When lawmakers sit down to work out the budget for the 2014-2015 term, State Comptroller Susan Combs says they will have more than $100 billion to work with.
Combs' biennial revune estimate projects $101.4 billion for general purpose spending. Combs says the state has experienced a strong rebound from the severe recession, thanks in large part to better than expected increases in sales tax collections and taxes on oil and gas production.
Income from those and other taxes and fees is projected at $96.2 billion over the next two years, $3.6 billion of that is automatically transferred into the rainy day fund. At the end of this year, that fund is expected to hold just over $8 billion.
There is also estimated to be $8.8 billion in unspent funds in the current budget for the next two years. But in addition to other spending needs, the state owes $4.7 billion from medicaid left unpaid in the last budget. And another pressing demand will come from teachers and educators who want cuts in the last budget restored.
But Governor Rick Perry and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst have pledged that any spending increases will be to account for inflation and population increases only.