Six Texas House Takeaways, Biden in Dallas, O'Rourke's Immigration Plan, Texas Spelling Bee Finalists

Good morning!Here are the top political headlines from Austin, Washington, the campaign trail and Dallas.Points from Austin1. With the smoke cleared on the 86th Legislature, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen looked back with no regrets at his first session in charge, during which he passed his ambitious priorities of revamping the state's school finance system and delivering tax caps to try to tamp down rising property taxes in the state.What did we learn about how the 22-year veteran of the House oversaw the chamber he has dedicated his life to? James Barragán has six quick takeaways from the Angleton Republican's first session in charge.2. Republicans needed a home run -- perhaps a grand slam -- in this year's session to stop the momentum Democrats seized after the 2018 midterm elections, when they flipped 12 seats in the Texas House and two in the Senate. In reliably red places like Collin and Tarrant counties, veteran lawmakers nearly collapsed, including state Reps. Matt Shaheen and Jeff Leach of Plano and Jonathan Stickland of Bedford.But did GOP lawmakers hit that grand slam this session, or was it more like a bloop single? Read Gromer Jeffers Jr.'s story to find out how potential 2020 voters might view it.3. Texas likes to boast about its free market attitudes, except when it comes to one topic: liquor. State lawmakers last week sent a bill to Gov. Greg Abbott that changes some loopholes concerning liquor store ownership that favored blood connections. But a big exclusion remains.4. New money for schools. Raises for teachers. Cuts to property tax rates. In case you missed it, here's our final wrap-up story on how the Legislature largely delivered on its top priorities. It was what some are calling a historically successful, policy-driven, mostly drama-free session -- one that ended with thank-you speeches and bear hugs rather than the shouting matches and threats of the previous session.5. Our team of reporters in Austin kicked off the legislative session with a video and the launch of the Texas Tracker, our state politics coverage site. They've worked long hours and late nights to bring you the news from the Capitol, and they're not finished just because the session is over. Follow them on Twitter under their handles listed below, and keep an eye on this newsletter for all their post-session coverage and projects to come.6. The Texas Tracker: Your Guide to the State Legislature has been updated with all the stories, analysis and more from the Capitol's final days. If you're a Dallas Morning News subscriber, you can customize your feed. Sign in, click the issues you want to follow, and you'll see only posts matching those topics.Points from the trail  Continue reading...

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