House Appropriations Chairman John Zerwas, R-Richmond, and Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound.
<p>House Appropriations Chairman John Zerwas, R-Richmond, and Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound.</p>

Texas Legislature sends $217 billion budget to Gov. Abbott

Amid increased talk of a special session over other issues, both the Texas House and Senate voted Saturday evening to approve a $217 billion, two-year budget, the only bill lawmakers are required to pass.

 
 

Texas lawmakers considered a lot of bills. Can you spot the real ones?

State Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, right, chairman of the House Committee on Calendars,&nbsp;talks with Rep. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin (seated, left) and Chris Paddie, R-Marshall (center) in a packed room on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at the Capitol.
<p><span>State Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, right, chairman of the House Committee on Calendars,&nbsp;talks with Rep. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin (seated, left) and Chris Paddie, R-Marshall (center) in a packed room on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at the Capitol.</span></p>

How close have you been paying attention during the 85th Texas Legislative session? Take this quiz to see how well you can distinguish between real bills and fake ones.

The Brief: It's the Texas Legislature's last weekend — for this session

A handful of tourists hang around outside the Texas Capitol on May 11, 2017 as the House faces a midnight deadline that will ultimately end in the death of scores of bills in the 85th Legislature.&nbsp;
<p>A handful of tourists hang around outside the Texas Capitol on May 11, 2017 as the House faces a midnight deadline that will ultimately end in the death of scores of bills in the 85th Legislature.&nbsp;</p>

As the Texas Legislature heads into its final weekend before the regular session ends Monday, lots of parts at the Capitol are still churning.

Analysis: Oversized tweets from a Texas trainwreck

The Big 3 &mdash; Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker of the House Joe Straus &mdash; on the dais in the House chamber for a joint session memorializing the nation's veterans, on May 27, 2017.
<p>The Big 3 &mdash; Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker of the House Joe Straus &mdash; on the dais in the House chamber for a joint session memorializing the nation's veterans, on May 27, 2017.</p>

It's the last Saturday of the legislative session — a day combining long, boring periods of inactivity with high levels of drama. In other words: perfect for a wandering mind.

Patrick, Straus deadlocked over "bathroom bill"

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, left, and House Speaker Joe Straus, right, from dueling press conferences they each held on May 26, 2017.
<p>Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, left, and House Speaker Joe Straus, right, from dueling press conferences they each held on May 26, 2017.</p>

In dueling press conferences Friday evening, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus revealed themselves at an impasse over bathroom regulations that could prompt Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special session.

Legislature largely maintaining cuts to therapy services for disabled children

State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, talks with Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, on the House floor April 25, 2017. &nbsp;Zerwas is co-chair of the House/Senate conference committee studying the state budget which had its organization meeting Monday.&nbsp;
<p>State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, talks with Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, on the House floor April 25, 2017. &nbsp;Zerwas is co-chair of the House/Senate conference committee studying the state budget which had its organization meeting Monday.&nbsp;</p>

The House grudgingly voted to accept the Senate's supplemental budget proposal, which would not restore funding for disabled children's therapy services.

Sweeping anti-abortion bill heads to governor's desk

State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, chairs the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on March 27, 2017. &nbsp;The committee is consider several bills related to long-term care facilities including S.B. 1130 by Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa and others. &nbsp;
<p>State Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, chairs the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on March 27, 2017. &nbsp;The committee is consider several bills related to long-term care facilities including S.B. 1130 by Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa and others. &nbsp;</p>

Texas senators voted Friday to send a bill banning the most common second-trimester abortion procedure and changing how health care facilities handle fetal remains to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. 

 

Behind closed doors, Texas lawmakers strip funding for sex trafficking victims

Pimps send their victims to "walk the track" on a stretch of Bissonnet Street in Houston. Anti-trafficking efforts in Texas have focused more on putting pimps in prison than rehabilitating their prey.
Pimps send their victims to "walk the track" on a stretch of Bissonnet Street in Houston. Anti-trafficking efforts in Texas have focused more on putting pimps in prison than rehabilitating their prey.

Lawmakers cut a $3 million initiative to help victims of sex trafficking, ending child welfare advocates' hopes that 2017 would be the year they would finally see funds set aside to help children who had been sold for sex.