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Straus Calls For Truth In State Budgeting

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AUSTIN (AP) - Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has called for an end to an accounting practice that masks how taxes and fees are really spent.

Straus asked a House Appropriations Sub-committee to consider how to bring greater transparency to accounts dedicated to a special purpose, and how those balances are used to balance the budget. By law, the State Comptroller must certify that the budget is balanced every two years.

Straus said that lawmakers have stockpiled $4.9 billion in dedicated accounts to balance the budget. He gave an example of fees charged to drunk drivers that are supposed to go to hospital trauma centers. Instead of spending that money, lawmakers keep it in an account where it can be used to balance the budget.

Straus called for an end to the practice.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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