- Associated Press - Monday, June 1, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s first biennial legislative session is over. If you didn’t follow along the last 140 days, this is what you missed:

1. YOU’LL VOTE ON GIVING YOURSELF A MODEST TAX BREAK

But only if you’re a homeowner. And the average of roughly $120 a year you’ll save on property taxes if voters ratify the cuts in November that could be swallowed by fast-rising home appraisals.

2. BORDER SECURITY SPENDING MORE THAN DOUBLED

Republicans ran on border security in the 2014 elections and backed up those promises by ponying up a record $800 million for more state troopers, cameras and a spy plane to patrol the Mexico border. Democrats slammed it as overkill at a time when crime is falling and no crises are roiling the 1,200-mile Texas-Mexico border.

3. HOLSTERED HANDGUNS NOW ALLOWED IN FULL VIEW

Gun owners had spent the last 20 years needing to keep their handguns hidden. College campuses will also allow concealed handguns starting in 2016, but universities have leeway to carve out “gun-free zones” in a concession to chancellors who urged lawmakers to keep firearms out of classrooms.

4. FEW NEW DOLLARS GOING TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Lawmakers mostly stood pat instead of throwing more money at a school finance system that the Texas Supreme Court could dismantle anyway later this year. If that happens, the Legislature might have to return before 2017 and figure out a more equitable way to pay for educating 5.2 million students.

5. GOP DEFIANCE OVER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE FIZZLES

Texas didn’t add any new anti-gay marriage laws to blunt the impact if the U.S. Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage this summer. Republicans settled for giving pastors the right to refuse officiating gay weddings, which was fine with gay rights groups.

6. ‘TEXAS DREAM ACT’ SURVIVES

Abbott still opposes Texas’ practice of giving the in-state tuition breaks to children brought into the U.S. illegally. But another session of get-tough immigration measures pushed by conservatives came to nothing.

7. EPILEPSY PATIENTS GET ACCESS TO CANNABIS OIL

The low levels prescribed under the law can’t get anyone high. But backers of marijuana reform consider it a milestone in a state that has long refused to consider relaxing pot laws.

8. MONEY LEFT ON THE TABLE

Republicans didn’t touch $12 billion in the state’s Rainy Day Fund and they granted a $3.8 billion package of tax cuts that could diminish revenues. Critics predict it’ll come back to haunt lawmakers in 2017 and force tough decisions over already tight spending.

9. TIGHTER RULES FOR TEENAGERS SEEKING ABORTIONS

Girls under 18 can no longer use abuse as a reason to seek a judge’s permission to get an abortion. About 300 teenagers in Texas each year get judicial approval to end a pregnancy.

10. ETHICS REFORMS STALL

But lawmakers did change the rules so that if they’re charged with public corruption, they’ll be prosecuted in the hometowns that elected them instead of Austin.

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