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Senators reject proposal to cut taxes in road-funding bill

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The sudden buy-in from Abbott is significant, and stands apart from other Republican governors who have kept distance from similar proposals or outright rejected them over the past year.

Members of the Texas House of Representatives voted Wednesday to approve House Bill 100 by Representative Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) establishing statewide regulation of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft. In addition, it would ban all public buildings and school districts from enacting or enforcing any gender affirming protection not abiding with state law.

The Texas House adopted the amendment 90-52. Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction, or ASATR, is set to expire in September, with about 250 or so small, rural school districts depending on it to keep their doors open.

If passed, the legal and policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, Rebecca Robertson, said the bill would put many Texas public schools "between a rock and a hard place".

"We have a chance to fix the school finance system in the state of Texas".

Still, even after the 19-to-0 vote in the Senate on Wednesday, key disagreements need to be sorted out if a version of House Bill 23 is going to end up on Gov. Bill Walker's desk this year.

"While our system is lawful, it is terrible", Huberty said Wednesday.

Pence says trade with South Korea must change
Pence's economic discussions in Tokyo will be closely watched to see how hard a line Washington is prepared to take on trade. Vice foreign minister Han told the Associated Press last week that North Korea was prepared to handle a war with the U.S.

4/20 pot celebrations marked by arrests at U.S. Capitol
The demonstration Thursday was intended as a protest against federal interference with states that have legal pot. Three people were charged with intent to distribute, and four were charged with possession, authorities said.

Trump administration confirms that Iran complied with nuclear deal
Tillerson said that decision will be made as part of a governmentwide review of Iran policy now under way. The US State Department must update Congress on Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal every 90 days.

Opponents in the business community have released several studies warning that Texas faces an economic backlash of billions of dollars if the state passes any version of a bathroom bill although Republicans backers have dismissed those numbers with skepticism.

"We promised our taxpayers not to write a hot check for school finance", said Rep Matt Schaefer of Tyler. He tried to derail the entire bill using a House legislative maneuver, but was unsuccessful.

Political infighting halted past efforts to enact such a rule, including an intense push a year ago that went nowhere despite support from public safety employee labor unions, the governor, and various lawmakers, Democrat and Republican.

Houston Democratic Rep. Harold Dutton said Darby's change would only exacerbate the larger problems of a fundamentally flawed system.

"It essentially puts new paint on a vehicle that doesn't run", Dutton said.

"It's this constant reminder that society kind of looks at you as less", Schelling testified, before receiving a round of applause from the audience.

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