Texas Senate Committee Moves To Close Budget Gap

Texas – A Senate committee has approved the use of $3.25 billion from the Rainy Day Fund to balance this year's state budget.

The money, coupled with agency savings, would allow the state to close a deficit of about $4 billion in the current budget year.

The vote by the Senate Finance Committee Monday clears the way for the full Senate to consider the legislation. The House has already approved similar legislation.

The measure, known as the supplemental budget, balances the books to close out the 2010-2011 budget period. That includes making a $600 million payment to public schools that was necessary because of lower property tax receipts. The plan also would give about $40 million to the Texas Forest Service to help cover the costs of fighting recent wildfires.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.