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State Senate Approves 23-Percent TxDOT Budget Hike

AUSTIN (AP) - The Texas Senate has approved a plan to boost the Texas Department of Transportation's budget by 23 percent at a time when most state agencies are bracing for deep cuts.

The Senate transportation budget passed Wednesday is for $19.5 billion. That's $3.3 billion more than the House version approved April 3.

Republican state Rep. Drew Darby of San Angelo who helped oversee the plan says the increase will address dire infrastructure needs.

Large bridge projects, road repair and decreasing urban traffic congestion are some of the areas where the money would be spent.

Taxes, fees and bonds would fund it. The Austin American-Statesman reports that the resulting debt for all that borrowing, about $257 million over two years, would mainly come from the state's already troubled general fund.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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