Texas House to review transportation bill


by JESSICA VESS / KVUE News & Chief Photojournalist SCOTT GUEST

Bio | Email | Follow: @JessicaV_KVUE


Posted on August 5, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Updated Monday, Aug 5 at 1:15 PM

AUSTIN -- A vote among members of the Texas House of Representatives on a controversial transportation bill could come as soon as Monday evening.

Governor Rick Perry called a third special session because lawmakers couldn’t reach a deal on the bill by the time the second special session expired last week.

“When it comes to special sessions the Governor, in many ways, has something legislators want and that's freedom at the end of the session. It also gives the governor a degree of agenda control,” explained James R. Henson, Ph.D. of the Texas Politics Project.

Perry charged the Legislature with developing a plan that would send additional funds to the Texas Department of Transportation for road improvements and expansions without increasing taxes or fees.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate agreed on a plan that would divert more than $840 million a year from the state’s Rainy Day account to the Texas Department of Transportation. They disagreed on whether to set a floor so that the account wouldn’t fall below a specific balance.

Almost immediately following the start of the third special session, the State Senate passed a road funding plan. The bill must now pass in the House.

The House is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. Monday following a committee meeting.

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