Lawmakers approach 83rd session with budget surplus
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The 83rd Texas Legislature convenes Tuesday. This time around, lawmakers seem to be a little more relieved going into session.
Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said Monday the state is projected to have $101.4 billion available for general purposed spending over the next two years. Part of that is a nearly $9 billion surplus left over from the last legislative session.
Talk of more money--rather than a shortfall--has many hopeful some previous cuts can be restored, but others are still skeptical.
"So once you factor in paying off your Medicaid IOU, paying off the school payment deferral that was part of an accounting gimmick that was used, paying off the wildfire IOUs and some other things, you pretty much get to that $6.7 billion limit even though we have a surplus of about $8.8 billion," Rep. Donna Howard said.
Lawmakers will have to deal with spending caps and spending limits that are required by the constitution.
"In some ways last session was easier than it's going to be this session because last session everybody pretty much knew when they came into the appropriations committee the answer was going to be ‘no,’" Rep. Paul Workman said.
Watch YNN’s daily political show, Capital Tonight, at 7 p.m. for latest from the lege.