More bad news for the state budget

State Comptroller Susan Combs has said tax collections in June were more than 11 percent below collections in June of last year.

That could translate into a budget shortfall of $550 million if the economy continues to falter, with only two months left in the fiscal year.

About half the state’s general fund budget is derived from sales taxes on consumer spending, and Texans aren’t spending like they have in recent years.

Gonzales lands at Texas Tech

Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has been appointed a visiting professor at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

Gonzales, who resigned as attorney general in 2007 after a stormy tenure as head of the Justice Department, will teach a course in contemporary issues in the executive branch.

Gonzales previously served as President George W. Bush’s general counsel in the White House and as a Texas Supreme Court Justice before being confirmed as the country’s first Hispanic U.S. attorney general. He will earn $100,000 at Tech.

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