Good News, Bad News
Remember, the special interests always make sure there's bad news to report. But I'll start with the good news. Our bill to remove tolls once the road is paid for, HB 436 by Matt Shaheen, is FINALLY getting a hearing this Wednesday.
However, three bills to hand our public highways over to private, foreign toll operators are also up Wednesday.
Public Private Partnership toll roads, known as Comprehensive Development Agreements (or CDAs) in Texas statute, are currently ILLEGAL thanks to YOUR hard work for the last 14 years! But the road lobby and an army of special interests who stand to make BILLIONS off these privatized tollways, won't quit, so neither can we! They're trying to do an end run around Governor Abbott's 'No toll' pledge. We need YOUR help to STOP them!
Private toll contracts (CDAs) are BAD:
* Give private, foreign corporations power to tax.
* Most expensive way to build roads, with tolls that can exceed $30-$40/day!
* Taxpayers guarantee profits of private firms with BILLIONS in public money. Public money for private profits!
* Give these private consortiums government-sanctioned monopolies for 52 years!
* Limit construction and expansion of our free lanes, and lowers speed limits on and adds stop lights to our free routes.
* Allow eminent domain for private gain.
* Hand control of our PUBLIC infrastructure to PRIVATE companies voters cannot hold accountable.
See more on why CDAs are anti-taxpayer here.
MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD OR PAY THE PRICE FOR GENERATIONS
THERE ARE TWO HEARINGS ON WEDNESDAY
Please come and make your voices heard. This is when we must pull out all the stops! Being present during the committee makes all the difference as to whether bills fly out of committee or die due to opposition. SILENCE IS APPROVAL!
SEE THE LIST OF 21 TOLL PROJECTS HERE.
(BEWARE: there are projects in every corner of the state. You won't be able to avoid paying tolls, especially on I-35 in Dallas, Ft. Worth, Austin, and San Antonio!)
House Transportation Subcommittee on Tolling
Wednesday, April 17 at 8 AM
Texas State Capitol
Please come register AGAINST:
HB 1951 (Krause) FAKE Toll reform bill w/CDAs (foreign-owned toll roads)
HB 436 (Shaheen) To remove the tolls when the road is paid for, and end system financing where they endlessly refinance the debt to ensure NO road is ever paid off!
House Transportation CommitteeWednesday, April 17 at 2 PM*
(or upon adjournment) in Room E2.030
*Registration on the iPad kiosks opens two hours prior to posted meeting time.
REGISTER AGAINST BAD TOLL ROAD BILLS:HB 2578 (*Thompson, Ed) - Would exempt private, foreign corporations in CDA toll contracts from our toll collection reforms (would not be bound by $48/year cap on toll fines nor having to wait 30 days before imposing admin fees).
*Thompson is doing the bidding of the foreign firms that got Hwy 288 in Brazoria County. He claims his constituents love toll roads.
HB 1644 (Martinez) - Puts 21 new 52-year, foreign-owned CDA toll projects back on the table (renews authority to enter into these toll projects until August 31, 2029! Repeals prior restrictions on CDAs!). The 21 toll roads we stopped in November 2017 would come right back!
DON'T LET THAT HAPPEN!
TAKE ACTION NO MATTER WHATContact committee members or be stuck paying tolls for generations!
IF you absolutely CANNOT be at the capitol, please contact the House Transportation Committee Members and ask them to:
HB 436 (Shaheen) toll cessation
HB 4580 (Hefner) toll collection reform
OPPOSE - ALL CDA bills:
HB 1951 (Krause)
HB 2578 (Thompson, E.)
HB 1644 (Martinez)
Chair Terry Canales - 512-463-0426
Vice Chair Brooks Landgraf - 512-463-0546
Diego Bernal 512-463-0532
Yvonne Davis 512-463-0598
Craig Goldman 512-463-0608
Cole Hefner 512-463-0271
Matt Krause 512-463-0562
Armando Martinez 512-463-0530
Ben Leman 512-463-0600
Evelina Ortega 512-463-0638
John Raney 512-463-0698
Shawn Thierry 512-463-0518
Ed Thompson 512-463-0707
You can also email* them by using this formula:
*Always give your full name and address so they can verify you're real person.
However, they get a flood of emails HOURLY! Phone calls are far better.
Tell the House Committee Members:
1) "We expect you to heed the Governor's promise of 'No new tolls.' We-the-People have said 'No' to tolls repeatedly, and we should NOT have to beg you EVERY session to stop toll taxes. Enough is enough!"
2) Ask them to contact you back with how the representative plans to vote.
Be firm, but respectful.