Bills relating to Toll Roads/Road Taxes:
XXX - Remove the toll when the road is paid for, ends the practice of combining toll projects together into one financial system using ‘system financing,’ gimmick used to ‘show’ no toll road is ever paid for. Perpetual tolling violates the Texas Constitution Art. I, Sec. 26 that prohibits perpetuities.
SB 316 (Hall) - Toll billing/collection reform, creates uniform, more transparent billing practices, caps excessive fines and fees, and de-criminalizes an unpaid toll bill.
SB 255 (Nichols) - To remove the expiration date on the transfer of the specified portion of the vehicle sales tax (and general sales tax) to the state highway fund authorized by voters in Prop 7 in 2015. Certain transfers didn't even start until 2020, we cannot jeopardize dedicating our existing taxes to the state highway fund in order to avoid the reliance on much more expensive and less accountable toll taxes.
SB 446 (Menendez), HB 167, HB 177 (Cortez) - Repeals grandfathered red light camera contracts to outlaw all remaining red light cameras in Texas!
HB 805 (Toth) - Allows any vehicle to enter an HOV lane in order to pass another vehicle. Amen, to giving taxpayers access to lanes their taxes paid for! The GOP platform plank #63 is against these sorts of restricted lanes, whether its an HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lane or HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lane or other restricted lane.
HB 820 (King, Ken) / HB 960 (Jetton) - To impose a $100-$200/yr road useage/mainentance fee on electric vehicles (EVs). King bill would be $100/yr for hybrids, $200/yr all-electric EVs. Jetton bill would impose straught $100 on EVs. EVs need to pay for their road usage. They've had a free pass (at the expense of gas-powered vehicle pwners) since they've come online ,and it's high time they pay their fair share.
HB 821 (King, Ken) - To put a metering device on state Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations (including at state parks) to measure the actual amount of electricity used by each EV (it stops short of requiring them to pay for the exact amount of electricity transferred, but this is a first step in knowing how much it's costing taxpayers to charge these vehicles at public charging stations in hopes that eventually they'll charge users for the exact amount of electricty they're using, just like gas-powered vehicle owners pay for every gallon of gas they pump).
HB 921, HB 922 (Cain) - To prevent the imposition of tolls on two state highways and the Fairmont Pkwy in the Houston area.
SB 505 (Nichols) - Since Electric Vehicles don't pay state gasoline tax (the primary source of funding for our state highway system), this bill would impose a an additional fee to register new EVs in the amount of $400, and used EVs of $200 per year to help pay for their cost of using our roads.
NEUTRAL (Our Watch List) -
HJR 27 (Craddick) - To create a GROW fund to dedicate a portion of the oil and gas tax to stay in West Texas to help maintain roads in the oil fields where wear and tear has caused greater than normal damage to roads. The argument in favor is they fuel our state, so everyone benefits from their oil and gas. However, when we go down the road of carving out funds for just certain areas of the state, many parts of the state have excess wear and tear due to oil & gas exploration but also heavy tractor trailers from trade, logging, and a host of other issues. Where would this end? Our State Highway Fund is designed to distribute gas taxes fairly in order to maintain the entire system.
HB 1259 (Jetton) - Would require a report to every legislator of TxDOT's anticipated funding for each area of the state from its Unified Transportation Plan (UTP). But more worrisome is the seocnd half of the bill that would commission the study of public private partnerships (P3s) for water projects. P3s have not worked out well for taxpayers/ratepayers under these privatized water deals. Just ask the Canyon Lake residents whose water bills exploded when a California company took over. The biggest boondoggle with water was the P3 pipeline that stole water from rural areas (Bastrop & Burleson) and siphoned it to the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) where they proceeded to sell the excess water for a profit.
HB 1638 (Canales) - For a TxDOT-appointed commission to work with Texas Transportation Insititute at A&M to study the future highway needs until 2045. Sounds innocuous until you read the part about identifying a funding gap (always assumes there is one even after we passed historic legislation to send more money to roads through Prop 1 & Prop 7) and how to close that gap, including exploring 'innovative project design development' which is code for public private partnerships (P3s). Ask the commuters in Ft. Worth and Dallas how they like paying over $3/mile in tolls to a foreign corporation to use our public highways during peak hours if they want more P3s for road 'delivery.'
SB 254 (Eckhardt) - Doubles the state gasoline tax. This would also increase the diversion of state gas taxes to public schools, since 25% of the gasoline tax goes to schools.
HJR 77 (Walle) - To expand use of general revenue currently dedicated to the highway fund to transit, bike paths, and sidewalks.
HB 992 (Lopez) - To increase Bexar County vehicle registration fee another $20 (it was already carved out for a $10 increase in 2013). Now they want more, and this is after the city of San Antonio just passed a $1.2 billion road bond (May 2022) that will raise city residents taxes to remove lanes on some roads, add sidewalks and curbing, but only expand ONE road out of 62 'infrastructure' projects. Why would any driver want to give these anti-car advocates any more money to mess up their roads with?
HB 1639 (Canales) - To give TxDOT wide authority to implement variable speed limits. This is a disaster and a way for big government, anti-car bureaucrats to artificially lower speed limits, and hence slow traffic whenever they want. The signs do not give you enough time to adjust your speed (500-1,600 feet when traveling highway speeds isn't sufficent time to adjust your speed without slamming on your brakes in many cases increasing the risk of accidents), you may not see the sign, it could turn into a defacto speed trap, and anything linked up with technology has problems, like the time I was on Loop 1604 in San Antonio and the variable speed limit sign was suddenly flashing 35 MPH on a 70 MPH highway with no road conditions to warrant it.
SB 607 (Johnson) - To distribute the funds from the state's version of the cash for clunkers program. It's taxing vehicles in EPA non-attainment areas to redistribute to low income drivers, including paying for vehicle repairs and 'retiring' older vehicles. We'd like to see this program repealed or go to build and maintain highways.
SB 255 (Eckhardt) - While we are not advocates for carve outs and exceptions on tax policy, this will, in effect, increase taxes on natural gas when we're in the middle of an energy crisis.
HB 898 (Stucky) - This would increase the penalty/fine for passing certain vehicles on a highway from $500 to up to $1,250. Basically, this fine would be for virtually any ANY vehicle under this statute. It includes an emergency vehicle, tow trucks, TxDOT vehicles, utility vehicles, vehicles contracted by a toll company (how is a driver supposed to know that from a distance?), municipal solid waste vehicles, and anyone on the side of the road (if you fail to change lanes or reduce your speed to 20 MPH under the posted speed limit). It's getting ridiculous -- just getting the behind the wheel will be illegal if we keep imposing these laws on drivers. Fining a driver $1,250 is excessive. This isn't drunk driving. It's quite common for drivers to get in situations where they risk being slammed into by the car behind them if they suddenly jam on the brakes hard enough to reduce their speed 20 MPH on a highway in time not to pass the vehicles on the shoulder at the speed the law requires. It's a similar problem drivers encountered with red light cameras/tickets - jamming on one's brakes to try and stop prior to the intersection sometimes posed a greater risk than just continuing through the intersection (which caused accidents to soar). Ditto on changing lanes. Suddenly jerking into a lane beside you if it's not clear or safe to change lanes puts other drivers at risk (which is at higher speeds) than the ones on the side of the road.
HB 910 (Moody) - To allow veterans to use toll roads for free. It removes the language allowing for a discounted toll. While we support and respect our veterans, we shouldn't allow the government to pick winners and losers on toll tax policy. We advocate for toll-free roads across the board. Our gas taxes and other road taxes are sufficient to build and maintain our state highways without burdensome runaway toll taxation.
Anti-Car/Big Govt Initiatives:
HB 1031 (Slaton) - To prevent vehicle manufacturer or government from installing or enabling remote kill switch in Texas vehicles.
SB 261 (Springer) - To exempt assembled trailers from vehicle title requirements.
HB 842 (Patterson) - To prevent the extension of a suspension of a driver's license. Drivers need their right to drive protected from government overreach.
SB 271 (Johnson)/ HB 712 (Shaheen) - Penatlies for breaches of personal information.
HB 645 (Toth) / HB 709 (Harris, C) - Prohibits social scoring or social credit system from being implemented whether through Environment, Social Governance (ESG) initiaitves or otherwise imposed as a litmus test by financial institutions.
SB 242 (MIddleton) - To prevent federal unconstitutional acts from effecting Texas.
HB 33 (Landgraf) - To prevent federal regulation of oil & gas unless consistent with state law already on the books. (Similar to Middleton's SB 242, however, Middleton's applie to more sectors (health, natural resources, land use, financial, border, transportation).
HB 69 (Schaefer) - To protect Texans' rights from civil asset forfetiure abuses (having your assets and property seized without even being charged or found guilty of a crime).
HB 57 (Zwiener) - Would mandate the state do climate action planning and reporting. This necessitates anti-car policy that shrinks roadways, elevates biking and wlaking over auto travel, carbon emissions reporting and therefore possiblity of a carbon cap or tax.
HB 1379 (Ortega) - To expand the authority of Regional Mobility Authorities (or RMAs) to do green spaces, aesthetic projects, parking, economic development.
HB 1521 (Ordaz) - This would make it illegal to transport your dog in the bed of your pickup truck unless its in a crate or container and fastened to the bed or sides of the pickup truck in any county over 500,000 population.