Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Same song, different tone

Gov. Perry strikes a more conciliatory tone about transportation funding


Dallas Morning News
Copyright 2008

Is Texas' chief proponent of private toll roads changing his mind, or just changing his tone?

Probably the latter. Gov. Rick Perry, the man who many say has staked his legacy on an ambitious, if consistently controversial, transportation agenda, gave The News a wide-ranging, if exceedingly rare, interview on the topic Tuesday afternoon.

In doing so, he said lawmakers and the public still smarting over the contentious 2007 Legislature will return in January to find him striking a more conciliatory pose.

With his department of transportation already in the cross hairs of the Legislature and its Sunset Advisory Commission, one could easily argue the new tone is a matter of necessity, rather than proof of a more congenial nature. But whatever its source, he said he's willing to pursue a broad agenda that will boost highway building in Texas, even as he maintains that private toll roads are an essential part of the solution.

He'll still be arguing that private capital is necessity to build the roads we need, and he'll still be against higher taxes in general, he said. But he offered a few other surprises, too. You can find the whole story here.

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