AUSTIN (AP) — Top Republicans are signaling that lawmakers will likely carve out another lean state budget next year even though the Texas economy is humming along for now.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Friday that an estimated $9.4 billion in additional costs needed to keep up with rising population and demand is “sobering.” Officials say most of that money will go toward covering education, Medicaid and prison health costs.

Dewhurst was back to work at the Capitol just three days after a stinging loss in his U.S. Senate runoff to tea party darling Ted Cruz. He declined to say following a Legislative Budget Board meeting what his political future holds.

The state comptroller’s office projects the state economy to slow down next year due to national trends and the European financial crisis.

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