Perry calls for more cuts in the current budget
. . . Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, and Speaker of the House Joe Strauss (R, San Antonio), in a letter to agency boards and commissioners December 6, 2010 called on agency heads and commissioners to cut an additional 2.5% from their budgets for the current fiscal year. This comes on top of the 5% spending cuts mandated this past Spring and will take effect before the proposed 10% cuts for the coming biennium. . . . Agencies and services that were shielded from the 5% cuts will remain protected from these 2.5% cuts, but the governor urged commissioners to “take a broad view across all programs and services to find savings opportunities.” . . . Although programs such as Medicaid and public education programs are exempt from these cuts, the Austin American Statesman reports that Medicaid reimbursement will be cut back starting February 1, 2011: 1% cut to acute care, 2% cut to nursing homes and home-based and community-based services. It is anticipated that these 2.5% cuts could be slashing $42 million from the 2011 budget. . . . Texas is facing an estimated $25 billion budget short fall when the 82nd session starts January 2011.