AUSTIN -- The Legislature has approved opening a medical school in South Texas' Rio Grande Valley.
The House on Friday passed a constitutional amendment already approved by the Senate which seeks to open, as early as 2016, a medical school along the underserved Texas border with Mexico.
Lawmakers also passed a funding bill for the new school. But that measure included two modifications to the previously approved Senate proposal, meaning both versions will have to be reconciled in conference committee.
The effort has been backed by Gov. Rick Perry and enjoyed widespread, bipartisan support in both chambers.
The new university is projected to enroll 28,000 students, employ 7,000 people and generate $11 million in research expenditures.
The University of Texas System already has pledged $100 million for the project.