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Texas Legislature Ends Second Special Session, Begins Third

By: Chris Tomlinson, Associated Press
By: Chris Tomlinson, Associated Press

AUSTIN, TX (AP) Gov. Rick Perry has called the Texas Legislature into a third special session to address transportation funding after a proposed constitutional amendment stalled.

The House couldn't muster the 100 votes necessary to approve the amendment that sought to divert money from Texas' Rainy Day Fund for highway construction.

If approved by voters on a 2014 ballot, it would have freed up at least $840 million annually - less than a fourth of what the state needs to maintain its current road network.

Perry had threatened to call a third, 30-day extra session if transportation wasn't taken care of. On Tuesday he made good on that promise.

The Legislature has met since January. The last time it had three special sessions was in 2005-2006 over school finance issues.

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Previous story from the Associated Press

The Texas Senate has adjourned, ending the second special session of the year after failing to pass a major transportation measure.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst declared the session over on Tuesday after it did not act on a constitutional amendment that would boost transportation spending by $900 million a year. The money would come from oil and gas revenues diverted away from the state's Rainy Day Fund.

Gov. Rick Perry was expected to call lawmakers back within 30 minutes to begin a third special session.

The House failed to get a two-thirds supermajority to approve the deal that would put the amendment in front of voters in 2014.

The measure falls short of the $4 billion a year experts say the state needs for roads.


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