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State Budget Mess Could Overshadow Inauguration

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Texas Governor Rick Perry participates in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce summit on "the role of free enterprise in job creation" on May 3, 2010 in Washington, D.C. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Texas Governor Rick Perry participates in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce summit on “the role of free enterprise in job creation” on May 3, 2010 in Washington, D.C. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

AUSTIN (AP) – Republican Gov. Rick Perry will be hosting a Texas barbeque and fancy inaugural dance for his third swearing-in ceremony. But the festivities could be overshadowed by the same-day release of one of the leanest budget proposals in history.

Corporate donors and wealthy Texans are picking up the $2 million tab for Tuesday’s inaugural events, which are being scaled back from previous years to reflect the tough economic times. The traditional parade down Congress Avenue was canceled, and billionaire Red McCombs is footing the bill for the free barbeque that 10,000 people are expected to attend.

It’s still too lavish for some critics.

Texas Democratic Party chairman Boyd Richie says the party is inappropriate as lawmakers brace for their first look at a budget that faces down a $27 billion deficit.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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