DALLAS -- The Texas Senate Finance Committee is considering legislation that would allow the use of capital gains from the state's Permanent School Fund to help close a projected $4.8 billion budget shortfall over the next two years.

The measure calls for a constitutional amendment that -- if approved by voters -- would let the state divert certain capital gains that are now invested in the fund. While Texas Comptroller John Sharp estimates that the measure could mean $46 million per year for the budget, critics have called the plan shortsighted.

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