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Keyword: txlegislature

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  • Lawmakers advance bill to remove Trans-Texas Corridor wording from state statutes

    05/25/2011 10:07:49 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 10 replies
    The Austin American-Statesman ^ | May 24, 2011 | Ben Wear
    Will the governor sign the death certificate for his brainchild? The House unanimously voted late Monday to accept Senate changes to House Bill 1201, Rep. Lois Kolkhorst's legislation that would remove all references to the Trans-Texas Corridor from state statutes. And, oh yes, allow an 85 mph speed limit on certain roads completed after June. The bill now goes to Gov. Rick Perry for his signature, or his veto. For now, the only road likely to qualify for the 85 mph limit will be the southern 40 miles of the Texas 130 tollway, now under construction between the southeast outskirts...
  • Senate votes to drive final stake through Trans Texas Corridor

    05/22/2011 7:35:03 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 58 replies
    The Dallas Morning News ^ | May 21, 2011 | Christy Hoppe
    AUSTIN — The ceremony was brief and drew few mourners, but the Trans Texas Corridor is finally dead. The Senate unanimously passed a bill that strikes from state law any language, reference and authority once connected to the massive highway envisioned to slice a swath through Texas. The same measure already has passed the House. There are some minor differences that still need to be reconciled, but the bill is expected to go to Gov. Rick Perry, who will have to decide whether to join in the final rites for his once-prized project. Legislators did keep a provision that was...
  • Freshman lawmakers getting respect now (leaders pay heed to the anti-tax wave of GOP newcomers)

    04/01/2011 2:36:21 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 2 replies
    Houston Chronicle ^ | March 31, 2011 | Joe Holley and gary Scharrer
    "I don't pay any attention to freshmen," said Elliott Naishtat, D-Austin, on the day he and his fellow House members began voting on proposals that would slice more than $20 billion from the current budget and the 2012-2013 spending plan. Normally, the good-natured disdain expressed by the House veteran of two decades is universal, but not this session. Because of their numbers - 37 new members, 31 of them Republicans - and because of the cost-cutting, anti-tax zeal that got so many of them elected during last fall's GOP avalanche, House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts,...
  • Dierschke: Time to terminate Trans-Texas Corridor

    04/23/2009 6:49:17 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 13 replies · 568+ views
    Southwest Farm Press ^ | April 23, 2009 | Southwest Farm Press
    The state’s largest farm organization is in favor of legislation that would terminate the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) in both name and concept. Texas Farm Bureau President Kenneth Dierschke expressed support for HB 11 by State Rep. David McQuade Leibowitz (D-San Antonio), which repeals the authority for the establishment and operation of the massive transportation project. “We hope you will agree with us that it is finally time to kill the Trans-Texas Corridor,” Dierschke testified before the House Transportation Committee on April 21. Although the farm organization recognizes the need to build and maintain Texas’ infrastructure, Dierschke said Texas Farm Bureau...
  • Texas lawmakers to weigh private road deals against tax increases

    01/12/2009 4:28:45 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 17 replies · 617+ views
    WFAA ^ | January 12, 2009 | Michael A. Lindenberger (Dallas Morning News)
    Two years ago, lawmakers went to war with Gov. Rick Perry over his push to privatize Texas toll roads, but their efforts to stop the idea largely failed. As they return Tuesday to launch the 2009 legislative session, lawmakers will be faced with a choice of either raising taxes – which both Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst have called a bad idea – or giving private companies a greater role in paying for, and operating, a fast-expanding network of toll roads. The two-year moratorium on private road deals that passed in 2007 slowed but didn't kill Perry's plan to...
  • Texas lawmakers to focus on transportation politics

    01/02/2009 7:00:12 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 9 replies · 639+ views ^ | December 31, 2008 | Kelley Shannon (Associated Press)
    AUSTIN, Texas — If anyone wondered whether Texas toll road rage had subsided or lawmakers' irritation at the Texas Department of Transportation had eased, those questions got answered a few days before Christmas: Not so much. Denouncing the massive transportation agency as dysfunctional and out of control, a group of lawmakers reviewing the department said it will be intensely debated in the legislative session that begins Jan. 13. "This is a big agency that is a mess," said Rep. Carl Isett, a Lubbock Republican and one of the leaders of the Sunset Advisory Commission that periodically examines state agencies. He...
  • The New Year May Bring Some Changes in the Capitol

    12/29/2008 4:04:57 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 8 replies · 457+ views
    The Tribune ^ | December 29, 2008 | Dave McNeely
    The Texas Legislature is coming back Jan. 13, and change may be in the air. The Sunset Advisory Commission, by a narrow margin, recently voted to abolish the five-member commission that oversees the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDoOT), and replace it with a single commissioner. This is but the latest in the continuing evolution of Texas state government. When legislators think an agency isn’t working right, the urges generally are to change the agency’s personnel; to change the agency’s structure; to combine it with some other agency; to investigate it; or to abolish it. Such it is with TxDOT. In...
  • Texas bills pursue transportation money, tackle corridor plan

    12/21/2008 6:50:19 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 10 replies · 647+ views
    Land Line Magazine ^ | December 19, 2008 | Keith Goble
    Confronted with a struggling transportation fund, lawmakers in Texas soon are expected to wage battle on various methods to help generate $14 billion for roads and bridges throughout the state. Another bill is intended to sideline the planned Trans-Texas Corridor. A report released this week from the Texas Department of Transportation says that the state will need to come up with $313 billion by 2030 for road and bridge maintenance and for congestion solutions. The report’s unveiling happened a couple of weeks before the Texas Legislature is set to convene its 2009 session. Lawmakers say they already were committed to...
  • Panel suggests transportation board changes

    12/16/2008 6:22:34 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 4 replies · 330+ views
    The Houston Chronicle ^ | December 16, 2008 | The Associated Press
    AUSTIN — Legislators scrutinizing the embattled Texas Department of Transportation voted Tuesday to recommend replacing the existing five-member appointed transportation commission with a single commissioner. The Sunset Advisory Commission voted 7-5 for the recommendation, which would have to win approval in the full Legislature in the spring to take effect. Several senators on the sunset panel voted against the proposal, raising questions about whether the idea would make it through the Senate.
  • Anti-toll guerrilla has moved on down the road

    11/19/2008 11:54:28 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 16 replies · 845+ views
    The Austin American-Statesman ^ | November 17, 2008 | Ben Wear
    Texas politicians who support toll roads won't have Sal Costello to kick them around anymore. Costello and his family moved to a small town in Southern Illinois this summer. He announced it on his blog Sunday, quietly, an adverb seldom associated with Costello in the past. Costello, if you're new around here or have forgotten, was a Southwest Austin graphics designer who in 2004 made a warp-speed trip from obscurity to notoriety after politicians pushed through a plan to build seven more toll roads. The plan included putting tolls on three roads that were already under construction using nothing but...
  • Lawmaker files bill to repeal Texas Corridor

    11/15/2008 5:23:53 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 22 replies · 616+ views
    The Temple Daily Telegram ^ | November 14, 2008 | Fred Afflerbach
    A San Antonio lawmaker filed a bill that would repeal the establishment and operation of the Trans-Texas Corridor. It’s not the first time he’s done so. In the 2007 legislative session, Rep. David Leibowitz filed an identical bill, but it languished in the House Transportation Committee without a hearing. Leibowitz spokesman Rob Borja said the legislation may have a better fate the second time around. At least four of the nine committee members will change this session, including the chairman. “Probably most important is there will be a new chairman, because the old chairman Mike Krusee wouldn’t let any bills...
  • Is Trans-Texas Corridor dead or only undead?

    11/01/2008 7:19:24 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 9 replies · 573+ views
    The Temple Daily Telegram ^ | October 31, 2008 | Fred Afflerbach
    Put a fork in it. That’s what two Texas politicians recently said about the controversial Trans-Texas Corridor. “Everybody in Austin knows it’s dead. Everybody across the state knows it’s dead. It’s just something to be talking about,” House Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland, said at a debate in Midland on Oct. 19, according to a published report. But folks fighting the corridor here in Central Texas call it election season bluster. “Yes, they are still planning to do it,” said Mae Smith, Holland mayor. “That’s nothing but political talk. I don’t believe anything Mr. Craddick says, or any politician says prior...
  • Editorial: Collaboration on road issues

    10/21/2008 9:06:44 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 4 replies · 370+ views
    The Dallas Morning News ^ | October 21, 2008 | The Dallas Morning News
    Savor the occasional cause for optimism that top leaders can value teamwork over turf in the contentious area of transportation financing. Take the years of squabbling over how Texas can scrape up billions of dollars to catch up with road-building needs. Suddenly, there's positive movement, first from Gov. Rick Perry last week. He told this newspaper's transportation writer, Michael Lindenberger, that he would not use his veto to obstruct a move by lawmakers to index the lagging motor-fuels tax to inflation. "If it is the will of the people, and of the Legislature, I suspect I would go along with...
  • TxDOT buys time with borrowed funds for Dallas-area projects

    10/06/2008 9:10:47 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 23 replies · 716+ views
    The Dallas Morning News ^ | October 5, 2008 | Michael A Lindenberger
    State transportation officials are poised to issue billions of dollars in debt to help speed road construction, a move that will keep Dallas-area projects on schedule for now but will do little to shore up the state's long-term road-funding crisis. The Texas Department of Transportation will likely begin issuing $1.5 billion in bonds within 60 days, pending the recovery of the nation's upended credit markets, and is taking steps to borrow another $6.4 billion over the next few years. Historic turmoil in the credit markets is already costing the department hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra interest payments each...
  • TxDOT might be in the money again

    09/30/2008 7:43:07 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 5 replies · 296+ views
    The Austin American-Statesman ^ | September 29, 2008 | Ben Wear
    The Texas Department of Transportation, which has alternated between fiscal gluttony and subsistence the past few years, may be about to belly up to a feast again. A feast paid for with money to be borrowed, mind you. Given the state of credit markets, one hesitates to reach for the salt right away. But absent the financial Armageddon that the president and others have been gabbing about, TxDOT might be sitting on an $8 billion stash this time next year. Even in the zero-laden world of government spending, $8 billion would be a significant infusion into TxDOT's budget. Without that...
  • Ogden: TTC plans may be scrapped

    09/12/2008 4:18:04 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 6 replies · 206+ views
    The Taylor Daily Press ^ | September 12, 2008 | Philip Jankowski
    In an interview with the Taylor Daily Press, State Sen. Steve Ogden revealed a possible new course for the controversial Trans-Texas Corridor. Instead of building superhighways across the state, Ogden said, the state may opt to augment the Texas Trunk System, a web of rural highways that includes U.S. 79. The plan would expand those highways to four-lane divided highways, while expanding urban infrastructure with toll roads. “We need to limit that concept to existing highways,” Ogden said of the proposed network of superhighways and tiered rail systems. “I passed a bill last session that did that, but [Gov. Rick...
  • Editorial: Texas leaders' transportation pledge is welcome

    08/27/2008 10:54:52 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 16 replies · 231+ views
    The Dallas Morning News ^ | Tuesday, August 26, 2008 | The Dallas Morning News
    It's good to see the state's top three leaders now on the same page – literally – on at least a few ways to attack the problem of under-funded roadway needs. Breakthrough No. 1 – admitting a problem. Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Tom Craddick – never political chums – all put their signatures on a joint statement last week conceding that Texas' "ability to fund needed transportation projects in the future is limited." Breakthrough No. 2 – committing to specific fixes. The most welcome one was a pledge to quit siphoning off road money...
  • State Agrees to Stop Diverting Highway Construction Money

    08/22/2008 11:53:23 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 14 replies · 340+ views
    WOAI Radio ^ | August 22, 2008 | Jim Forsyth
    Governor Perry and other state leaders have agreed to bring a halt to the practice which some say has led to toll roads...the diversion of money from the state's highway fund to other projects, 1200 WOAI news reports. "Implement a plan that sets a definitive course to end the practice of funding the Department of Public Safety with gas taxes that are needed for road construction, and return to funding the DPS with general revenue," is the first goal in a long term transportation funding plan released by Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, and House Speaker Tom Craddick. 1200 WOAI...
  • Texas wants its public funds to invest in roads

    08/22/2008 10:57:25 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 20 replies · 221+ views
    Reuters ^ | August 21, 2008 | Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Public investment funds based in Texas could invest directly in transportation projects through a new corporation under a plan unveiled on Thursday by the state's legislative leaders and the governor. Texas has the nation's biggest road privatization plan but the legislature, reacting to criticisms that developers were enriching themselves at the expense of taxpayers, enacted a two-year moratorium. That has crimped road-building projects and led to a series of clashes between the governor and the legislature, who now have agreed on a compromise plan. Developers, including overseas companies, investment banks and private equity funds all vie...
  • TxDOT Defends Marketing Strategy to House Committee

    07/21/2008 5:48:48 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 5 replies · 236+ views
    KLBJ News Radio ^ | July 18, 2008 | Newsroom
    Executives from the state highway department are again defending themselves at the Capitol against people who say they are using taxpayer money to advance an agenda in favor of toll roads in Texas. At the heart of the issue are claims that TxDOT has hired lobbyists, using taxpayer dollars, to push in favor of projects like the Trans-Texas Corridor. Part of that is the "Keep Texas Moving" website. "Marketing is undertaken to inform drivers in the Austin area about the opening of new toll roads, toll road locations and incentive periods, and about the benefits of paying with an electronic...