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Day 134 of the 82nd Texas Legislature

“I don’t understand the obsession of men to regulate certain body parts.”
Rep. Jessica Farrar during a debate over an abortion-related amendment yesterday

With less than a week in the legislative session, everyone is still wondering just how lawmakers can pass a school finance plan. Last night Democrats called a point of order on a major fiscal matters bill that could have taken school finance plans as amendements. But as Abby Rapoport writes, the school finance measures are far from dead.

Last week the sanctuary city bill gained new life after it appeared dead, and as Melissa Del Bosque reports, it has been placed on the Senate’s intent calendar where technically it can come up at any moment. Senate Democrats have vowed to block the measure, but with the session winding down and lawmakers trying whatever they can to get their bills passed, anything is possible.  

Yesterday members of the budget conference committee put the final touches on their recommendations, including cuts to higher education. With the reductions, almost 30,000 fewer incoming college students will receive state financial aid and tuition may also go up, according to Peggy Fikac at the San Antonio Express-News. The original House version of the budget proposed cutting off grant money to new students all together. Committee members plan to vote on all of the final budget recommendations Thursday.  

It’s going to be another long day, and likely night. The House has until midnight tonight to pass Senate bills. Meanwhile, the Senate’s calendar is loaded with House bills, and senators are likely to stay late tonight as they try to pass as many as possible.  

Alexa Garcia-Ditta is an Observer reporter (and former intern) covering women's health, reproductive health and health care access across the Lone Star State. Before joining the Observer, she was a staff news writer at the San Antonio Current. She holds an MA in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and BA in journalism and Spanish from UT-Arlington, where she worked for three years on her college newspaper. After graduate school, she dipped her toe in public policy communications at the Center for Public Policy Priorities. When she's not at work, she's probably training for her next marathon.