The Texas House today gave final approval to a measure to withdraw nearly a billion dollars from the state's Rainy Day fund to help jump start highway construction, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  The transportation funding bill was the main reason Gov. Rick Perry called lawmakers into special session, but the session was side tracked first by political redistricting and then by a very emotional fight over abortion.


  The Rainy Day Fund withdrawal still has to be approved by the voters, and may not be easy.  Tea Party Republicans oppose making any withdrawals from the fund, claiming that the fund is for emergencies like natural disasters, and any withdrawals will leave the state 'holding out its hand' waiting for the federal government to help.  Democrats say if the Rainy Day fund can be tapped for roads and water projects, it should be tapped for schools and social program as well.


  The State Senate still has to give final approval to the measure before the Special Session adjourns on Tuesday.


  The House also allowed a new sentence for 17 year olds who commit in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years...when the punk killer is 57 years old.