Budget crisis leads to fewer bill filings in Texas

March 12, 2011 8:02:11 AM PST
The state's budget crisis has another side effect for the Texas Legislature: fewer bill filings. Friday's filing deadline is likely to pass with a substantially lower number of bills compared to 2009. Officials say it's because state lawmakers are focused on a budget shortfall that could reach $27 billion.

Slightly more than 5,000 bills had been filed by midday Friday, the end of a 60-day filing period. Last session, more than 7,400 bills were on the books. More were expected to show up before the 6 p.m. deadline.

Not only are lawmakers spending a lot of time talking about balancing the budget, but officials say their legislative priorities are scaled back because they know the state doesn't have much money to spare.