I want to venture away from district news and talk about some state news this morning. The projected shortfall for the upcoming biennium is mentioned daily in the media. However, one thing that has been lost in this coverage is the fact that Texas is facing a shortfall of about $4.3 billion in the current biennium. Yesterday, State Comptroller Susan Combs testified before the House Appropriations Committee about this shortfall and about possible options to remedy the situation.
Combs basically stated that cuts alone would not be enough to cover the entire shortfall. She presented three options to the Committee: reduce 2011 fiscal year appropriations, delay spending/payments for the current fiscal year, or access another source of revenue, such as the rainy day fund.
I agree with the House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts (Waxahachie) who stated that before work begins on a solution, the state needs to figure out how it got into this hole in the first place. Until that problem is solved, there is no way of predicting if the same situation will reoccur.