FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT FISCAL NOTES

1. Who can request a fiscal note?

Under House rules, the committee chair is responsible for requesting a fiscal note. Under Senate rules, fiscal notes are required for all bills. An author or sponsor may not request a fiscal note unless he or she is the chair of the committee to which that bill is referred.

2. Is there an alternate way to receive an estimate for proposed Legislation other than through a fiscal note?

The LBB will prepare a letter of estimate as time and resources permit. Generally, the LBB does not prepare letters of estimate during the legislative session. The LBB will not prepare letters of estimate on proposed legislation for anyone other than the bill's author.

3. What is the distinction between "No Fiscal Implication" and "No Significant Fiscal Implication?"

The term "No Fiscal Implication" means that implementing the provisions of the bill will not require any additional resources from the state, nor will there be any state revenue impact. "No Significant Fiscal Implication" means that the change in resources necessary to implement a program is insignificant relative to the budget of an affected agency and could be reasonably absorbed within an agency's current appropriation level.

4. If an agency submits information regarding a bill's impact, is the LBB obilagted to use that data?

No. The LBB uses the information it believes to be most accurate and reliable and is not obligated to use agency estimates of costs, impacts, caseloads, etc.

5. Do fiscal notes reflect costs to state funds only, or do they reflect costs to the Texas economy as whole?

Fiscal note estimates only address the direct effect a bill would have on state government expenditures or revenues.

6. What is the baseline for preparing fiscal note estimates?

Fiscal note estimates are based on law in effect at that time the estimates are produced, and on the Comptroller's Biennial Revenue Estimate (BRE). The fiscal note estimates assume that no changes will be made to law other than those resulting from the bill's implementation. They further assume that the BRE will remain unchanged