FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Liz Zornes
MARCH 18, 2015 (512) 463-0746
ANCHIA FILES BILL TO STOP STATE BAILOUT OF TRINITY TOLL ROAD
HB 3674 will prohibit use of limited transportation dollars for underfunded toll road
(Austin) Last week, Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) filed HB 3674, a bi-partisan bill that would prioritize the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) funding of toll projects to those on the state highway system that are designed, constructed, operated, or maintained on behalf of TxDOT, or projects of a transportation corporation created by the Texas Transportation Commission. Since the Trinity Toll Road is neither on the state highway system nor a TxDOT sponsored project, it would be ineligible to receive state funds.
“The Trinity Toll Road, which is projected to cost more than $1.5 billion, faces a whopping $1 billion shortfall,” said Rep. Anchia. “And since TxDOT has for years been telling everyone that there is not enough revenue available to maintain our existing roads and bridges, it only makes sense to prioritize state funds by allocating them to existing projects that have been chronically underfunded.”
“With this legislation we aim to move Texas back toward great roads paid for by tax dollars, not tolls, ” added Rep. Scott Sanford (R-McKinney). “Mobility should not be the domain of the wealthy; the current system imposes an additional tax on Texas families. Working with Rep. Anchia we can make meaningful change to our current transportation policies.”
“As legislators, we have an obligation to promote policies that adequately prioritize our transportation infrastructure needs in an honest and open manner,” said Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano). ” I look forward to working with Representative Anchia to ensure that our taxpayer dollars are being spent to fund public, non-tolled roadways that Texans of all political stripes expect and deserve.”
Rep. Matt Shaheen (R-Collin County) also supports HB 3674: “In light of the legislature’s commitment to fully fund transportation, it is a breach of trust with taxpayers to demand that they pay the double tax of tolls and transportation taxes.”
Rep. Anchia also filed HB 3673, which invokes Chapter 26 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code. Since Dallasites were deprived of an environmental review of the Trinity Toll road by federal action, HB 3673 requires TxDOT to make specific findings before approving use of certain kinds of public lands for a transportation project.