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Top Morning Stories April 4, 2011

The Texas House passed its budget bill for 2012-2013 late last night.
Photo by KUT News
The Texas House passed its budget bill for 2012-2013 late last night.

Texas House Approves Budget Bill

The House approved a budget of $164.5 billion last night for the next biennium with a 98-49 vote, largely along party lines. The budget is around $23 billion smaller than the state's current two-year budget. As expected, the House budget makes deep cuts to public education and health and human services spending.  The legislation now heads to the Senate where changes are expected.

Here's what some state lawmakers are saying about the budget:

"Balancing our state budget requires very difficult choices, and I want to congratulate every Member for their hard work in passing House Bill 1," said Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, in a statement.

"This budget gets our priorities wrong. We need to prioritize quality education and keeping nursing homes open instead of protecting corporate tax loopholes and hoarding the Rainy Day Fund," said Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, in his statement.

Southwest Airlines Continues Inspections

Southwest Airlines, Austin Bergstrom International Airport’s biggest carrier, is continuing inspections of some of its planes.  The Dallas-based airline has found sub-surface cracks in three more of its planes.  A Boeing 737 had to make an emergency landing in Yuma, Ariz. on Friday. According to the Associated Press, another Southwest flight from Oakland to San Diego last night had to divert to Los Angeles due to a burning electrical smell.  Hundreds of flights were canceled over the weekend.  A few Southwest flights heading through ABIA were canceled this morning, so travelers should check their flight status.

Texas A&M Heads to National Championship Game

The Texas A&M women’s basketball team is headed to its first national championship game ever.  The Aggies beat Stanford 63-62 in the final seconds of last night's  semi-final game.  Now Texas A&M and Notre Dame, both the number two seeds in their regions, will battle it out for the national title Tuesday night in Indianapolis, Ind.