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Texas budget woes spur scrutiny of corporate tax breaks

The head of the House's tax-writing panel wants to find new money to minimize painful cuts to programs for needy Texans next session.  So as they have each month since January, Rep. Rene Oliveira and his Ways and Means Committee spent hours Tuesday poking and prodding various industries and trade groups about the merits of keeping or killing their favorable treatment in state tax laws.

It was a preview of the long dance sure to dominate next year's legislative session. Members of both parties hurled thinly veiled threats and barbs at corporations, such as State Farm Insurance and Dow Chemical, for assorted perceived transgressions.
 
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