Texas lawmakers now have 140 days to figure out how to pay for public schools after slashing 5.4 billion dollars from classrooms in 2011, whether unemployment recipients should be drug-tested and perhaps confront a water crisis under the strain of a rapidly growing population.
Governor Rick Perry told the Texas Senate yesterday the state's economy and rosier state revenue picture should allow lawmakers to cut taxes.
"It's not a chance to spend freely, but an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the very policies that have made Texas economically strong," said Perry.
His comments came a day after comptroller Susan Combs said Texas would have 96.2 billion dollars in estimated new revenue. That was a sharp contrast from a far weaker 2011 prediction, when a sluggish economy exacerbated a 27 billion dollar shortfall that triggered deep spending cuts.