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Top Morning Stories June 10, 2011

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Photo by KUT News.
Early Friday morning the Texas House approved a fiscal matters bill that cuts $4 billion in K-12 spending. One more final vote is needed in the House.

Key Budget Bill Advances in the House

After 16 hours of debate, the Texas House early this morning gave preliminary approval to a bill that cuts $4 billion in public education spending. The fiscal matters bill also generates revenue, in part by putting off payments, to help balance the state’s 2012-2013 budget.   An anti-abortion amendment was tacked onto the bill, as the Austin American Statesman reports:

The House also adopted a provision, which resembled language added to a health care bill earlier, that would bar the Travis County hospital district from continuing to contract with three organizations that provide abortions.  “You guys just don’t give up, do you?” Howard [state Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin] said in clear exasperation.

The bill still needs one more final vote in the House.

Gas Prices Keep Going Down

AAA Texas reports gas prices dropped six cents this week to an average $3.57. Austinites are paying about $3.58 for a gallon of regular unleaded. AAA says the decrease is due in part to a drop in crude oil prices.  This is the fourth straight week prices have fallen.

ROT Rally Street Closures

Expect downtown traffic delays today for The Republic of Texas Biker Rally. Congress between Cesar Chavez and 11th Streets will be closed starting at 6 p.m. until 3 a.m. Saturday. The motorcycle parade starts at 7:30 p.m at the Travis County Expo Center and makes its way downtown. Some streets will be closed as the parade moves through.

For a map of street closures, visit:
www.ci.austin.tx.us/specialevents/downloads/rot_map_051611.pdf