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AUSTIN A new state budget plan has cleared the first major vote in the Texas Legislature with passage of a $195.5 billion two-year spending bill in the Senate.

The budget approved Wednesday by the full chamber reflects a 7.7 percent increase in general revenue spending over the current budget that lawmakers cut to the bone in 2011. Following three hours of discussion on the Senate floor, the bill passed 29-2.

Republican leaders in the Senate lauded the 2014-15 budget proposal as making the best of sunnier economic fortunes than two years ago. Public schools gutted of $5.4 billion two years ago would win back about one-fourth of those historic cuts under the Senate bill.

Republican say the bill also leaves room for tax relief.

The bill now moves to the House.

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