The Texas Legislature may not return to work for another 11 months, but that hasn't kept the state's leadership from signaling what they think will be the big issues next year.
House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst have issued so-called interim charges to lawmakers. These are essentially homework assignments to look at problems facing the state next year.
The two biggest parts of the budget are public education and Medicaid, the health insurance for the poor and disabled. They make up nearly two-thirds of Texas state spending and they could add $20 billion to the next two-year budget.
Straus and Dewhurst have also assigned committees to study how to reduce government spending, improve the state's tax system, encourage manufacturing and promote transparency in state government