TX Speaker Straus Creates Road Funding Panel

Photograph of a highway
Photograph of a highway

It's no secret the state's on a long, winding road to solve its road funding problems. House Speaker Joe Straus is addressing it with the creation of a new panel, the House Select Committee on Transportation Funding. The goal? Shining a brighter light on the state's transportation policy, which has been a source of some mystery and controversy over recent years.

“Texans expect a fiscally sound transportation policy that meets the infrastructure and mobility challenges of our growing state," said Speaker Straus. "Our transportation agency must be accountable and efficient." 

State Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, will serve as chairman, and State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin will be vice-chair.

The Subcommittee on Funding:

State Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo

State Rep. Patricia Harless, R-Spring

State Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi

State Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, D-San Antonio

State Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso

State Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Keller

The Subcommittee on Planning and Accountability:

State Representative Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City

State Rep. Roberto Alonzo, D-Dallas

State Rep. Bill Callegari, R-Katy

State Rep. Edmund Kuempel, R-Seguin

State Rep. Armando "Mando" Martinez, D-Weslaco

State Rep. Wayne Smith, R-Baytown

State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston

The committee members have their work cut out for them. The Legislature — and by extension, the state — doesn't have the money to build more roads. TxDOT is expected to run out of cash for new roads by 2012, unless the state raises revenue (Senate Transportation Chair John Carona wants to let communities vote to approve gas tax hikes) or outsources road-building by building more toll roads. 

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