First Draft of Texas Budget Just Released

WTAMU Political Scientist Dr. David Rausch
WTAMU Political Scientist Dr. David Rausch

Diana Crawford
NewsChannel 10

Austin, Texas - Texas House budget writers released the first draft of the budget Tuesday evening. The first draft details how cutting state jobs will help close the budget gap.

Nowhere in the blueprint for a balanced budget does it state how many jobs will be cut, but just days ago Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst estimated around 8,000 state jobs being put on the chopping block. What the blueprint does say, is the best approach to saving money is through staff reductions and personnel changes.

Those changes for state employees involve a 10% pay cut, a state agency hiring freeze, and an end to longevity pay. Further, legislators plan to freeze overtime pay, implement a two-day-a-month furlough, offer early retirement, and cut selected expenses by 30%. These measures are expected to save just over $3 billion.

WTAMU Political Scientist Dr. David Rausch says, "What could happen is probably a less direct effect if 8,000 jobs disappear, it would be more the indirect effect of now the people who are left, are they going to be working harder, are they going to be working less, are they going to be looking for jobs in other places, other states."

In a separate part of the blueprint, the state plans to reduce non-teaching positions in the education world, saving another $3 billion. As Texas Governor Rick Perry was sworn in for his third term today, many are saying his inauguration is being overshadowed by this same-day budget cut announcement.