The Texas Senate has preliminarily passed a $300 million border security bill -- one of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's priorities and part of a sweeping, $800 million border package.
Senators voted 27-4 Tuesday to advance the bill. It needs a final Senate vote, then heads back to the House, which must agree upon tweaks.
The plan includes hiring hundreds of new troopers to guard the Texas-Mexico border, where they'll replace National Guard troops that then-Gov. Rick Perry deployed last summer.
Also included in the proposal is allowing state troopers to work 50-hour weeks, and a provision for a committee to eventually oversee Department of Public Safety border activities.
Republican Sen. Brian Birdwell, the bill's Senate sponsor, said the border security measure addresses the "No. 1 concern in Texans' mind."