Monday, May 14, 2007

"Despite objections from the few who will benefit financially there has been no public outcry to stop HB1892. "

In the face of a pending veto and threatened special session, CorridorWatch says, "Bring it on!"

May 14, 2007

Press Release
Copyright 2007

Citizen support for HB1892 stronger than ever.

There isn't anything contained in HB1892, as it sits on the Governor's desk today, that tens of thousands of Texans and CorridorWatch members don't want to see become law. "Not a single member of CorridorWatch has expressed the slightest concern with HB1892 becoming law on Friday," says David Stall, co-founder of CorridorWatch.

Despite objections from the few who will benefit financially there has been no public outcry to stop HB1892. "Our membership is more committed today than ever to see that HB1892 get whatever support it needs to become law and nothing less will be acceptable," Stall said.

Legislative support for HB1892 moratorium remains intact.

One hundred and sixty-six legislators voted to send HB1892 to the Governor. CorridorWatch has been in close communication with many members of the legislature and has seen very little movement away from full support for HB1892.

Stall says, "CorridorWatch members expect their representatives to respect the people's will and continue their strong support for a meaningful two year moratorium, even if the Governor has another agenda."

Senate Bill 792 compromise is called into question.

What is happening to SB792 behind closed doors? We don't know, and neither do the authors of SB1267 or HB2772, the original CDA moratorium bills. CorridorWatch spoke Friday with Senator Shapiro at the Capitol and was given assurance that the moratorium will remain in place. However, a report surfaced today that indicated SB792 will exclude much of IH-69, which of course isn't IH-69 at all, it's TTC-69.

CorridorWatch sees serious signs that SB792 will create loopholes big enough to drive any TTC CDA through. "If that's the case we are all wasting each others' time," said Stall.

Hopefully our legislature will not pass yet another hastily written, ill understood, special interest bill that poses a greater threat of unintended consequences than addressing our very real transportation needs.

Let's take a deep breath, put HB1892 into law, and work very hard for the next two years crafting transportation law and policy that will work for all Texans, not just those who desperate for a quick fix.

Mr. Governor, be carefull what you ask for.

This is not a legislature that has been impressed with the performance of TxDOT. As well they should not be. Reports on TxDOT performance, their projections, and their conclusions have time after time resulted in a failing grade. TxDOT has also come under fire for questionable justification used in support of their aggressive policy positions.

A special session will not sweeten this legislature on the Governor's transportation policy or those who are thrusting it on the public. Given the opportunity to consider state transportation without the distraction of other issues, or having other bills subject to veto, the legislature may hand the Governor a series of bills that are far less palatable than HB1892.

CorridorWatch co-founder Linda Stall told television reporters last week, "Special session? Bring it on! If any one issue deserves more study and more of a thorough look, it's transportation. We have a rogue agency, TxDOT is out of control."

David Stall has described TxDOT has a heavy-handed, self-serving, public-be-damned agency that knows no bounds as they run roughshod over the citizens of Texas. A host of Texas officials have expressed their concern over TxDOT the last two years. A State Senator accused them of extortion, a county commissioner says improper influence, a State Representative says threats, State Auditor says faulty accounting practices, and underestimated costs. That sounds to CorridorWatch like a lot of wood that needs chopping.

The citizens of Texas should welcome the opportunities that a special session will bring. Absent leadership or accountability from the Governor or his Transportation Commission, maybe the legislature should delay their vacation to help put TxDOT back on the right track.

© 2007

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