Budget Outlook is Better, but Not Necessarily Good

Texas is not floating in cash, but the doom and gloom offered by some of the state’s top budget writers might be overstating the trouble ahead. Some analysts expect things to be tight, but easier than they were in the 2011 session, which resulted in significant cuts.

“Easier” is a relative term. Lawmakers don’t really write the state budget — it’s controlled by their promises, their fears and obligations they don’t control. They promise to maintain roads, prisons, schools and welfare and health care programs, and fear the political consequences of breaking the promises. They’re constrained ...

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