What Do 5 Percent Budget Cuts Look Like?

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Eva DeLuna Castro /(512) 320-0222 x 103
Anne Dunkelberg /(512) 320-0222 x 102
Celia Cole /(512) 320-0222 x110
Don Baylor /(512) 320-0222 x 108
Jane Burstain /(512) 320-0222 x119

March 12, 2010

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Concerned that there won’t be enough revenue to fund state services in 2012-13 and cover a $9-billion-plus school finance budget “hole” created in 2006, top state officials have instructed Texas agencies to propose ways to reduce General Revenue (GR) spending by 5 percent in their 2010-2011 budgets. If these cuts can actually be implemented, the need to use the state’s $9.6 billion “Rainy Day Fund” would be reduced, as would the need to find other sources of ongoing revenue.

This Policy Page analyzes some of the proposed cuts in health and human services, workforce and economic development, and higher education. The Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) recommends a balanced approach that uses the Rainy Day Fund and new sources of state revenue—not just budget cuts alone—to balance the state budget without needless human suffering.