AUSTIN (KXAN) - The 2013 legislative session is now in the homestretch, and last week's deal on a state budget could help lawmakers avoid having to stay in Austin for the summer.
House-Senate negotiators came to an agreement on the state's two-year spending plan that restores much of the $4 billion cut from public education last year. The agreement must be formally approved by both chambers before being sent to Gov. Rick Perry.
But when it does reach the governor's desk, it could face a big obstacle: It falls short of the $1.8 billion in tax relief that the governor says it will take to get his signature. If Perry vetoes the budget, it's back to square one for lawmakers.
Other items still not finally past are deals to shore up the state's water and transportation infrastructures and the proposal to allow concealed handgun permit holders to carry those guns insides college campus buildings. A bill has already cleared the House and has made it through the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.
Lawmakers are facing a fast-ticking clock. The session ends May 27.
See the full edition of KXAN's In Session, In-Depth -- including Josh Hinkle's roundtable discussion with Mike Ward of the Austin American-Statesman and Bob Garrett of The Dallas Morning News -- by clicking on the videos above.
University of Texas System regents say they're planning to discuss the employment of Austin campus President Bill Powers, who has sparred with lawmakers and critics over his job in recent years.
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