Carona Saying The Right Things On Transportation, Again

Posted in Around The State, Privatization, Road Issues at 11:43 pm by wcnews

Sen. John Carona (D-Dallas) spoke with the SAEN artilce about transportation while stumping for Prop 12, Senator urging funding for roads.

State lawmakers don’t seem to have a clue when it comes to gauging public tolerance for higher gasoline taxes or hearing demands to scale back toll-road plans, a ranking Texas Senate member said Thursday.

“We need leadership on these issues,” said John Carona, R-Dallas, chairman of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Homeland Security. “I’m very frustrated from the governor of Texas on down.”

He’s got three initiatives, (has he been reading EOW?), for the 2009 session, if he’s reelected, that is.

“I’m not opposed to all the toll roads,” he said. “I just think they need to be part of the mix, not all of the solution.”

But that means other options are needed, he said. Between now and the 2009 legislative session, the senator will rally support for three initiatives:

Raising the state’s 20-cent-a-gallon gas tax by a nickel or a dime.

Indexing the gas tax to construction costs but capping increases to 3 percent a year.

Asking voters to consider a constitutional amendment to ban diversions of highway funds for other uses — including a fourth of the gas-tax pie going to schools, but only if all of that funding can be replaced from other sources.

Carona believes he can push some version of all three measures through the Senate.

“It’ll depend wholly on what’s going on in the House,” he said. “The time to go after this is right now, while there’s heightened legislative awareness.”


Toll critic Terri Hall of San Antonio Toll Party said she can’t support a higher gas tax until TxDOT’s finances are probed and the agency chucks a policy to toll new highway lanes whenever feasible.

“However, we appreciate a lawmaker courageously stepping forward to start the discussion of real solutions other than tolls,” she said.

Yes we do appreciate it. Be warned though, Carona is up for reelection, and he’s said the right things before, and his actions didn’t back them up.

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