House Unanimously Approves $178 Billion Texas Budget

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas House has approved a $178 billion state budget. The package would increase spending by five percent over the next two years and strip the governor's office of its operating budget almost entirely.

The 150-member chamber unanimously approved the the first budget under Speaker Joe Straus early Saturday in a show of newfound House harmony.

The two-year plan relies heavily on $11 billion from the federal stimulus package. That money has helped the state close a multibillion dollar revenue shortfall without cutting into state services.

State spending makes up about 45% of the budget and is about 2.5% less than in the 2008-2009 budget.

In another blow to Perry, the House approved a measure to strip $136 million from his Texas Enterprise Fund if the state doesn't expand unemployment insurance. The expansion would make the state eligible for $555 million in federal stimulus aid.

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