Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"Perry is opposed to any 'CorridorWatch amendment.' "

Armbrister calls Amendment 13 objection to SB 792 a 'red herring'

May 23, 2007

by Harvey Kronberg
The Quorum Report
Copyright 2007

Perry's opposition to the amendment is personal, not subterfuge, says Armbrister.

Ken Armbrister, Gov. Rick Perry's eyes and ears in the Senate, scoffs at the notion that there is some hidden agenda with the Governor's opposition to Rep. Lois Kolkhorst's (R-Brenham) Amendment 13 to Senate Bill 792,which would exclude "facility agreements" from SB 792's proposed two-year moratorium.

In transportation lingo, the overall agreement for a tollway project is a comprehensive development agreement. The facility agreement is what is signed to construct particular portions, or segments, of the tollway.

A ban on facility agreements is unnecessary to stop construction on TTC-35, and this is why, Armbrister said. The environmental review process is only half-way completed on TTC-35. Once it's complete, it has to go to the Federal Highway Administration for approval. That process takes another 18 months. Only then would the Texas Department of Transportation release any segment of TTC-35 for bid. Clearly, that timeline goes far beyond any initial two-year moratorium, Armbrister said.

As for Perry's opposition to Amendment 13, Armbrister says it's strictly personal. This amendment was proposed by toll road opponents Corridor Watch, Armbrister said. Corridor Watch has opposed the Trans-Texas Corridor. Hence, Perry is opposed to any Corridor Watch amendment, Armbrister said.

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