History of LWV-TX Action on Trasportation

2006: The League opposed the proposed route for the Trans-Texas Corridor because local and regional planning groups had concerns about economic and environmental effects which were not addressed, their recommendations were not included in the route selection, and major population centers were not connected in a seamless manner.

2007: The LWV-TX opposed HB1892 (Smith) a moratorium bill on Trans-Texas Corridor (includes many other toll roads). Highways 1604 and 281 were not included in this moratorium. Some north Texas roads which had been approved were not in the moratorium. The bill passed by the legislature was vetoed by the governor.

2013: During the last legislative session, transportation bills were followed but few were passed. The major legislation involved a proposed constitutional amendment to allow funds from the Rainy Day Fund to be utilized for infrastructure repair and expansion. The amendment legislation passed but did not appear on the same ballot as the water amendment in November 2013. The Texas Department of Transportation was challenged to utilize funds in as efficient way as possible, which resulted in gravel on some rural roads instead of paving. Effects on roads from oil/gas drilling trucks were a concern. There has been much uproar since then and projects have been redirected. Both House and Senate committees were concerned with congestion + e.g., on I35 W and I35 E + but with limited funds could come up with no funding solution.

Transportation will be a high priority in the coming legislature. High speed rail from Houston to the D/FW metroplex, plus the Mexico to Oklahoma City corridor rail, are being addressed by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). Interim charges include: passenger and freight rail are to be evaluated through a review of the Rail Division of TxDOT, and the port system will be evaluated through a review of the Maritime Division of TxDOT. There was a constitutional amendment on funding that will be on the ballot in November 2014 for use for road infrastructure and improvement. Our current positions enable us to address the proposed legislation in a favorable fashion.