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Texas News Minute

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HOUSTON (AP) - Everything is bigger in Texas, including population booms. Figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau show that four of the five fastest-growing large cities in the U.S. during the 12 months leading up to last July 1 were in Texas. Local and state officials attribute the growth to various factors, including the Texas' robust job market and the cities' diversified economies, lower costs of living and skilled workforces that earn higher wages.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A push for a "bathroom bill" in Texas is coming down to the wire even as proposed restroom restrictions for transgender people have largely faltered in legislatures across the country. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday he's hopeful that lawmakers will soon hatch a deal that would make Texas the first state to pass a bill reminiscent of North Carolina's controversial 2016 law known as HB2. The legislative session ends Monday.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas Legislature has approved expanded state penal codes prohibiting bestiality, sending them to Gov. Greg Abbott. The Senate on Thursday passed changes the House made to bill originally approved by the Senate. It seeks to formally ban "sexual assault of an animal." Texas already prohibits bestiality. But the bill makes it a separate crime under the penal code, defining 10 categories of offenses. Those include "contact between" peoples' mouths or genitals and an animal's genitals or mouth.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas lawmakers say they've finalized a $217 billion state budget deal with only a few days left to deliver the spending bill to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. The compromise announced Thursday by House and Senate budget leaders boosts funding for the state's troubled child welfare agency but includes no new money for public schools.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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