AUSTIN (KXAN) - Lawmakers are wrapping up much of their work from Special Session #2. Of the three main items on the call -- two were done within a week and a half. This past week, plenty of protestors were on hand as Governor Perry signed a host of new abortion regulations into effect. The law includes a ban on abortions after 20 weeks as well as stricter requirements for abortion providers. Republican supporters who say the laws will make abortions safer prevented any changes from previous abortion bills so they could move it through faster. Opponents say the regulations will force all but five of Texas' 42 abortion clinics to close. Those opponents say the fight isn't over -- vowing to challenge the bills in court.
Gaining much less attention, lawmakers also approved a bill that will create a sentence for 17-year-olds convicted of capital murder. Texas hasn't had a punishment since the Supreme Court barred life sentences or the death penalty for minors.
Facing a more uncertain future is a plan for future road growth in Texas. Members of the State House have a plan that will divert 900 million dollars a year to roads. The money would come from a gasoline tax that currently goes to education. But that goes against a Senate plan that would pay for road projects using money from the Rainy Day Fund. Both sides need to come to an agreement before any plan is approved. Both plans will also require voter approval because they'd be constitutional amendments.
A plan to create a medical school in the Rio Grande Valley is going forward -- as Governor Perry signs another bill into law. With the governor's signature two universities -- UT Pan American and UT Brownsville will merge into one unnamed campus. Senate Bill 24 will also create a new UT Medical School in one of the fastest-growing and poorest areas of the country.
The campaign to be the next governor is continuing to heat up. So far two Republicans Former Texas Workforce Commission Chair Tom Pauken and Attorney General Greg Abbott have thrown their hats in the ring.
Although there are no official announcements, on the Democratic side many eyes are on State Senator Wendy Davis -- who burst onto the national scene for her filibuster against the abortion bills. Also some analysts say San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro could be a potential candidate.
The state's population is growing fast and resources can't keep up, especially water. But the legislature has a plan and it's one that needs your approval. If you vote "yes" this November for a Water Infrastructure Bank, Texas communities will be able to borrow money from the state to build crucial water projects. Right now, the areas at most risk of running out of good water are the urban areas of the state.
Winter is invading Texas with a vengeance as snow, sleet and ice were unleashed on much of northern and western sections of the state.
A man is expected to survive after being stabbed in the head at the Salvation Army shelter in Downtown Austin at about 3:45 a.m. Friday.
Investigators are looking into an overnight fire that left one woman with third-degree burns.
Caldwell County residents gathered Thursday evening to organize their fight against a proposed landfill that they say poses a hazard that they don't need.
The pastor of the Austin church attended by the teacher who was killed Thursday in Benghazi remembered him as a spiritual friend dedicated to improving the lives of others.
As the Austin area prepares itself for an impending winter storm on Friday, Dec. 6, many schools have already announced delays.