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State’s Rainy Day Fund Climbs To $8.1 Billion

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AUSTIN (AP) - The balance in the state’s Rainy Day Fund is climbing to $8.1 billion.

A director from the Texas comptroller’s office Wednesday told lawmakers the state’s emergency savings account is expected to hit that number when nearly $2 billion in anticipated oil and gas tax collections is transferred into the fund next month.

Whether the state should use the money is a perennially divisive subject. Republican Gov. Rick Perry and fiscal conservatives are generally reluctant to use the fund to cover shortfalls, preferring instead to make cuts to reduce spending.

Only six times in two decades have lawmakers tapped into the fund. The last was in 2011, when about $3 billion was spent to help close the budget deficit.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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