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Dallas, TX – Priority one for state lawmakers meeting in Austin next week is to plug a $25 billion budget shortfall. Just how big is that? Well, if you shut down all the prisons, laid off every state trooper, eliminated every service except public education, higher education and health care, you still wouldn't cut $25 billion.

Governor Rick Perry and others have suggested Texas drop out of Medicaid, the federal-state health program for low income children, elderly and the disabled. It's Texas's fastest growing expense.

Democrat Addie Dainell Allen

Residence:  Beaumont, TX

Professional/Political Experience:  Lamar University: Saftey and Health Specialists, U.S.Dept. of Occupational Health and Safety; Department of Homeland Security Employee.

Texas Connection: Born in Orange, TX; Member of Cathedral of Faith in Beaumont; lMeals on Wheels board member

Age: 70

Birthplace: New York

Professional/Political Experience: Professor, Baylor College of Medicine and Dow University, Pakistan; Methodist Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital, has traveled to 25 countries.

Texas Connection: Has lived in Texas for 35 years; Founder, Agris-Zindler Children's Fund that provides medical and surgical care for Texas children with no insurance or money to pay for healthcare.

Curt Cleaver

Age: 45
Birthplace: Gary, IN

Professional/Political Experience: National Sales Manager for national hotel chain; President & CEO, Five Star Hotel Management Corporation, Fort Worth,1996-Present.

Texas Connection: Member, Gateway Church, Southlake; Lives in Fort Worth; Texan for 26 years.

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