By Paul J. Weber
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The first state budget under Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has passed the Texas House after a pre-dawn vote to spend $210 billion over the next two years.
The budget blueprint easily cleared the Republican-controlled House early Wednesday following more than 17 hours of debate. The plan includes sending hundreds more armed troopers to the Texas-Mexico border.
House leaders say the plan also leaves room for more than $4 billion in proposed tax cuts.
Democrats angrily protested a budget rider that that would divert millions of dollars for HIV prevention programs and spend it on abstinence education instead. Democrats also failed to persuade the House to mandate tracking data on school bullying, including against gay and transgendered students.
The spending bill now moves to the Senate.