The latest news from around North Texas.
Here are some issues likely to make news in Texas politics this week, all of which may preview larger legal, policy or ideological clashes down the road.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD IN FEDERAL COURT
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks begins hearing arguments in Austin on Tuesday about whether Texas can boot Planned Parenthood from its Medicaid program.
Planned Parenthood had received more than $3 million to provide family planning and other women's medical services -- but not abortions -- to nearly 11,000 low-income women statewide.
But Texas, like a host of other Republican-controlled states, moved to sever all funding to the organization following the 2015 release of secretly recorded and heavily edited videos by an anti-abortion group.
Federal judges already have stopped Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas and Mississippi from similarly excluding Planned Parenthood from Medicaid reimbursements in wake of the videos. Texas could cut off Planned Parenthood by Jan. 21, unless Sparks grants an injunction after hearing arguments in the case.
SENATE DRAFT BUDGET
Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Jane Nelson could unveil a draft of the upper chamber's 2017-2018 state budget as early as this week.
Patrick and other top Republicans promise to extend roughly $4 billion in tax cuts for homeowners and businesses approved last session.
The prolonged oil price slump has sapped state revenue, though, leaving lawmakers with a potential shortfall of $5-plus billion just to fund basic services at current levels.
The lieutenant governor has said he'd like to make up the deficit by cutting the budget's two biggest-ticket items, schools and public health -- but funding reductions to both, even if it's to cover a new round of popular tax cuts, could prove a tough sell.
Donald Trump is being inaugurated on Friday and organizations opposing the president-elect are organizing protests around the country.
In Austin, nearly 50 minority activist groups, environmental organizations and assorted community organizing nonprofits are sponsoring a "One Resistance" rally where demonstrators will march to the steps of the state Capitol late Friday.
Of course, lawmakers won't be in session by the time they get there -- and some top Republicans, notably Patrick, will be in Washington attending Trump's inauguration.