The state's political leaders are asking again that state agencies and higher education institutions offer reductions to their 2010-2011 budgets, this time half as much as the $1.25 billion in cuts they accepted in May.
If revenue shortfalls are anywhere near the $20 billion to $25 billion figures that have been thrown around, Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus will need to ask many, many more times before the state whittles itself a balanced budget.
As the Houston Chronicle and every other media outlet in Texas is reporting today, Perry, Dewhurst and Straus have called on everyone to get out the leather awls and poke new holes in their belts for an additional 2.5 percent tightening through the end of the 2011 fiscal year. If they haven't auctioned the awls in a money-saving effort.
Health care authorities and professionals issued warnings of job cuts that would result in less care for those most in need. Tim Graves, president of the Texas Health Care Association, issued a statement that read, "While we understand state leaders' concern about the challenging budget situation, these new cuts are an ominous development that will jeopardize facilities' ongoing ability to provide quality care to Texas' oldest most vulnerable seniors, and put at risk the key facility jobs that make a key difference in patient outcomes."
State leaders back in February called for a list of voluntary 5 percent cuts, $655 million of which came from education institutions across Texas. Officials also rejected roughly $500 million in cuts the first time around, rejecting $239 million in criminal justice reductions, $73 million in proposed social services cuts and $49 million in student financial aid programs.
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or email@example.com.
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Photo of 'build your budget' by flickr user eric731, used via a Creative Commons license.