Thursday, May 17, 2007

"Toll-road critics are leery of this last-minute legislative maneuver."

Capitol Briefs


Kimberly Reeves
Austin Chronicle
Copyright 2007

A new toll-road moratorium bill, Senate Bill 792, has passed the Senate and is headed to the House this week with the blessing of Gov. Rick Perry.

Local toll-road critics are leery of this last-minute legislative maneuver, but Sen. Kirk Watson says the latest bill provides greater transparency for toll-road construction, including an initial business plan for every future toll road in Central Texas, with clear expectations on toll rates and overall revenues.

Under the bill, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization now becomes the body to approve any toll-road project going forward, which addresses criticism that the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority's appointed board of directors is not accountable.

If SB 792 passes the House, it will put two bills on the governor's desk, one of which he's likely to veto.

© 2007 Austin Chronicle Corp.:

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