- Associated Press - Monday, May 22, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas residents near the Mexico border could soon receive new protection from drones.

Flying unmanned aircraft to survey private property, and any people on it, is currently illegal throughout the state - except within 25 miles of the border. But state lawmakers are advancing a proposal that would also ban such surveillance in the border region.

The state House voted 143-2 on Monday to approve such limits, which now must return to the Texas Senate, whose members had sought to allow drones for purposes of border security.

The bill responds to concerns that border residents are unfairly subject to more surveillance solely because of where they live.

It also expands lawful drone flights to include operations by telecommunications providers and insurance companies that receive Federal Aviation Administration approval.

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