Texas Lawmakers Go Into Another Special Session On Transportation Funding
by: Gail Delaughter, July 30, 2013 4:07:00 pm
Both the House and Senate adjoined after failing to act on a proposed constitutional amendment that would boost transportation spending by close to $900 million a year.
Under that proposal, the money would come from oil and gas tax revenues that currently go into the state's rainy day fund.
Rice University Political Science Chair Mark Jones says it appeared lawmakers were close to an agreement, but the deal was unraveled by members on opposite sides of the political spectrum.
"You had Democrats opposing it because it placed a potential floor on how much funding could go toward transportation."
And conservatives didn't like it:
"Because it didn't place a high enough cap on rainy day funds, so there was a fear that the rainy day fund could be drained to a perilously low level."
If that proposed amendment wins legislative approval this time around, it's expected to go before voters in 2014.
Experts say the funding proposal falls short of the $4 billion the state actually needs for future transportation projects.