Thursday, September 01, 2005

House Bill 2702 does little to "win back the confidence of Texas citizens."

How confident are you, really?

The Cameron Herald
Copyright 2005

Even before the US supreme court 'legislated' their opinion that our constitution allows government entities to take property from one citizen and profit on the 'exchange' of that property to another private individual or group, our own Texas leaders (some elected and many non-elected-TxDOT personnel) have been working overtime to assure that toll roads and the Trans Texas Corridor (TTC) are forced on Texans before too many of us become aware, stand up, and protest.

Probably due to many groups protesting the TTC and toll projects allowed by law in 2003 with HB 3388, our Texas leaders came up with HB 2702 to...'win back the confidence of Texas citizens', according to one member of the Texas house transportation committee. I have read this bill, 2702 (something many representatives admitted that they did not do before or after voting for it).

See if you feel more confident in our 'leaders' after you read a few excerpts from this new law.

According to several points in the legislation, TxDOT can take your property, even if not used for a transportation project, and then sell or lease or trade it to someone else for any use. Just read Ch. 203 section 2.31, 227.041; Section 2.10, 203.052(b), Section 2.28, 227.028(a); Section 201.604 and 203.021. These sections clearly allow TxDOT to take your land.

Other sections give the department of transportation (an un-elected government agency) powers to order the tolling of non-tolled state highways or a segment of them with very little local input. TxDOT can lease or sell all or part of railroad right-of-way for any purpose, again allowing competition to the local area economy.

Imagine some "big money" eyeing your property for a future business of some sort. With another 2005 new law, HB1546, our department of transportation seems able to take your property under the guise of possible use for a transportation purpose, then not use it, and end up selling it to someone able to pay high bucks for it.

This does not seem related to the traffic safety or congestion on I-35, which, according to TxDOT, is the primary purpose of the Trans Texas Corridor and the multitude of new toll roads proposed for Texas.

Do you feel more confident in your Texas 'leaders' now?

Margaret Green


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