Local economists chime in on proposed budget cuts

Facing a 15 to 27 billion dollar budget shortfall, Texas lawmakers say they have little choice but to cut...and nothing is off the table.

The proposal includes cutting almost 10-thousand state jobs and possible days off without pay for the remaining state employees...

That kind of impact will be felt statewide including our own backyard.

"If we know we can get past this biennium, and things will kind of get back to normal...I think people can tighten their belts and they can adapt to it. It's not something you choose to do, but if you have to do it, you do it and try to get through it, " says P.J.Pronger with the Small Business Development Center.

And there were some words of guarded encouragement from Patrick Ware at Amarillo National Bank.

"I think the recovery is strong enough to be able to absorb some of the losses were going to see from the state budget cuts, but it will definitely hamper any growth prospects we were going to see."

Both say people will have to start prioritizing and luxury or no essential items may be cut from household budgets.

"You know you're household budget...I know mine. And those things down toward the bottom, if I get cut, then those things are going to go away," according to Pronger.

Ware added, "It will have an impact on the retail sales, especially on some of the stuff you don't need, luxury items, things like that. So the retail sales are an important part of the economy, so again, it will help slow down the recovery."

And both say if there was ever a reason to tap into the rainy day fund, valued at close to 10 billion's the day.

"That's what reserves are for and I think it would be a good idea to look at that, " says Ware.

Pronger echoed that sentiment. "If ever there was a rainy day, then this is it. Surely, they will use at least some of those rainy day fund money to cover part of this...that's what it there for."