As advocacy groups around the state absorb the two draft budgets proposed in Austin, it's clear that education and services for the poor and disabled stand to take some of the biggest hits.
The Senate proposal released this week proposes spending $158.7 billion for the 2012-13 biennium, a 15.4 percent reduction over current spending.
The slightly smaller House budget calls for spending $156.4 billion, a 16.6 percent decrease from the 2010-11 biennium.
Texas budget writers divide spending into nine groups. Here's a look at how the five biggest would be affected under both plans:
Two groups -- education and health & human services -- would see the biggest declines in spending. Of course, these are also the areas that consume the majority of the current budget.
For those curious, here's how the education cuts divide between public education and higher education:
As Star-Telegram Austin Bureau Chief Dave Montgomery recently reported, the cuts to public education could have a ripple effect. Austin Analyst Lynn Moak predicts the loss of 100,000 jobs in school districts across the state if the cuts are implemented.
And as Star-Telegram Reporter Alex Branch reported this week, advocates for the poor and the disabled say that cutting key safety net programs could end up costing more in the long-run that continuing to fund them. State budget proposals would cost Tarrant County's public hospital an estimated $8.5 million in annual Medicaid payments, while possibly steering more patients to the John Peter Smith Hospital emergency room and psychiatric ward, according to hospital officials.