Texas – Texas lawmakers facing staggering cuts to public education and health care appear ready to change course and dip into the state's savings account to erase the gap.
There is still no groundswell for new taxes, and nobody expects one. But as the Legislature moves into the nitty-gritty of writing an extra-lean budget, there is growing agreement that more revenue billions of it will be needed to balance the budget.
The two biggest and most popular sources of new money are the so-called Rainy Day Fund and old-fashioned, smoke-and-mirrors accounting gimmicks. These options could wipe out half or more of the shortfall, officially estimated at $15 billion.
Sen. Steve Ogden, author of the Senate version of the budget, says it's no longer a matter of whether lawmakers will dip into the Rainy Day Fund, but how much.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.