The Texas Senate has approved a beefed-up texting while driving ban that pre-empts existing ordinances against distracted driving in 45 cities statewide.
In May, the Republican-controlled Legislature made Texas one of the country's last states to outlaw texting while driving. But Gov. Greg Abbott convened a special session and called for superseding a "patchwork" of previous local rules.
Wednesday's 20-11 approval means a final, largely formulaic vote will send the measure to the state House.
The Legislature first approved a statewide texting while driving ban in 2011, but then-Gov. Rick Perry vetoed it.
The issue won momentum after a March church bus crash killed 13 people. Federal investigators say the driver of the pickup truck that hit the bus was checking for a text when the crash occurred.