Texas House Begins Debate on $93 Billion Spending Bill

Republican leaders are trumpeting more money for public education and mental health as the Texas House prepares to vote on a new state budget.

Lawmakers dug in Thursday for a lengthy debate that is widely expected to extend past midnight. On the floor is a $93.5 billion state spending plan that chief House budget-writer Jim Pitts says reverses some of the steep budget cuts the Texas Legislature made two years ago.

Pitts introduced the budget by telling House members that the bill was crafted with bipartisan support and not written "recklessly."

That doesn't mean there won't be opposition. Nearly 270 amendments were filed heading into Thursday's key vote.

The Senate passed a budget last month that spends less on schools than the House version but more on health services.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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