Tuesday, February 27, 2007

“My bill allows Texas to scrap the Trans-Texas Corridor plan and start over.”

Kolkhorst files two bills that would kill the state's controversial corridor proposal

February 27, 2007

The Brenham Banner Press
Copyright 2007

AUSTIN - State Rep. Lois W. Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) has filed two bills which she says would kill the state's controversial Trans-Texas Corridor highway proposal.

If passed, House Bill 1881 will repeal the Trans-Texas Corridor from the transportation code, effectively killing the proposal by removing the enabling legislation which would have served as the foundation for any future corridor project.

“I've been fighting against the Trans-Texas Corridor for several years, and it's not because I want to stop progress. We need to look at new ways to fund roads, but this isn't it,” said Kolkhorst.

“Some toll systems work, such as Harris County, but many don't. Plenty of people share my concerns about these private toll roads and how they'll threaten communities, violate our property rights and create an unregulated transportation monopoly.

“My bill allows Texas to scrap the Trans-Texas Corridor plan and start over.”

Kolkhorst said she has received literally hundreds of calls, comments, letters and e-mails against the Trans-Texas Corridor over the past few years She also has worked with the anti-corridor group Corridorwatch.org and received an A-rating from group.

Additionally, Kolkhorst filed House Bill 1880, which prohibits any public pension fund from investing in a private toll road project, such as the Trans-Texas Corridor.

The bill cuts off billions of dollars of funding that private toll road vendors, both foreign and domestic, would attempt to use in order to raise equity.

“No public money from a public pension fund should be used for a private toll road,” Kolkhorst said. “It's risky to invest our retiree pension funds into an unproven investment, especially with a foreign company.

“ Texas doesn't need a middle-man to build a road. Private companies should not leverage taxpayer dollars and then turn around and ask taxpayers and the public to give up oversight of a toll road project.”

One group will hold a rally Friday in Austin in opposition to the Trans-Texas Corridor.

Citizens for a Better Waller County (CBWC) will be chartering a bus to take Waller County residents to Austin.

Buses will depart at 11 a.m. from Hempstead at the VF Outlet off U. S. Business 290, returning at 8 p.m.

Box lunches from the Secret Garden will be offered and drinks will be provided.

The cost is $25 per person. The only way to reserve a spot is to make payment in advance.

Checks can be mailed to CBWC, P.O. Box 1802, Waller, Texas 77484, or payment can be made to Trey Duhon, 2611 Washington, Suite A, in Waller during regular business hours. Persons can also reserve spots by contacting Duhon at (936) 931-2187 or citizens@wallercountycitizens.org.

Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

© 2007 The Brenham Banner Press: www.brenhambanner.com

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