Toll Deal Framing & Don’t Forget The TTC

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:39 am by wcnews

From reading newspaper accounts the framing on the toll road compromise appears to have changed. Just last week it was all on the governor’s back. Now it seems that the Senate and the legislature will avoid a confrontation they didn’t want, and were certain to lose, if they don’t hurry up and work out a deal with the governor. When in reality other than Burka’s speculation, it’s Perry who needs the deal to avoid looking like he would be calling a special session for no reason. That’s the way it was last week until the Lege started caving. Who knows maybe the Senate reads Burka and figured they’d better cut a deal?

Senate takes a detour in transportation fight.

Trying to avoid a confrontation with the governor, the Texas Senate voted unanimously Monday for another transportation bill that preserves a two-year moratorium on most private toll roads.

Senate avoids Perry veto, OKs compromise bill on toll roads.

The Senate swerved to avoid a governor’s veto and possible special session by unanimously approving a compromise bill on toll roads that will extend some local control and tap the brakes on privately operated roads, supporters said Monday.

The new proposal will have regional mobility groups working with the Texas Department of Transportation to establish a market value of proposed toll roads and then give the local entities 90 days to opt-in to developing the project.

Here are the words of the man who had taken Sen. Carona’s place. The latest candidate for most outspoken Senator against corporate toll roads.

“Ultimately when you compare what this does with where we were before we got here in January, it does a lot,” said Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, a former TxDOT commissioner who led the push for a moratorium.

“It does put a cooler and a damper on some of these runaway projects,” he said.

Sounds like more than just some “runaway projects” have had a “cooler and a damper” put on them. Linda Stall of CorridorWatch is also quoted in the article.

But CorridorWatch, a grass-roots group opposed to the Trans Texas Corridor and other private tollway projects, said it is concerned that the new compromise has “loopholes big enough to drive any TTC CDA through.”

CorridorWatch co-founder Linda Stall said she was unimpressed with the governor’s veto threats.

“Special session? Bring it on. If any one issue deserves more study and more of a thorough look, it’s transportation,” she said.

It’s good to see CorridorWatch weighing in that this “compromise” is worthless as far as the TTC is concerned. What’s not being realized, and not being reported, in all of this is that none of this will stop the TTC. For all Gov. Perry’s talk of being for a moratorium, don’t think for a second he’s for a moratorium on the TTC. Nothing is being done to keep a wide swath of prime farmland from being paved over, and taken from families, on order to allow the TTC to be built.

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