LEGISLATURE APPROVES BUDGET AND CARRY LAW

  

Final tweaks to Texas' $209 billion budget allowing for $3.8 billion in tax cuts have passed the Legislature and are headed to Gov. Greg Abbott.

On a 30-1 Senate vote Friday, the only bill lawmakers must pass during the 140-day session was approved. The House later endorsed it 115-33.

The House and Senate for weeks wrestled over tax cut proposals, between plans lowering property or sales taxes. But they reached a recent agreement, making the final votes drama-free.

Beginning Jan. 1, homeowners will stand to save roughly $120 annually in property taxes.

Other big-ticket governor priorities: $3.7 billion for transportation and $800 million for border security.

 

Texas lawmakers have approved licensed open carry of handguns on the streets of the nation's second-most populous state.

The bill cleared the Legislature late Friday. It now heads to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who is expected to sign it.

The bill would reverse a ban dating to the post-Civil War era.

The measure passed after key concessions were made to police groups, who demanded that they not be restricted from questioning people carrying guns, to ensure they had proper licenses to do so.

Texas has about 850,000 concealed handgun license holders.

 

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