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Wed June 6, 2012
Perry's proposed cuts could impact Northeast Texas agencies
AUSTIN - For the second time in four years, Gov. Rick Perry has asked state agencies to look for new ways to get leaner by proposing 10 percent reductions in spending.
The move comes despite reports that more revenues are coming into the state. Agencies were also asked to identify 10 percent cuts prior to the last legislative session.
Locally, that resulted in a reduction in adjunct professors at Texas A&M University-Commerce and an increase in select fees such as distance education. It did not result in mass layoffs.When faced with these decisions two years ago, university officials noted it could have been much worse had they not been experiencing strong enrollment growth . A&M-Commerce is also among a majority of A&M System schools approved to increase tuition beginning this fall.
Lawmakers will ultimately decide what, if any, spending reductions will be made when the next session begins in January. Republican House Speaker Joe Straus said the state must continue to "plan conservatively" despite healthy revenue growth. Cost-cutting by the Legislature last year led to a $4 billion reduction in education spending to help balance the budget.