The rules of the Texas Senate worked in Senator Steve Ogden's favor as the budget he helped draft won approval in a 19-12 vote Wednesday in Austin.
Republican Senators used a rule that a simple majority can pass a House Bill on certain days. Wednesday was a "House Day" in the senate and the bill passed down party lines.
The Senate budget is about $176.5 billion for the next two years, clearing the path for negotiations with the House to begin.
The plan makes about $11 billion in cuts, compared to the
current budget. But the cuts are much less severe than those in the
bare-bones House version.
Public schools and Medicaid providers, including nursing homes,
would take the brunt of the cuts.
Now that the Senate has passed the budget, negotiations will begin with the state house to finalize a budget where both houses agree.
Wednesday afternoon Governor Rick Perry issued a statement congratulating Ogden and State Senators:
"I applaud Chairman Ogden, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and the Texas Senate for passing their version of the state budget.
The Senate, House and Governor’s Office will now begin working to resolve budget differences during the conference committee process, and pass a balanced two-year state budget we can all be proud of.
I look forward to signing a fiscally responsible, no new taxes state budget in the next few weeks that funds Texas schools, border security and health care priorities, while protecting Texas job creation and preserving the remaining balance in the state’s Rainy Day Fund for future emergencies." -Governor Rick Perry
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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