Comptroller Susan Combs last week said she expects Texas will post a $10.7 billion surplus when fiscal 2008 ends Aug. 31.

Combs’s forecast is lower than that of House Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland, who predicted a surplus of as much as $15 billion in a recent speech.

She attributed much of the increase from fiscal 2007’s $10.1 billion surplus to record energy prices and the state’s increased oil and gas employment.

Texas added 214,000 jobs between March 2007 and March 2008, according to government figures, boosted by a 7.5% increase in oil and gas employment.

The comptroller’s office won’t make an official revenue estimate until the 2009 Legislature convenes in January.

Gov. Rick Perry and the Legislative Budget Board last week asked state agencies to submit zero-growth spending requests for fiscal 2009, along with plans on how they would reduce spending by 10%.

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