Senate Votes for "Transparent" TxDOT

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Traffic congestion on Interstate 35 in Austin. The freeway through central Austin is among the state's most congested road segments, according to a TxDOT study.
Traffic congestion on Interstate 35 in Austin. The freeway through central Austin is among the state's most congested road segments, according to a TxDOT study.

The Texas Department of Transportation Sunset bill that got caught up in the backlog of legislation last session passed the Senate today.

Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, introduced the bill, and said it is designed to increase the transparency of the agency, from setting up a hotline to report fraud or abuse, to requiring the agency to develop a "public involvement" policy and come up with a better system to track complaints.

The bill also addresses commission member ethics — including rules surrounding campaign contributions, lobbying or business relationships with transportation-related industries. And it requires annual "cash flow" and other financial reporting to ensure the agency's fiscal health. 

“It will help ensure transparency, accountability and maintain public trust,” Hinojosa said. 

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