We take a look forward to the 2014 election as there could be room for some new GOP faces in established state offices as campaign funding season kicks off in the middle of June. Fire ants have been the bane of every Texan's existence for a long time, but the stinging pests are now being displaced by crazy ants, which is a good and bad thing.
Susan Combs, Texas state comptroller, launched a new website--tellthetruthtexas.org--detailing the cities and counties in the red on projects large and small. She gives her take on public debt and why Texas owes over $7,000 per capita. Ben Gorzell, San Antonio Chief Financial Officer, also joins us.
It will be 20 years since Texas Comptroller Susan Combs stepped into a state-elected office and at one point she had also been positioning herself for the spot of lieutenant governor, so why hang her hat up now?
"Well, my husband and I had been talking over the last several months at dinner time about sort of the next direction we wanted to take," Combs said. "We talked about the fact that I will have served 20 years in elected office by the time I finish this, and he said, 'Do you really want to do another four to eight years, and what would you accomplish?"
Texas Matters: State revenue numbers look good for this session of the legislature; there is even a surplus. Gov. Rick Perry suggests that the extra money be used to cut taxes, while others want to restore funding to education and health programs that took cuts in the last legislative session. Gun owners in Texas stand their ground as the federal government comes up with its next move to cut down on gun violence.
According to State Comptroller Susan Combs, Texas lawmakers will have will have $101.4 billion to work with during the next legislative session. Combs said the estimated $96 billion in revenue from taxes, fees and other sources is up nearly $20 billion from previous years.
"General revenue collections in 2008 and 2009 -- leading into the [legislative] session -- totaled $79.6 billion," Combs said. "In 2010 - 2011, as we hit bottom and began to climb out the revenues were $4.5 billion less."