By PAUL J. WEBER
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas House has given early passage to an $875 million spending bill that includes immediate relief for public schools and paying for wildfires that ravaged the state in 2011.
The House on Friday overwhelmingly approved the final spending in the current state budget. It includes an extra $500 million for public schools that districts will be able to spend before the end of the year.
One month remains in the 140-day legislative session. Lawmakers can now turn their full attention to hammering out a final budget for 2014-15.
Some lawmakers tried including money for volunteer firefighter training following the deadly explosion last week at a fertilizer plant in West. The proposal failed over protests that the $10 million cost would shortchange a program that helps feed low-income children.
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