Politicians in Washington may be talking about compromising on the federal budget, but in Texas, Republicans are taking an early, hardline stance on state spending.
The state's two top lawmakers are trying to prove how conservative they are ahead of the legislative session that begins Jan. 8. Tea party Republicans have called Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus too moderate, so last week they promised to get tough on spending.
The Legislative Budget Board approved a constitutional limit on increasing government spending at 10.7 percent. But both men promised to limit an increase in the budget to population growth plus inflation. That is only 9.85 percent.
Gov. Rick Perry, Straus and Dewhurst will likely seek re-election and want to keep this campaign promise to be conservative.