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The Latest: Texas Senate Advances Less-Strict Tree Bill

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Senate has advanced new limits on local tree ordinances — but they aren’t as sweeping as the chamber’s original efforts to virtually wipe out such ordinances across the state.

Senators approved 17-14 on Friday a modified House bill allowing most local ordinances on trees with trunks at least 10-inches in diameter to stand. It also provides ways for homeowners to lessen the impact of fines levied by municipalities for cutting down trees.

That’s similar to a bill both chambers approved during the regular legislative session that ended in May. Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed that and ordered lawmakers into special session, though, saying he wanted more.

The House can now either accept the Senate’s changes or go to conference committee to reach a compromise. The special session ends Wednesday.

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