Senate panel considers transportation funding bill June 12, 2013
JIM VERTUNO,Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas lawmakers are pondering how to solve the state's billion-dollar problem of paying for roads and other transportation projects.
Gov. Rick Perry this week added transportation funding to the agenda of the special session of the Legislature. The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a Wednesday hearing on a plan to send a portion of oil and gas severance taxes into a special roads fund.
That money now goes into the state's reserve fund, and the plan by Sen. Robert Nichols of Jacksonville could divert billions toward building roads. Such a move would require a constitutional amendment approved by voters statewide.
State transportation leaders say Texas needs about $4 billion more per year on roads, even after a decade-long spike in highway construction and maintenance.