REVENUE DROPS - The coronavirus pandemic has created a nearly $1 billion deficit in the Texas state budget. The forecast was presented online by Texas Republican Comptroller Glenn Hegar on Monday. It reflected how the nation’s energy hub remains hampered by a slow economic recovery and a half-million fewer jobs than a year ago.
"The forecast however remains clouded with uncertainty. The ultimate path of the pandemic and the behavior of businesses and consumers is difficult to gauge," Hegar said. "It is also unclear how they will respond once the pandemic is fully under control. As a result there is a wide range of possible outcomes for state revenue through the end of fiscal 2023."
The deficit could result in cuts to state services, although many economists say that once coronavirus vaccines are more widely distributed, a broader recovery should take hold in the second half of the year. The state’s budget deficit will no doubt be on the minds of the GOP-controlled 87th Texas Legislature which is scheduled to return to work today for the first time in two years.