Senate budget bill getting final touches

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Associated Press

Posted on March 13, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 13 at 9:05 AM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Senate budget writers are putting the final touches on a spending bill as the Legislature nears the hallway point of the 140-day session.

The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday could send the main budget bill to the full chamber. It comes nearly two months after starting with an $88.9 billion draft that critics sized up as unnecessarily lean in light of a robust Texas revenue forecast.

Senate lawmakers have since added more potential spending. That includes a proposed $1.4 billion hike for public education to help offset the hard financial hit that school districts absorbed two years ago.

Spending in the Texas Legislature is already under way. The House this week gave final passage to a $6.6 billion emergency spending bill that will most cover Medicaid costs.

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