"The only reason we're doing this is for private toll roads? Why is that so important but insurance reform is not? Or expanding CHIP?"
The House sponsor of a measure that would allow the state to continue contracting for privately built toll roads said Wednesday he is not sure the bill can pass before Friday.
State leaders have said they want to keep the special legislative session short and hope to finish their business by Friday. But one of a trio of bills that Gov. Rick Perry wanted addressed may derail lawmakers' hopes of being finished in time for the July Fourth holiday on Saturday.
Officials said the toll road measure is only necessary to extend the timeline for toll road agreements made with private partnerships.
"The only reason we're doing this is for private toll roads? That can't be right," Rep. Jim Dunnam, D-Waco, said during a committee hearing on the bill.
"Why is that so important but insurance reform is not? Or expanding the (Children's Health Insurance) Program for 300,000 children is not?"
Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, the bill's House sponsor, said he's not sure the bill has enough support to pass, but lawmakers also could address it during their next regularly scheduled session in 2011.
© 2009 The Associated Press: www.ap.org
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