Texas House OKs budget but ‘bathroom bill’ still in limbo

Texas State Capitol building. (KXAN Photo/Erin Cargile)
Texas State Capitol building. (KXAN Photo/Erin Cargile)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A new Texas budget that continues spending $800 million on border security but puts little new money into public schools is nearing the desk of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

The $217 billion spending package approved Saturday by the House is the only must-pass measure before the Legislature adjourns Monday. The Senate was expected to agree on the same budget later.

But still unclear is whether Abbott will keep lawmakers in Austin if they don’t reach a deal on a “bathroom bill” targeting transgender people.

Negotiations on a North Carolina-style measure that could restrict bathroom access for transgender individuals collapsed Friday night between Republican House moderates and social conservatives in the Senate.

Both chambers set aside the rift to approve additional spending for Texas’ beleaguered child welfare system.