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State Hits Brakes on Private Capitol Projects

KUT News staff

State lawmakers want a do-over on the idea of letting private interests develop parts of the Capitol complex. The Sunset Advisory Commission today put a freeze on all development proposals.

State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, says the Legislature made a mistake two years ago when it put the framework in place.

“We ought to have totally off-limits the Capitol complex,” Whitmire said. “I cannot imagine, as I’ve heard, they want to allow the private sector to build condos on Capitol grounds. It’s just … our children, grandchildren, are going to think somebody really lost their mind.”

Whitmire mentioned a possible Pizza Hut, as well as a residence and planetarium development, as projects that are frozen immediately. He says the freeze, effective until Sept. 1, will give lawmakers time to permanently stop projects in the pipeline.