This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Surplus Won't Lessen 2013 Texas Budget Fight


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) â¿¿ Shortfall and sacrifice: that's how the Texas Legislature two years ago defended gutting $5.4 billion from public education, laying off thousands of public workers with slashed spending and stripping Medicaid to the bone.

The new budget s-word this time around? Surplus.

But when lawmakers next week begin the 83rd legislative session with a potentially record amount of unspent revenue â¿¿ more than $8 billion, according to many observers â¿¿ that money won't last long or go far.

Nor has Texas' far rosier economic picture put budget-writers in the mood to spend more or reverse historic cuts. The battle in 2013 will be over how much bigger â¿¿ not smaller â¿¿ the budget will get.

"The basic needs look like they can be taken care of," said Dale Craymer, president of the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association and former state official who has worked in the budget offices of both the governor and comptroller. "It's just going to be a fight for the icing."

The Texas economy is humming. Unemployment is at a four-year low of 6.2 percent, sales tax receipts are skyrocketing and money is pouring in to state coffers behind a new energy boom, fueled by oil gushing in West Texas and a fracking frenzy from North Texas to San Antonio. Even the Rainy Day Fund, the state's emergency piggybank, has replenished most of the $3.2 billion borrowed during the last session after much hand-wringing by reluctant conservatives.

Contrast that with 2011. As the country began lurching out of the Great Recession, lawmakers gathered at the Capitol facing a $27 billion shortfall and unemployment at a decade-high peak of 8.2 percent. They left after passing a budget that was $15 billion lighter than the previous one in a state that has thousands of new residents to serve by the day and is among the nation's fastest-growing.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,472.37 +200.36 1.23%
S&P 500 1,951.36 +27.54 1.43%
NASDAQ 4,707.7750 +80.6910 1.74%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs