November 15, 2012 – Signaling austerity despite improving state revenues and a push by some to undo cuts to key programs, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurstand leading GOP senators said they plan to write a budget for the next two years that is smaller than allowed under a spending cap adopted Thursday. The announcement was met with caution from House GOP leaders, who said the budget-writing process has yet to take its course. Some Democrats, meanwhile, voiced concern that even the adopted cap could constrain efforts to restore money to programs such as public education even as Texas faces a school funding lawsuit. Under the Texas Constitution, state leaders are required to limit certain state spending to economic growth; the cap applies to state tax revenues that are not constitutionally dedicated to other purposes, about $70.4 billion of the state’s current two-year budget of $173.5 billion.