Politics
5:34 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Senate Passes Budget That Reverses Some 2011 Cuts

The Texas Senate approved a budget for the next two years today, one that would restore some of the cuts from two years ago.

A balanced budget is the one thing the Texas Constitution requires lawmakers to pass when they meet in Austin every two years.

Much of the attention this session is on funding for public education, which lost about $4 billion in the budget passed in 2011.

Ahead of today’s vote, Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, highlighted the new budget’s spending on education.

“We can be proud of what’s included in this budget because we have just over 1,000 school districts in our state, and 729 of those districts, their entitlement funding is higher than it was in fiscal year ’11 ... which is the last year before the cuts that went into effect,” Williams said.

He said he wants that number to include all Texas school districts.

Democrats in the Legislature want spending on public education to be higher than that.

The Senate budget plan has to be reconciled with the version yet to be passed by the Texas House before a final version is sent to the governor.