Aman Batheja, Texas Tribune

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2013 Legislative Sesssion
6:40 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Combs: Lawmakers Will Have $101.4 Billion for Budget

State Comptroller Susan Combs makes a face while delivering a keynote speech at the Texas Republican Convention June 8, 2012.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

KUT's Ben Philpott talks with KUT's Nathan Bernier about Combs' announcement.

The Texas Legislature will have $101.4 billion to haggle over in crafting its next two-year budget, along with an extra $11.8 billion in the Rainy Day Fund, Comptroller Susan Combs announced Monday morning. (Listen to her full announcement here.)

Combs’ official biennial revenue estimate sets the limit of the state’s general fund, the portion of the budget that lawmakers have the most control over. The general fund typically makes up nearly half of the state’s total budget.

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Politics
3:27 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Straus Says He's Ready for 'Serious' Session

House Speaker Joe Straus holds a press briefing at the Omni Hotel, Fort Worth on June 8, 2012.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

AUSTIN – Despite organized efforts to unseat him, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus said Wednesday he is confident his colleagues will re-elect him to the post so he can focus the 2013 legislative session on “serious issues” for a fast-growing state.

Speaking to reporters after a luncheon held by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and Opportunity Austin, Straus said he enjoys the "vast majority of support from members of both parties," though he has not publicly released any names or a headcount to back it up. His opponent, state Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, officially launched his campaign for speaker this week, and he has not released names or a headcount either.  

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Economic Incentives
10:05 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Calls for Reform of Incentive Programs Grow Louder

Todd Wiseman & Mikhail Popov, Texas Tribune

The Texas approach to doling out financial incentives to businesses faced fire on multiple fronts Tuesday, adding momentum to calls for broad reform of the state’s economic development programs.

In the Capitol, the Senate Economic Development Committee discussed adding more transparency and accountability to the state’s patchwork of incentive programs and heard support from attendees for such reforms.

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Economy
10:35 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Incentives for Business Scrutinized in Texas

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

The billions of dollars in incentives that Texas hands out to businesses each year are set to draw fresh scrutiny this week on the heels of a New York Times series that raised new questions about the practice while also ruffling some feathers.

On December 3, the Times devoted Part 2 of its three-part “United States of Subsidies” series to Texas. The article alleged that the state gives out $19.1 billion a year in business incentives, far more than any other state. (Disclosure: The Texas Tribune has a content partnership with The New York Times.)

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