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Texas Roundup: State Budget Agreement

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By Staff Reports

Dallas, TX –

Budget Agreement Reached
House and Senate negotiators Thursday approved a state budget for the next two years and sent it to the full chambers for consideration. The $172.5 billion spending plan is about $15 billion less than the current budget. However, money for school operations is contingent on lawmakers agreeing on new distribution formulas. Those discussions could push lawmakers into special session if they don't come up with a plan soon.

Corporal Punishment Bill Approved
The Texas Legislature has approved a final version of a bill requiring schools statewide to contact parents before using any kind of physical punishment. The bill cleared the House only after exempting schools in areas with populations under 50-thousand. The Senate later struck that exclusion and gave parents the right to choose if their kids are spanked. House lawmakers approved that version Thursday night, 80-to-64. The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature.

Storm Death Ruled Accidental Electrocution
The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office has ruled a man whose body was found amid storm debris near downed power lines in Dallas died of accidental electrocution. The body of Robert Ragan, 35, of Dallas was discovered Wednesday, a day after severe storms rolled through North Texas.

New Texas Tech Law School Dean
A law professor in Florida with past ties to Dallas has been named as the new dean of the Texas Tech University School of Law. Darby Dickerson will assume her new duties at the Lubbock campus July 29. She joined the faculty of Stetson University in 1995 and became dean of the law school in 2004. Dickerson formerly worked at the Dallas firm of Locke Purnell Rain Harrell, now Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell.

Mavs Win Western Conference Title
The Dallas Mavericks are headed to the NBA finals. The team scored a fourth quarter comeback to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 100 to 96, and to win in the Western Conference finals, four games to one. The Mavericks will take on the winner of the Eastern Conference series. Miami leads Chicago, three games to one.