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Texas lawmakers faced with $27 billion budget shortfall

Video - In her January 2011 revenue estimate, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs explains how she got it so wrong - allow me to summarize - she was an idiot...


Check out the slideshow...

Heads up - Fans of women's swimming (and high heel shoes) might want to make sure to see pic #4...


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas lawmakers will have a revenue shortfall of at least $15 billion for general-purpose spending for the next two-year budget compared to current state spending, according to figures released Monday.

Some analysts say the true shortfall could be much higher — closer to $27 billion — if lawmakers intend to maintain spending at current levels and still pay for enrollment growth in public schools and on Medicaid rolls, cost increases and other variables. That figure amounts to almost a third of discretionary state spending in the current budget.

The Texas Legislature will begin to grapple with the bleak budget picture when the session opens Tuesday.

"The recent recession has had its impact on the state revenue outlook as major revenue sources, such as the sales tax generated less money in the last couple of years," state Comptroller Susan Combs told reporters. "While we have turned the corner to an economic recovery, the revenue estimate I'm releasing today is for moderate growth."

The numbers cover the 2012-2013 budget, and include a $4.3 billion deficit in the current state budget.

Texas also will have about $9 billion in the so-called Rainy Day Fund, but that money can't be used without a two-thirds vote of the Legislature — a hurdle that may be too high with the new wave of fiscally conservative freshman Republican lawmakers.

The estimate, which gives the Legislature a roadmap as it embarks on the budget-writing process, has for months been the topic of election-year rhetoric, with Republican incumbents trying to downplay the severity of the budget mess.

"I don't think we have a budget hole," Gov. Rick Perry said in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday. "I think we have a budget of $76.5 billion and we're going to live with that. . . . It's only a budget hole when somebody has wished that they had more money."

Because of the recession, state tax receipts for the 2010 budget year have fallen behind projections, leaving a deficit in the current budget. The state is also on the hook to fill a hole of about $11 billion left by federal stimulus money and other state savings that were used last year but are no longer available. Added cost pressures from increased enrollment in public schools and health care programs for the poor and disabled, and spikes in health care costs, will compound the massive hole.

"When increased population and higher costs are taken into account, Texas is at least $26.8 billion short of the general revenue needed to provide for current services into the next biennium," said F. Scott McCown, executive director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, which advocates for needy Texans. "In other words, we are short by at least 25 percent."

Continue reading....


Texas is $27 billion short...


Video - Incoming Texas house members discuss the budget shortfall...


Complete story inside including video, links and more.  I also built a little Texas slideshow once I started finding so many potential photos for this story.

Check out the slideshow...

Editor's Note - Fans of women's swimming might want to make sure to see pic #4...



More slideshows:









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Reader Comments (12)

in advance to anyone who is about to complain about the off-topic, female focused slideshow...i agree...i shouldn't have done it...;-)...

and i feel 'just awful' about it...

you won't find misogyny here...it's a celebration of the female form...but i do apologize if any of our wonderful female readership is offended...

Jan 11, 2011 at 4:10 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Can't speak for anyone else, but I found it delightfully, deliciously, incredibly, wonderfully in poor taste. Please continue to drive home this kind of hard hitting story!
Jan 11, 2011 at 7:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterOberon4life
we will do our best to avoid useless time-wasting journalism and focus on what is truly important...cheerleaders & longhorns in texas...glad you liked it oberron...
Jan 11, 2011 at 12:44 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
considering your extensive background in competitive swimming, i was thinking of you with pic #4...
Jan 11, 2011 at 12:44 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
@oberron...and speaking of competitive swimming...were you aware that your former high school teammate dan simkowitz is the #3 or 4 guy at the top of Morgan Stanley...he found me thru the site once, emailed me and then i never heard back...he is not too happy about our content ripping wall street...
Jan 11, 2011 at 12:46 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
On 14 Dec 2009 I wrote the following article and sent her a copy.

Never heard one thing from her.


Jan 11, 2011 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterVirgil
Sorry, I zipped off to the machine today. Can't say I'm surprised about Danny, he was smart and hardworking. One thing that has become abundantly clear to me over the past few years as I have moved to the top of my company and get to work with the highest level people at other major corporations is simply that they are still people. The are filled with all the same goals and frailties as the rest of us.

MS and GS are not run by monsters, they are monoliths that have a momentum that requires decision making by humans. Those humans have been brought up through the ranks to believe a certain way, the company way. In many cases, too many cases, these aren't even particularly bright people. They just made things happen along the way and in many cases waited it out until they got their shot.

Trust me, it isn't always the best and brightest.

Forgive them, they know not what they do...

But considerably more importantly, how 'bout the TT swimmers? Maybe it's because I didn't swim in college, but i simply don't recall my teammates looking like that...
Jan 11, 2011 at 8:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterOberron4life
now we know why pat knight is so happy in lubbock...
Jan 11, 2011 at 10:36 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
I'll give you twenty minutes to quit that!
Jan 18, 2011 at 2:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterhp
I fail to understand what possible conection there is/was between the Texas bimbo that is the comptroler and the bimbettes ( bimbett, bim-bet. According to Webster a bimbett is a bimbo in training. Not yet a full bimbo, but no longer just a prick teaser.) that were pictured.
Feb 23, 2011 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered Commenternamvet
God has BLESSED Texas!!!!!!!!!.....AB
Jul 28, 2011 at 12:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterain't bullshitt'n
i clicked on the second tab for the next pic in the slideshow, and the whole page had to reload.. taking quite some time even for my reasonably fast broadband.

seriously, get some other way to display slideshows if youre going to have them as some sort of feature of your website..

what you have currently is really lame
Oct 19, 2011 at 11:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterarthur

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