Legislature to Deal With Tight Budget Again
Texas lawmakers are expected to have more tax revenue to work with when writing the next state budget in 2013. But some of that money will be needed to help pay for accounting tricks used to help balance the current budget.
Lawmakers underfunded the state’s Medicaid program by about 5 billion dollars in the last legislative session with the expectation that the bill would be paid off in early 2013 through a supplemental appropriation bill. They also deferred one month’s payment to public schools, which shifted about $1.9 billion out of the current budget.
During a hearing this morning at the capitol, Killeen Representative Jimmie Don Aycock began discussing a move to end those budget tactics.
“There’s been a lot of discussion in the news over the last year or so about smoke and mirrors, as it’s called in the press very often,” Aycock said. “This certainly is one of those issues that has been categorized as smoke and mirrors.”
Lawmakers can either add the deferred payment back in the current budget through a supplemental appropriation, or add an extra payment in the next state budget.