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Eltife: Revenues might be up, but lawmakers face fallout from past session

Eltife: Revenues might be up, but lawmakers face fallout from past session
Longview News-Journal
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POSTED: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 12:00pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 12:14pm

Expensive challenges on Texas’ doorstep require more sober decisions and less lip-service conservatism, the state senator from Northeast Texas told Longview Rotarians on Tuesday.

Unexpected sales tax and other revenue of at least $3 billion won’t dig the state budget out of its $8 billion hole, Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, said during a lunchtime lecture at The Summit Club.

That deficit is the real face of the budget lawmakers balanced in 2011 with accounting maneuvers. It provides the backdrop for a 2013 session in which water and transportation infrastructure, education funding and a flagging pension plan take center stage.

“Yes, our revenues are up,” said Eltife, who will enter his third term when the 83rd Legislative Session convenes on Jan. 8. “But remember, we short-funded Medicaid by $5 billion. And remember, we used $3 billion from future revenues. So, there’s $8 billion when we go back in. We may be up $3 (billion) or $4 billion, but we’ve still got to deal with $8 billion we under-funded in the last biennium.”

Read more from the Longview News-Journal.
 

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