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Transportation funding bill filed again

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A Texas state senator has refiled a major transportation funding bill for the special session that starts Monday.

The constitutional amendment from Republican Sen. Robert Nichols of Jacksonville would divert nearly $1 billion a year to build and repair highways. The plan uses oil and gas severance taxes collected and now sent to the state's cash reserve fund.

The House and Senate passed versions of the plan in the first special session, but it failed without a vote because of Tuesday night's filibuster over an abortion restrictions. Gov. Rick Perry has called lawmakers back to the Capitol and transportation is again on the agenda.

Transportation officials say Texas needs to spend an extra $4 billion per year to keep pace its expanding population.

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