Texas Rainy Day Fund Climbs To $8.1 Billion

AUSTIN (October 17, 2012)--The balance in the state's Rainy Day Fund is climbing to $8.1 billion, according to a director from the Texas comptroller's office who told lawmakers Wednesday the emergency savings account is expected to hit that number when nearly $2 billion in anticipated oil and gas tax collections is transferred into the fund next month.

Whether the state should use the money is a perennially divisive subject.

Republican Gov. Rick Perry and fiscal conservatives are generally reluctant to use the fund to cover shortfalls, preferring instead to make cuts to reduce spending.

Only six times in two decades have lawmakers tapped into the fund.

The last was in 2011, when about $3 billion was spent to help close the budget deficit.

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