By Liz Farmer,
It was no surprise to see low levels of funding across the board in an initial Senate budget proposal unveiled on Monday.
The overview of the proposed Senate budget would spend about $89 billion in state general revenue funds, only $1.6 billion more than the last session, according to Legislative Budget Board estimates. In other words, it would maintain some of the largest cuts from last session. The brief budget document released Monday contained only spending totals. Budget writers will be filling in the details in the coming weeks. But the overview released Monday proposes a 3 percent increase for health and human services for 2014-2015, and only a 1 percent increase for public education, which was cut by $5.36 billion last session.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst told reporters that the budget totals adequately provided opportunities for one of the nation’s fastest growing population. “To maintain that opportunity we need to make sure we keep our spending under control, fund our priorities and keep our taxes low,” Dewhurst said. “We can continue to provide opportunity to everyone. All of our children can get access to great education in public education and higher education.”