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."
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.