Thursday, April 26, 2007

Scandal-plagued business brokers association wants taxpayers to pick up TAB for private toll roads

Business lobbyists back toll roads


News 8 Austin
Copyright 2007

The state's leading business group is urging lawmakers to reject the moratorium on private and public toll road projects.

The Texas Association of Business wants the Legislature to reject their plan placing a two-year moratorium on private toll road contracts and creating a panel to review the terms of such agreements.

"Texans and Texas business cannot afford to spend 345 million hours a year sitting in traffic. We need to keep this important tool. We're calling on the Legislature to reject the moratorium. Let's get on and get these projects built," Bill Hammond of the Texas Association of Business said.

Eight projects, including the controversial Trans-Texas Corridor, are affected by the moratorium.

The Texas Association of Business says the state should improve and expand, not limit the types of tools it uses to fund and improve the state's transportation system.

The proposal must get final House approval before it goes to the Senate. If approved, a commission would be formed to study the effects of certain toll roads, and would present their findings next year.

Gov. Rick Perry is also asking lawmakers to reject the bill. He has said the state's current transportation system, which involves public-private partnerships to build toll roads, needs to continue if Texas is to keep attracting big companies and jobs.

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