By CHRIS TOMLINSON Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Thursday that the first draft of the new budget will eliminate an estimated 8,000 state jobs and not raise taxes.
Dewhurst presides over the state Senate and controls legislation there.
To make up for an $8 billion loss in state income, he insisted state lawmakers would go through the budget agency-by-agency to cut non-essential services. He said state jobs will be eliminated as state agencies are combined to become more efficient. But he added that most of those positions are currently empty and will not result in unemployment.
Dewhurst said he rejected outside estimates that Texas faces a $27 billion deficit, but acknowledged that many programs will be cut to balance the budget, which is required under the Texas Constitution.