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Texas House, Senate Work to Craft New Transportation Bill

With the threat of an extended stay in Austin hanging over them, Texas lawmakers are efforting a revamped transportation bill.

It was this past Friday that Governor Perry vetoed the first bill that came to his desk. Perry has said he will call the legislature into a special session if they can't craft a bill to his satisfaction.

Monday, after the Senate rejected a number of House amendments to the bill, the two sides went into joint committee meetings to come to some sort of agreement. However, State Representative Fred Brown says those differences should be easily solved.

Brown says Perry has indicated he will accept a two-year moratorium on toll roads in the state, which is present in both the House and Senate versions of the bill. Instead, Brown says it was a revamping of TxDOT's role that brought about the veto.

"His immediate sticking point when the bill first left the House had to do with breaking TxDOT up into regional TxDOTs where the counties had all the control," Brown said. "It looks like the compromise is going to be still have some regional authority, but it's a joint regional authority between TxDOT and the counties within each region."

Brown anticipates House and Senate compromise by Wednesday. Their deadline is May 28.


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