Moratorium Veto - The Road Ahead

Posted in Privatization, 80th Legislature, Road Issues, Around The State at 11:52 am by wcnews

There are at least a couple of sticking points on the current toll road moratorium. From Ben Wear.

The House added 18 amendments Thursday to the version passed by the Senate on Monday, and some of those changes were unacceptable to at least some senators. Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, for instance, did not like several amendments by his fellow El Paso Democrat, Rep. Joe Pickett.

And Perry was said to be unhappy with an amendment by state Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, meant to address a potential conflict of interest for investment banks participating in private toll road deals.

The Senate named its conference committee members Friday afternoon, but the House left town before approving its list.

Nonetheless, key House and Senate members began to negotiate Friday. Senate Bill 792 sponsor Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, said quick action next week is possible.

“This is not a days-long process,” Williams said. “This is a few hours.”

The Legislature still has the option, should SB 792 run aground, of voting to override Perry’s veto of HB 1892. That would require approval of at least two-thirds of the members in both the Senate and House.

There are several issues that come to mind.

  • If Kolkhorsts amendment stays in, is that an excuse for Perry to veto the bill?
  • What happens if Perry holds the bill, starts playing games, or, God forbid, someone at the governor’s office calls in sick?
  • Perry does have the power of a line item veto and he could just veto any parts he doesn’t like, including Rep. Kolkhorsts amendment. Along that line he could also veto the parts that include a moratorium on the TTC, or any other project.
  • Does Perry just run out the clock and veto it once session is over
  • When in the process does the Lege start to look at a veto override, if Perry slow plays this. And are there still the votes in the Senate for an override if it’s needed.
  • And when do those opposed to corporate tolls in the Lege figure out that they’ve given all the power back to the governor on this issue?

Those are just a few issues that come to mind.

Maybe this thing will sail through the conference committee, and both chambers, be signed by the governor soon thereafter, and everything written above can just be forgotten. I sure hope so.

1 Comment »

  1. Eye on Williamson » Moratorium Blues said,

    May 23, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    […] think the legislature, or at least Lois Kolkhorst, now realizes that they ceded all the power back to Gov. Perry on this issue and there’s no time to get it […]

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