OBSERVED The Woman’s Health Program, which was set to expire this year, has received new life. In their crusade against Planned Parenthood, anti-abortion activists had sparked a controversy that nearly killed the program. Two bills to renew it had failed to pass, and the program appeared finished. But as Alexa Garcia-Ditta reports, a provision in the final budget plan released yesterday will reauthorize the program in its current form.
BEST OF THE REST Senate and House members of the budget conference committee approved a final two-year spending plan yesterday that cuts 8.1 percent from government spending, including $4 billion from schools. It underfunds Medicaid by $4.8 billion. The Houston Chronicle‘s Peggy Fikac gives the run down on the new plan: what areas are going to be hit the hardest and what lawmakers are saying about it.
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING Today Gov. Rick Perry will sign another of his emergency items into law: voter ID. And while the budget conference committee has finished its work, lawmakers must still finalize a new school-finance plan to avoid a special session.