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Texas Senate Considers Transportation Fund

Liang Shi, KUT News

One of the matters Gov. Rick Perry is having lawmakers take another look at this month is money for transportation infrastructure.

Today the Senate Finance Committee took up a constitutional amendment that would divert part of the oil and gas taxes from the Rainy Day Fund into a state highway fund.

It was filed by Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, who pointed out today that his plan would send only about $900 million a year into a highway fund. That's far less than what’s considered necessary to keep up with growth and maintenance – a point raised in the committee by Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler.

“It’s a great first step, but if we leave here, if it gets passed out of special session, everybody runs around the state pumping their chest that we fixed the transportation problem,” Eltife said. “It is not going to fix the transportation funding problem in this state.”

“It does not cure the transportation funding problem,” Nichols replied. “It is a good step in that direction.”

“Absolutely,” Eltife said.

If lawmakers pass the plan, it will have to be approved by Texas voters.

Trey Shaar is an All Things Considered producer, reporter and host. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @treyshaar.
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