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Government Senate panel considers transportation funding bill

Senate panel considers transportation funding bill

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

 

JIM VERTUNO,Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas lawmakers are pondering how to solve the state’s billion-dollar problem of paying for roads and other transportation projects.

Gov. Rick Perry this week added transportation funding to the agenda of the special session of the Legislature. The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a Wednesday hearing on a plan to send a portion of oil and gas severance taxes into a special roads fund.

That money now goes into the state’s reserve fund, and the plan by Sen. Robert Nichols of Jacksonville could divert billions toward building roads. Such a move would require a constitutional amendment approved by voters statewide.

State transportation leaders say Texas needs about $4 billion more per year on roads, even after a decade-long spike in highway construction and maintenance.

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