- Associated Press - Monday, December 1, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Lawmakers have capped key parts of the next state budget at nearly $94.3 billion, up almost $10 billion from the current 2-year spending cycle.

The Legislative Budget Board unanimously approved the limit Monday for the 2016-2017 budget cycle. The panel consists of the lieutenant governor, House speaker and eight lawmakers from both chambers.

That total isn’t the entire state budget, but is part of a cap mandated by the Texas Constitution on how much the Legislature can spend.

Board members also set Texas’ predicted growth rate at 11.68 percent, as projected by the comptroller’s office. The board heard several estimates from different financial firms, including one as high as 15.71 percent.

Tea party groups have accused Texas Republicans of spending too freely, and the panel chose the lowest growth rate.

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