Posted: Jan 20, 2013 9:21 AM
Updated: Jan 20, 2013 9:21 AM
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Republicans have introduced budget proposals and Democrats and lobbyists have compiled their lists of demands. Let the budget battle begin.
Every lawmaker knows there is only one piece of legislation they must pass every two years the budget. They control how $101.4 billion in general revenue is spent.
Whether that number represents a surplus or a shortfall, depends on the beholder's politics.
Gov. Rick Perry sees a budget surplus and, therefore, an opportunity to cut taxes. Democrats see a chance to restore billions of dollars in government services that lawmakers have cut since 2007, including $5.4 billion in funds for public schools.
And in the middle, there are pragmatists who see an accountant's nightmare of deferred spending, budget gimmicks and a misrepresentation of the state's true financial health.,
Chris Tomlinson is the AP's supervisory correspondent in Austin, responsible for state government and political reporting.