Roads, sentencing bills advance; abortion looms - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Roads, sentencing bills advance; abortion looms

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Key transportation and juvenile justice bills are advancing in the Texas Senate, marking the first committee actions of the second 30-day special session.

One diverts nearly $1 billion per year from the state's cash reserve fund to pay for new roads and maintenance. Transportation leaders say Texas needs to spend $4 billion more annually to meet demand.

The Senate Finance committee unanimously approved the proposal Tuesday, sending it to the full Senate.

Moments later, the chamber's Criminal Justice Committee passed a proposal to have Texas more closely adhere to a U.S. Supreme Court decision banning mandatory life prison sentences without parole for 17-year-olds.

Both issues have been overshadowed by a sweeping abortion restrictions bill that a House committee hears later. Hundreds of protesters on both sides are expected to attend.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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