anti-toll legislation

  • Anti-toll legislation makes its way onto must-pass TxDOT sunset bill

    Contact: Terri Hall, Director, Texas TURF, &
    Texans for Toll-free Highways
    (210) 275-0640
    Anti-toll legislation makes its way onto must-pass TxDOT Sunset Bill

    Taxpayers finally caught a break in Texas, especially toll-weary commuters. After fighting for common sense toll road reforms for over a decade, the grassroots through Texas TURF and Texans for Toll-free Highways made major strides in killing public private partnership (P3) toll roads and gaining ground on several key anti-toll reforms, like removing tolls from roads that are paid for like Camino Columbia in Laredo.

    State agencies come under sunset periodic review. Senate Bill 312 involves the continuation and functions of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and gives lawmakers the ability to tack on just about any transportation bill to it — good and bad. It's also must-pass legislation or the highway department goes away. While five anti-toll bills successfully passed the Texas Senate this session, none have been heard in the House. So lawmakers pounced on the opportunity to get stalled bills moving through amendments to SB 312. 

    The pro-toll crowd sought to resurrect corporate toll roads by authorizing P3s once again and even granting broader authority to do so. Lawmakers just voted down a P3 bill HB 2861 by Rep. Larry Phillips just days before, forcing taxpayers to mount an offensive to kill such sweetheart deals again. An amendment by Rep. Dade Phelan was most troubling actually requiring taxpayers to guarantee the loans and bonds of the private toll companies and gave authority to enter into multiple contracts every year with no sunset date.
  • Briscoe Cain proved his anti-toll credentials in freshman session

    Cain an anti-toll champion who delivered results
    By Terri Hall
    September 22, 2017

    It’s not very often that an elected official does what he promised he would do, but that’s exactly what residents of House District 128 (spanning from east Houston south to Baytown, Deer Park and LaPorte) got when they voted for Briscoe Cain. He ran opposing new tolls and made the prevention of slapping tolls on existing lanes — a double tax — the centerpiece of his campaign.

    When it came time to do what he promised, Cain filed an amendment to the must-pass Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) sunset bill, SB 312, to prevent the conversion of free lanes into toll lanes. Working in a bi-partisan effort with his House colleague who filed the same language, Cain got the amendment passed as part of the final bill.
  • Huffines files bills to prevent double tax toll roads, hold toll agencies accountable

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                  Contact: Brent Connett
    January 27, 2017                                                                                                                            
    Senator Huffines pursues transparency, truth in taxation, and keeping Texans moving forward

    AUSTIN — Senator Don Huffines (R-Dallas) today filed a package of bills to end toll roads and bring more accountability to the transportation dollars (taxpayers' money) that are allocated by the state to Regional Mobility Authorities:

    Senate Joint Resolution 35 and Senate Bill 639 - Ending Toll Expenditures out of the State Highway Fund

    Senator Huffines stated, "Texans are tired of tolls. In 2013, the Legislature and voters worked together to pass Prop 1 - a much-needed surplus in transportation funding - with the condition that none of it be spent on toll roads. Then, in 2015, legislators and voters teamed up again to get even more transportation funding with Prop 7, and these funds are also restricted from toll usage. It's time to finish the job by entirely closing the state's major road funding account to toll roads. Texans are tired of the ever-creeping expansion of toll roads in our state. My district has been almost entirely swallowed by toll roads. It's time for the state to end its dependency on tolls - that's why I filed SJR 35 and SB 639, which will protect the state's primary transportation infrastructure fund from being used on toll roads."

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