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Politics

Texas Budget Agreement Reached

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Photo courtesy The Texas Tribune
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After several days of negotiations, Sen. Ogden (R-Bryan) and the rest have agreed to a budget.

UPDATE at 6:42

The Texas Democratic party has released its statement on the budget agreement. The minority party is not happy with the finished product.

“The fact is, thousands of teachers will still be laid off, schools will still close and jobs will still be lost. Republicans did not save the day - they were playing political games with this budget process from the beginning."

EARLIER:

It wasn't white smoke or a lantern hung out a window(two if without rainy day funds) or a public kiss on the Buckingham palace balcony - but the House and Senate have announced there's a budget agreement.

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) let the world know, through a less dramatic e-mail, that the Senate and House conferees had agreed to $80.6 billion in General Revenue on House Bill 1.

Here are the quotes from each in the release:

Lt. Governor Dewhurst:

"I'm pleased that the House and Senate have come to an agreement that will help balance the budget and protect Texas taxpayers while making a historic $15-billion cut in government spending. We are hard at work passing a number of related bills, including school finance reform, which also must pass in order to balance the budget."

Speaker Straus:

“I want to thank the House and Senate budget writers for their tireless work in bringing forward a budget that is disciplined, fiscally conservative and that lives within our means. The agreement that we reached with the Senate today funds nursing homes, our public schools and universities, and provides financial aid for college students while keeping substantial revenue in reserves and avoiding any new taxes. ”

The House still needs to pass a so called "fiscal matters" bill tonight to help come up with some of the $80 billion needed to balance the budget. The House took up the bill around 6 p.m. tonight. And should have it passed on 3rd reading Saturday.