But what passed wasn't nearly as ambitious as originally proposed.
Sen. Dan Patrick's bill would increase the cap on the number of licenses to operate charter schools statewide from the current 215 up to 305 by September 2019.
It passed 30-1 on Thursday with surprisingly little debate. Democrats and Republicans alike then congratulated Patrick.
The measure now heads to the House, where it faces a tougher road.
Patrick had originally pushed for lifting entirely the cap on licenses, and creating a special board to oversee a flood of new applications he expected would follow.
But Patrick said the bill that passed is "much, much better" than the original.
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