it a great evening for strolling and the downtown parking was filled throughout the evening as guests went from store to store to enjoy refreshments, learn about what they had to offer and even do a bit of shopping. Local student performers also sang holiday music.
Cindy Roller, executive director for Bowie Community Development, said Sip and Stroll continues to grow and grow with each outing and those attending really seem to enjoy it no matter the time of year.
Saturday morning’s Pancakes with Santa served up some 300 meals of free pancakes at the city fire hall, followed by holiday crafts at Elf ‘N’ Magic at the library. That evening after the community Christmas tree was lit, the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade rolled through downtown heralding the holiday season. The Bowie High School cheerleaders won the sweepstakes prize with its sparking snowflakes float.
Read about all the winners and see their photos in the mid-week Bowie News.
Bowie Chamber seeking nominations for its top community awards
Nominations are now being accepted for the business and volunteer awards presented by the Bowie Chamber of Commerce with a deadline of Jan. 9, 2023.
These awards will be presented at the Jan. 23 chamber banquet, which has a theme of “Denim & Diamonds.” Chamber members also are invited to decorate a table for the banquet where the best decorated will win a prize.
Public nominations are sought for the three major awards presented by the chamber: The Frances Brite Award for volunteerism; 2022 Business of the Year and 2022 Community Support Award. The board also will select a member for the membership award.
Nomination forms for the three main awards are located on the chamber webpage at bowietxchamber.org, and they can be dropped off to the office at 101 E. Pecan. Call the chamber at 872-1173 with any questions.
Read the full story in the mid-week Bowie News.
MSU readies Dec. 10 graduation ceremony
More than 600 students are expected to walk the stage during Midwestern State University’s commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. on Dec. 10 at Kay Yeager Coliseum in Wichita Falls.
Students graduating with the highest grade point averages from each of the six academic colleges will be honored with the President’s Medal for Excellence. Recipients will receive their medals from MSU Texas President JuliAnn Mazachek.
Graduates will hear words of encouragement from MSU Texas leaders and alumni. The December ceremony includes students who graduated in August.
The Faculty Award recipient also will be announced. This honor is given by MSU Texas faculty to a full-time faculty member for teaching excellence and service to the university. The first recipient of the Faculty Award was Arthur F. Beyer in 1977.The winner is selected by the faculty at large and kept secret until commencement.
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