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Amendment Would Provide Money for Roads and Water

Daniel Reese
A new transportation working group has reconvened to find a way to connect regional mass transit lines in Central Texas that include highway managed lanes and rail lines.

A plan approved today by the Texas Senate Finance Committee would spend a lot of money on water and road projects if Texas voters give the go-ahead.

A constitutional amendment proposed by committee chair Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, would tap into the Rainy Day Fund, which is money mostly from the state’s gas and oil tax revenues, for transportation and water projects.

Roads and highways would get $3.5 billion. Water plans would get $2.5 billion. The Senate Finance Committee approved the measure, but several lawmakers said dollars also need to go back into schools.

Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, was among them and requested “that we will not only discuss and address but we will resolve this issue of funding for public education.”

Williams said putting money toward public education would need more discussion.

"I didn’t want to be a part of just throwing money over the fence to make a political statement," he said. "I want to make a difference."

Because the measure would amend the constitution, voters will have a say on it in November. But before that, the Senate floor will debate it next.

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