Tribpedia: 2011 Budget Shortfall

A budget shortfall as high as $27 billion is projected as lawmakers work through the 2011 legislative session, according to estimates from economists and the comptroller's office. There is unity on the amount of its budget shortfall, however. Republicans who argue spending does not need to be maintained or grow from 2010-11 levels argue the shortfall could be around ...

Fourth and fifth grade students at the Austin Discovery School.
Fourth and fifth grade students at the Austin Discovery School.

The Polling Center: No Backlash to Education Cuts?

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Polling over the last two years from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune suggests that education has not become more salient to Texas voters, nor have perceptions of school quality suffered significantly.

House Appropriations Committee chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, looks at the voting board as the House passes HB1 the state budget, 97-53, late in the evening on May 28, 2011.
House Appropriations Committee chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, looks at the voting board as the House passes HB1 the state budget, 97-53, late in the evening on May 28, 2011.

House Committee Backs Budget With More School Funding

The $193.8 billion budget approved by the House Appropriations Committee includes an extra $2.5 billion for public education. The bill is smaller than the Senate budget by about $1.7 billion.

Teacher Silvia Corado works with students in her pre-kindergarten class as they learn syllables and word identification, part of the Summer Bilingual Academy at Wilson Elementary School in San Antonio.
Teacher Silvia Corado works with students in her pre-kindergarten class as they learn syllables and word identification, part of the Summer Bilingual Academy at Wilson Elementary School in San Antonio.

San Antonio May Seek Tax to Support Full-Day Pre-K

An eighth-of-a-cent sales tax increase is being proposed in San Antonio to fund full-day pre-kindergarten for primarily low-income children in the city.

The Weekly TribCast: Episode 117

While our fearless host Reeve is away on special assignment, Ben steps in to lead Evan, Ross and special guest star Jake Silverstein (the editor of Texas Monthly) in a discussion on the next state budget, redistricting and campaign finance.

During the 2011 legislative session, lawmakers voted to reduce reimbursement rates to hospitals around Texas. As a result, East Texas Medical Center in Athens plans to downgrade its trauma center from Level III to Level IV.
During the 2011 legislative session, lawmakers voted to reduce reimbursement rates to hospitals around Texas. As a result, East Texas Medical Center in Athens plans to downgrade its trauma center from Level III to Level IV.

Day 7: East Texas Hospital Will Downgrade Its Trauma Center

DAY 7 of our month-long series on the effects of new state laws and budget cuts: The East Texas Medical Center will downgrade its trauma center in Athens from Level III to Level IV.

Karen Godfrey and her two sons Timothy Godfrey, and Zachary Munn draw and play together with Ishele Graves and her daughter Mikaela Massey at Bluebonnet Trails Community Services in Round Rock, TX.
Karen Godfrey and her two sons Timothy Godfrey, and Zachary Munn draw and play together with Ishele Graves and her daughter Mikaela Massey at Bluebonnet Trails Community Services in Round Rock, TX.

At Texas Mental Health Center, Smaller Cuts Still Sting

Mental health service provider Bluebonnet Trails escaped budget cuts that would have shut off services to more than 2,000 people. That number turned out to be less than 500, but as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the cuts still hurt.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry blows a kiss to his Secretary of State Hope Andrade (not shown) during his speech to the National Assn. of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) in San Antonio on June 23, 2011.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry blows a kiss to his Secretary of State Hope Andrade (not shown) during his speech to the National Assn. of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) in San Antonio on June 23, 2011.

Rick Perry: Deft Leader or Teflon Governor?

Attribute it to a Teflon coating, to his decisive win in a divided primary last year, or to luck, but Gov. Rick Perry is coming out of the 82nd legislative session without many bruises.