The Texas Senate has added its take on the 2012-2013 Texas budget to the ongoing debate. The Senate's version spends $158.7 billion. That's $2.3 billion more than the Texas House's version of the bill. The additional money includes about $500 million more for both the public education and higher education budgets.
The two differ in which agencies and programs get deeper cuts, as well. One of the largest discrepancies is in funding state regulator agencies. The Senate cuts that budget by more than 34%. The House only by 14%
Neither proposal dips into the state's rainy day fund to pay the bills. The state has an estimated $9.4 billion in its emergency piggy bank to spend during this session.
Both of these bills represent the bare minimum the state can spend on the next budget. Some lawmakers believe at least some of the rainy day fund will be used. Others still hope some small amount of new revenue can be raised to help restore some of the proposed agency cuts.