Perry Downplays Budget Woes

Texas – Gov. Rick Perry is downplaying the state's fiscal woes, saying a projected revenue shortfall of $15 billion will be plugged without new taxes or "apocalyptic" cuts in programs.

Perry on Monday spoke with The Associated Press after officials revealed the numbers. The legislative session begins Tuesday and lasts for 140 days.

Comptroller Susan Combs estimated that lawmakers will have $72.2 billion for general purpose spending over the next two years, a $7.8 billion drop from the last state budget. But when lawmakers take into account $7 billion in federal stimulus money that will not be available to them this year, the shortfall is at least $15 billion.

Perry says, quote: "I don't think it's the end of the world. I don't think it's apocalyptic."

He calls it "reality."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.