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State Lawmakers Hear About Debt & Crime Fund

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AUSTIN (AP) – Texas lawmakers are planning to hear testimony about the state’s debt burden and problems with the crime victim’s fund.

The House Ways and Means Committee wants to learn more about the state’s debt could impact state finances. By law, Texas must balance its two-year operating budget, but the Legislature does allow state agencies to issue bonds for large projects.

State officials and experts are expected to tell the House Criminal Justice Committee on Monday that the victim’s fund created in 1979 is expected to run out of money in 2013. Lawmakers are looking for ways to maintain the fund, which pays victims for costs not covered by insurance or restitution.

Texas lawmakers had to cut $15 billion in state spending in 2011 and expect to face another shortfall in 2013.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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