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State Budget Contains Employee Cuts, Furloughs

Rep. Jim Pitts: District 10
Rep. Jim Pitts: District 10

By Shelley Kofler, KERA News

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-945509.mp3

Austin, TX – Lawmakers in the Texas House and Senate are revealing details of the draft budgets they work from.

The legislature will have about $15 billion less to spend that two years ago but since the state is growing rapidly analysts say the gap to maintain current services could be $27 billion.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst told reporters the Senates' beginning budget eliminates an estimated 8,000 state jobs.

Rep Jim Pitts, chairman of the House Appropriates Committee didn't provide layoff numbers but in an interview with the Texas Tribune Pitts said job cuts and furloughs will be needed to balance the budget.

Pitts: There will be less state employees when we're completed with this budget process. Because we're gonna have a whole lot less money to spend. We will cut a lot of programs, that will not require state employees. But in additional savings we could require some furloughs.

Pitts plans to release the House's base budget Tuesday.

Email Shelley Kofler