11:30 a.m.

 

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs released the much-anticipated (and much-dreaded, in some quarters) revenue estimate for the upcoming fiscal biennium. Her report this morning tells legislators that they have $72.2 billion to work with this session in developing the two-year 2012-13 budget. That figure is approximately $15 billion less than the current biennial budget. It is nearly $27 billion less than the amount needed to continue current services, given projected increases in population and cost trends.

 

A shortfall of this magnitude was not unexpected, and it confirms the predictions that all areas of government - including public education - are likely to face significant budget cuts.