First drafts of state budget hold the line on spending

AUSTIN – The Republican-led Legislature plunged into the opening round of writing a new state budget Monday as leaders in the House and Senate released separate initial spending plans that drew quick attacks from critics for failing to restore more than $5 billion in education cuts imposed by lawmakers two years ago.

House leaders are calling for $187.7 billion in spending over the next two years, while the Senate version proposes $186.8 million.

Reflecting a directive from Gov. Rick Perry, the budgets essentially take a hold-the-line approach to spending and are substantially below robust revenue projections available to lawmakers for the upcoming 2014-15 fiscal biennium, which starts in Sept. 1. The Senate proposes a $3.1 billion, or 1.6 percent, decrease from current spending while the House would cut spending by $2.2 billion or 1.2 percent.

Dewhurst: Put Some Money Aside for School Lawsuits

by Ross Ramsey and Aman Batheja January 10, 2013 The Texas Legislature should prepare for a probable negative judgment in its ongoing school finance lawsuits by socking away money in the next budget to comply with a future court order, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Wednesday. “I think you have to hold some of it back […]

Austin superintendent testifies in ongoing school finance trial

Austin school district Superintendent Meria Carstarphen on Monday swatted down arguments from a state lawyer that the district had ample financial wiggle room to deal with its share of the $5.4 billion budget cuts enacted by the Legislature last year.

During testimony in the ongoing school finance trial, Carstarphen said the district has been doing its best given the changing student demographics, including more students with limited English skills, at a time of increasing state academic standards.

Twitter widget by Rimon Habib - BuddyPress Expert Developer