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May 16, 2011 (512) 463-0300


(AUSTIN) — The Senate on Monday approved using part of the state's Economic Stabilization Fund to cover current biennial deficits. The body agreed to use $3.973 billion, or less than half, of what is commonly called the Rainy Day Fund. This money will free up funds for next biennium as lawmakers try and reach a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the bill. Finance Committee Chair and chief Senate budget negotiator Steve Ogden of Bryan said that the two chambers have agreement on most of the budget, save public education funding. While he hasn't yet given up hope that the House and Senate can come together and agree on an amount to fund education in the budget, Ogden said after Monday's session that he thinks a special session on the public education portions of the budget is likely.

Other measures passed by the Senate Monday include:

The Senate will reconvene Tuesday, May 17 at 8 a.m. to consider the local and uncontested calendar, and will meet in general session Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Session video and all other webcast recordings can be accessed from the Senate website's Audio/Video Archive.