Join The Discussion

 

Obama calls for offshore drilling in Southeast

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Tuesday outlined a politically fraught plan for allowing oil and gas drilling offshore along parts of the Atlantic coast while imposing new restrictions on environmentally fragile waters off northern Alaska.

read more >

Alliance's Hillwood Commons lands first tenant

A large title insurance, property valuation and settlement services company is the first tenant at Hillwood Commons I, an office complex at Alliance Town Center.

read more >

Museum District: Area’s evolution creating more interaction, public spaces

Fifteen years ago if someone had shot a cannon from Fort Worth’s world-renowned museum district, nobody would have noticed, joked Lori Eklund, senior deputy director of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. But that has changed.

read more >

Energy Transfer Partners, Regency Energy announce $18B merger

Energy Transfer Partners LP of Dallas and Regency Energy Partners LP have entered into a definitive merger agreement.

read more >

American Airlines' first 787 Dreamliner arrives at D/FW

American is preparing the plane to begin service sometime in the second quarter.

read more >

 

Perry adds road funding to special session

CHRIS TOMLINSON,Associated Press


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Halfway through the special session, Gov. Rick Perry asked lawmakers on Monday to come up with new funding for transportation projects.

In a statement Perry said the state's growing economy and population made additional spending on roads and bridges necessary.

"As we enjoy the benefits of a booming economy, we have to build and maintain the roads to ensure we sustain both our economic success and our quality of life," Perry said.

In January, Perry called on the Legislature to take $3.7 billion from the state's rainy day fund for infrastructure. Lawmakers agreed to ask voters to approve spending $2 billion from the rainy day fund for water projects, but they did not pass a bill for highways.

Perry called the Legislature into special session on May 27 to approve new political maps, a process that has turned out to be slow-going. Special sessions may only run for 30 days, so lawmakers only have 15 days left to finish redistricting and approve more money for roads.

The governor's announcement also follows close on the heels of conservative criticism that the state is spending too much money this year.

Perry's call will give lawmakers a lot of latitude, saying that they should pass "legislation relating to the funding of transportation infrastructure projects."

State transportation leaders told lawmakers during the regular session that Texas needs to spend about $4 billion more per year on roads, even after a decade-long spike in highway construction and maintenance.

Phil Wilson, executive director of the state Department of Transportation, warned that without extra money, the state faces a "perfect storm" of more people using Texas roads, increased construction costs and unreliable federal funding that could leave motorists stuck in traffic.

The agency manages nearly 200 million miles of roads and more than 50,000 bridges. The agency largely relies on a 20 cents-a-gallon fuel tax that hasn't been raised since 1991.

Since 2003, the state has also used bonds and other short-term revenue sources to build and maintain roads. But much of that money will be gone by 2015, and state lawmakers are considering ways to pay for a transportation system that Perry and others say is vital to the state's economy.

When asked whether the governor would add additional items to the special session, spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said this was all "for now."
 

< back

Email   email
hide
Catch
How 'bout them Cowboys?