Rainy Day Fund | KERA News

Rainy Day Fund

From Texas Standard:

Members of the House and Senate are scrambling to plug a $212 million hole in the teacher retirement system, which provides health benefit for retired educators. Changes made to the TRS-Care system during the regular legislative session could cause some retirees' health care costs to increase tenfold.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

In a precursor to their only head to head debate scheduled a week from today, Lt. Governor candidates Dan Patrick, and Leticia Van de Putte appeared on the same stage at different times. Each of them sat for a Q&A session with Evan Smith at the Texas Tribune’s annual festival in Austin.

BJ Austin / KERA News

Most of the attention for November elections has been on the governor’s race and battles between candidates.

But voters will also decide whether to use some of the oil and gas tax money that would go into the Rainy Day savings fund to pay for roads.

college savings dolls

Financial overhaul is a popular New Year’s resolution, right up there with starting a work-out regimen or changing your diet.

When you want to change your spending habits, where do you start? As part of KERA's One Crisis Away series, Courtney Collins talks about making a plan that actually works with a financial education coordinator, Leilani Lim-Villegas with the Texas Department of Banking.

Gov. Rick Perry inspected the water levels at Lake Travis and then urged voters to approve proposition 6, the water project funding program that would pay for the next 50 years of water projects in the state that is up for a vote on this November's ballot.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus is traveling the state, rallying support for an election measure that will pay for water projects.

Todd Dwyer / Texas Tribune

With only two weeks left, Gov. Rick Perry has added funding for transportation to the special session which until now has been devoted solely to redistricting.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Budget analysts are warning lawmakers not to get too carried away by the comptroller’s announcement today that Texas has an $8.8 billion budget surplus.

State Comptroller Susan Combs says the Legislature, which opens its session Tuesday, will have $101.4 billion for general spending over the next two years. That's 12 percent more money than it had for the two-year budget that ends in August .

State of Texas

As the state legislature prepares to open its session Tuesday, lawmakers are hearing a word not spoken in the capitol for a long time. It’s ‘surplus.’ Unlike two years ago, when they faced a massive deficit and cut $15 billion from the budget, there’s talk of an increase in money for state programs and a growing Rainy Day fund. The state comptroller will release the official budget estimate this morning, but the debate over whether and how to spend the Rainy Day money has already begun.

School funding in Texas is in turmoil. State lawmakers slashed more than $4 billion from education this school year — one of the largest cuts in state history — and more than 12,000 teachers and support staff have been laid off.

Academic programs and transportation have been cut to the bone. Promising reforms are on hold or on the chopping block. Next year, the cuts could go even deeper.