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Expected surplus won't lessen 2013 budget fight

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Posted: Jan 1, 2013 10:06 AM

Updated: Jan 1, 2013 10:06 AM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Forget the talk of budget shortfalls and sacrifice that defined the Texas legislative session of two years ago. When lawmakers return to the Capitol next week, they're expecting a surplus at their disposal.

But key Republican leaders and budget observers say that money won't last long or go far. That's despite a rosier economic picture in Texas than in 2011, when the country was still lurching out of recession and the state unemployment rate was above 8 percent.

Lawmakers slashed spending by $15 billion two years ago, including $5.4 billion gutted from public education. But a revived economy has created a revenue surplus that some estimate could exceed $8 billion.

Democrats are hopeful that money can restore the deepest cuts, while Republicans have vowed to hold the line on spending.

Topics: Texas Budget

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