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Top Morning Stories March 29, 2011

Photo by KUT News
The Austin Independent School District's board finalized district lay offs last night.

AISD School Board Finalizes Massive Job Cuts

The Austin ISD School Board made the final decision last night to eliminate 1,153 district positions. Of those positions,  361 employees retired, resigned voluntarily or were assigned to different positions.  That leaves 792 AISD employees who now know for sure they will be out of a job after the school year. By eliminating these positions, AISD only gets about halfway to closing its $94 million budget deficit.

State House Panel to Hear About Expanding Gambling

The House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee will hear testimony today on a proposal that would expand gambling in the state by allowing destination casinos in Texas and slot machines at racetracks. Those in favor of the proposal say it could bring about $1 billion into the state each year. 

Higher Oil Prices a Mixed Blessing for Texas

For the first time since 2008, oil prices hit $100 per barrel last month. Prices have continued to rise, amid growing concerns over global supplies as the conflict in Libya escalates. But paying more at the pump might not necessarily be bad news for Texas.  The higher prices are prompting Texas drillers to fire up dormant pumping stations.  Some of that revenue the state gets from the increased pumping goes into the state's "Rainy Day Fund."