Hutchison Moves to Change Some TX Roads to Toll

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WASHINGTON -- Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has filed a bill designed to block Texas officials efforts to turn some state's highways into toll roads.

The Republican senator filed the bill Wednesday after days of clamor in the state.

The Texas Department of Transportation wants to be allowed to "buy back" parts of existing interstates and add toll lanes. It also has proposed tax breaks for private company investment involved in the projects.

As proposed, Hutchison's bill would:

- Prohibit collection of tolls on any part of federal highways that already are built and where no toll is collected.

- Prohibit imposing tolls on federal highways bought back by states on or after the day the bill goes into effect.

The bill would not apply to highways where a toll already is collected or which already were set to go into effect. The bill also applies to bridges or tunnels on the interstate system.