Agreement on $80.6 B Texas budget reached

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The chairman of the Texas Democratic Party has condemned the budget deal that Republican leaders of the Legislature have announced.

Boyd Ritchie said the Republican majority in both chambers played political games that will cost teacher jobs and force "cruel choices."

Republicans promised from the beginning that they would keep stay spending within available revenues. They have approved spending $3.2 billion to cover a deficit in the current two-year budget, but cut the 2012-2013 budget by 15 percent.

Boyd said Democratic lawmakers tried to tap the Rainy Day Fund to soften the blow, but their efforts were blocked. He said Democrats will force Republicans to defend their budget during the next election.

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