69.2 F
Fort Worth
Monday, September 21, 2020
- Advertisements -
Government Transportation deal reached in Austin

Transportation deal reached in Austin

Other News

Exxon’s oil slick

Exxon Mobil is slashing its capital spending budget for 2020 by 30% due to weak demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a market...

Folk music’s Mark Twain: 7 Essential tracks from John Prine,

NEW YORK (AP) — Some people, the songs just come out of them. For nearly half a century, they tumbled out of John Prine...

Tarrant County records another COVID-19 death

Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) on Wednesday, April 8 reported that a resident of Euless has died as the result of the COVID-19 virus....

Tradition stymied: A year unlike any since WWII for Augusta

The Masters is so intertwined with Augusta, they added an extra day to spring break.You see, the first full week of April isn't just...
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.

CHRIS TOMLINSON,Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas lawmakers reached a deal Friday to increase funding for roads and bridges — if voters approve a constitutional amendment in November 2014.

Republican Sen. Robert Nichols, the author of the measure, said negotiators from the House and Senate had agreed to divert revenue from the Rainy Day Fund and only needed to fix a few details about how to maintain a minimum balance in it. Ultimately the Legislative Budget Board would determine what that balance should be and have authority to cut off funding for transportation if more money is needed for the fund.

Experts say Texas needs an additional $4 billion in the state budget to maintain the current road network, but the Republican majority refuses to consider raising taxes. Instead they have proposed taking an estimated $848 million in oil and gas taxes that would normally flow into the Rainy Day Fund to help pay for transportation. Nichols said the money would only be spent on non-toll roads and bridges and could not be spent to pay off debt.

But the dedication of oil and gas revenues to the fund is set out in the Texas Constitution, so in order to divert that money lawmakers must pass a constitutional amendment. That requires a two-thirds vote in both chambers and the approval of a majority of voters.

Sen. Tommy Williams, the Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said Texas residents will get to vote on the measure in 2014, after they vote on tapping the Rainy Day Fund for water projects this November.

“It’s appropriate that we give voters time to look at this,” he said.

Members of the House and Senate have been debating for weeks on the diversion of funds. Senate negotiators wanted a minimum balance for the Rainy Day Fund written into the state constitution, while House negotiators wanted to maintain the current flexibility for tapping it. Allowing the 10-member Legislative Budget Board to study what the minimum balance should be and to decide how to maintain it would go into law, but not the constitution, under the deal announced Friday.

The House and Senate are scheduled to meet again Monday to give final approval. The second special session of 2013 ends on Tuesday.

___

- Advertisements -
- Advertisements -

Latest News

From abortion access to immigration, the battle over the open Supreme Court seat will affect Texas for a generation

By Abby Livingston, The Texas Tribune Sept. 20, 2020 "From abortion access to immigration,...

Tropical Storm Beta churns slowly toward Texas and Louisiana

By JUAN A. LOZANO Associated PressHOUSTON (AP) — Tropical Storm Beta trudged toward the coasts of Texas and Louisiana on Sunday, threatening...

Can Trump and McConnell get through the 4 steps to seat a Supreme Court justice in just 6 weeks?

Caren Morrison, Georgia State University United States Supreme Court...

Trump backs proposed deal to keep TikTok operating in US; Texas mentioned as HQ

By STAN CHOE AP Business WriterNEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump said Saturday he's given his "blessing" to a proposed deal...

Texas bars and distilleries rip Gov. Greg Abbott for leaving them out of “unacceptable” reopening plan

By Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff, The Texas Tribune Sept. 19, 2020 "Texas bars and distilleries rip...