AUSTIN -- The 60-day warm-up at the Legislature of ceremonial resolutions and four-day weekends for the Senate is over. Time for lawmakers to roll up their sleeves.Folks around the Capitol like to grouse about how little gets done in the first few weeks of the 140-day legislative session, but the Constitution prevents lawmakers from passing bills during the first 60 days. The idea is to give legislators a chance to figure out what new laws the state needs and for legislators to get to know each other. The newbies need time to figure out how to work the levers of power.The last 80 days are a rapidly accelerating whirlwind, but this year lacks the drama of the 2011 session. For the first time since taking office, Gov. Rick Perry did not declare any emergency items.As he laid the groundwork for his presidential bid in 2011, he named state enforcement of immigration laws, strict voter identification regulations and sonograms before abortions as emergencies.Those bills set off a partisan firestorm last year, fueled by a Republican supermajority in the House. A Democratic lawmaker waved a trans-vaginal sonogram wand on the floor, and civil rights activists rallied on the south steps of the Capitol to unsuccessfully fight the conservative steamroller.Ultimately, though, conservative business leaders defeated the immigration measure behind closed doors, while federal judges threw out the voter ID law and redistricting maps because they discriminated against minorities. Republicans, chastened by 2012 election results that took away their supermajority, are now sensitive to the growing Hispanic electorate and have no desire to resurrect those issues this year.And money always helps.Lawmakers are flush with cash after State Comptroller Susan Combs low-balled the revenue estimate. That means no new cuts to public schools, which lost $5.4 billion in funding in 2011. Democrats have tried to make public education a major issue this year, but so far Republicans have placated them with promises to add more money before the session is over, if they play along.On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee unanimously passed a draft budget that boosted spending by 7.7 percent to $94.1 billion. The House Appropriations Committee will likely pass out their version of the budget this week, and then lawmakers will hammer out the differences in a conference committee. Early drafts have the state adding $1.5 billion to public education in the next two-year budget.Perhaps the hottest topic of the year is Medicaid. Republican and Democratic lawmakers are negotiating a compromise that will allow Texas to expand the health program for the poor and disabled to add more than 1 million people. An investment of $19 billion in state money would bring $100 billion in federal matching funds over the next 10 years.Gov. Rick Perry's hard-line demand for an exemption from federal regulation could make a deal elusive, but that both sides are even talking reveals a surprising readiness to compromise.None of this is to say that stark differences don't persist; only that House Speaker Joe Straus has delivered the serious, workmanlike session he promised, and so far Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has not created what he said would be the most conservative state Senate in Texas history.Conservative lawmakers have introduced new restrictions on abortions, bills to allow guns in more public places and plans to expand funding for charter schools.Hearings on those topics have turned out hundreds on both sides of the issues and sparked partisan debate, yet none have dominated the session.Next week, lawmakers will start passing bills for the governor to sign in greater and greater volume.