Top Stories: The Lege Winds Down
- House, Senate OK 2012-13 budget with historic cuts – Curt Olson, Texas Budget Source
[T]he Texas House and Senate approved a 2012-13 budget with historic cuts – $15 billion from the current biennium. The budget with $80.6 billion in general revenue is 2 percent less than the current biennium. The $172.3 billion in all funds is 8 percent less than 2010-11.
The Senate approved the budget on a 20-11 vote, with one Democrat joining 19 Republicans. The 97-53 vote in the House came with one Democrat joining Republicans and five Republicans voting against it.
Of that $15 billion in cuts, $12 billion of it – or 80 percent – is federal stimulus money that lawmakers never intended to spend in 2012-13.
- Public education a big winner in 2012-13 budget – Curt Olson, Texas Budget Source
Legislative Budget Board data shows public and higher education will receive $75.6 billion in all funds in 2012-13 – compared to $76.4 billion in 2010-11.
The data shows that public education will receive a total of $53.826 billion in 2012-13, compared to $53.701 billion in 2012-13.
Meanwhile in general revenue funds, public education will receive an additional $3 billion over current spending – $36.8 billion for 2012-13 compared to $33.7 billion in 2010-11
Be sure and contrast the budgetary detail and context in these two Texas Budget Source articles with the less detailed, pack-reporting MSM narratives below.
- House, Senate sign off on snug state budget – Kate Alexander, Austin American-Statesman
It also includes changes to school finance law that are required to appropriate the $37 billion budgeted for public school aid, an amount that is $4 billion less than what the school districts would otherwise be owed under current law.
- Texas budget with $15 billion in cuts clears Legislature – Dave Montgomery and Anna Tinsley, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The budget would reduce state funding to school districts by $4 billion and shrink the state workforce to 235,135 by fiscal 2013, a decrease of 5,727 from the current 2011 level.
- Lawmakers pass $172.3 billion, two-year budget – Peggy Fikac, San Antonio Express-News
The budget would short school districts about $4 billion in state aid compared to what they’d get under current formulas through the next two years.
- State budget cutting billions heads to Perry – April Castro and Jim Vertuno, AP
Public schools would receive about $4 billion less in state aid compared with what they’d get under current formulas through the next two years.
- Liveblog: Texas Legislature Considers Budget – Ross Ramsey, Emily Ramshaw, and Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune
Still ahead is a Sunday vote on a critical piece of legislation – SB 1811 – that provides $3.5 billion in non-tax revenue for the 2012-13 budget and that revises school finance formulas to cut $4 billion from what the state would otherwise owe public school districts….
- Special session on TWIA is likely, legislative leaders say – Tim Eaton, Postcards
Pretty interesting how all those different MSM sources came up with such similar descriptions of the education funding, yet neglected to include much in the way of hard numbers about education spending or comparisons to previous budgets, hmm?
- Former governor Clements dies – Mark Ward, Postcards
Our condolences to the family.
- On Capitol Hill, doctors tout Texas' brand of tort reform – Sarah Tung, Houston Chronicle
- Oil in Shale Sets Off a Boom in Texas – Clifford Krauss, New York Times
- Patrick picked the wrong day to announce – Joe Holley, Chron Texas Politics
Of course, the big question is whether the man with the radio megaphone and the tea party following can compete with Dewhurst.
Holley’s question is somewhat misstated. Patrick’s radio audience is small (but loyal), so “megaphone” is a stretch, and Patrick’s “Tea Party following” is somewhat manufactured. He’ll have a much tougher time running outside of his tailor-made senate district.
- Until they’re gone, Pledge Cards are informative -Weston Hicks, AgendaWise Reports
- TPPF says Texas created more jobs than all other states combined in past 5 years – PolitiFarce Texas
PolitiFact consults both state and federal data, concedes TPPF’s findings aren’t wrong, then spends roughly a thousand words — painful prose at that — nitpicking and bellyaching.
Some of the Icon editors have long referred to “PolitiFact” as PolitiFarce because of these sorts of efforts. Too often, these “fact-check” articles are instead a way for MSM journalists to continue to try to control the narrative and editorialize about news, sometimes in an utterly ridiculous manner. This is a prime example. On the Farce-O-Meter, it scores 100%!
Last but certainly not least, on this Memorial day Weekend we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.