TX Comptroller projects Fiscal 2021 ending shortfall of $4.6 bil - FOX34 Lubbock

TX Comptroller projects Fiscal 2021 ending shortfall of $4.6 billion

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LUBBOCK -

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar now projects a fiscal 2021 ending shortfall of $4.58 billion. This is reflected in his revised certification revenue estimate, issued Monday. The change, attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and the oil downturn, is a change from $2.89 billion positive year-end balance originally projected in the October 2019 estimate.

Hegar says this estimate carries unprecedented uncertainty. For it to stick, Hegar says businesses have to remain open and health care centers cannot be overwhelmed.

Lubbock State Senator Charles Perry says that is possible, now that we understand the virus. 

"We're going to have to learn to deal with it," Perry said. "We can't shut down the economy every time that there's going to be an outbreak going forward.

"The quicker we figure out and can manage the fact that it's not the fatality rate of a SARS or fatality rate of an Ebola and understand what it is and do the best we can to mitigate it and get back in the routine of life and move forward, our budget will take shape."

Senator Perry says federal money will make up for the shortfall. He emphasized this won't affect this school year because that money was allocated last year.

State leaders have already told agencies to cut at least five percent from their budgets, which Senator Perry says would also help cover this loss of revenue. 

Perry says as bad as the drop-off sounds, it is not as bad as he feared. 

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