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Democrats Say They’ll Counter Texas Budget Offer

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AUSTIN (AP) — A final deal on a new Texas budget remains elusive despite Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst saying that both sides had settled the key issues.

Democratic state Rep. Craig Eiland said Friday his party would submit a counterproposal to the latest offer on the table. Senate negotiators claim their new framework restores $4 billion of public school funding that was cut two years ago.

Shortly before midnight, Senate leaders were spotted walking to Eiland’s office. Dewhurst predicted a deal would be struck by Friday afternoon.

Eiland said Friday that differences remain. One issue Democrats have with the Senate offer is $630 million that would be removed from a fund created to help low-income families pay utilities bills.

The Senate wants to refund that money and count it as tax relief.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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