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Rodney Ellis
Texas Senate passes first bill of session, road funding plan

The Texas Senate approved the first bill of the legislative session on Wednesday, with speedy passage of a plan to shift billions of dollars generated by vehicle sales taxes to building and maintaining roads strained by the state's booming population. The proposed bill and state constitutional amendment will allow top Texas Republicans to keep campaign promises about bolstering badly needed transportation funding without raising taxes — thus avoiding the ire of their party's most-conservative wing. Lawmakers are constitutionally barred from passing bills during the first two months of a session that began Jan. 13, but Gov. Greg Abbott fast-tracked bills on transportation...

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