TxDOT’s Day In The Sunset

Posted in Around The State, Privatization, Road Issues, Transportation at 10:08 pm by wcnews

Today was the day that TxDOT had it’s hearing before the Sunset Advisory Commission. Apparently it was a real doozy, (link via Sal), TxDOT hearings continue into the evening, turn testy.

After hours of mostly polite, if often pointed, questioning by members of the Sunset Advisory Commission, a hearing in Austin turned uglier late Tuesday.

Rep. Ruth McClendon, D-San Antonio, questioned the honesty of TxDOT executive director Amadeo Saenz when he said he couldn’t immediately recall the details of State Highway 281 in south Texas. “After we started off on such a positive start, and after all this talk of honesty and transparency, you sit here in front of us and say you do not know.”

No, Mr. Saenz repeated, he did not have the details in front of him, but said he would get the information and meet separately with the commission members when he did.

Ms. McClendon and the 11 other members of the advisory committee are grilling TxDOT today over allegations that the agency has lost its way.


State law prohibits state agencies from lobbying, and Rep. Kolkhorst said TxDOT spending money to promote toll roads is just as illegal as if the education department ran ads encouraging vouchers.

But TxDOT spokesman Christopher Lippincott said the agency does not participate in the kind of advocacy prohibited by state law. It does not, he said, lobby for particular changes in the law. Toll roads, even private toll roads, are entirely legal and have been authorized by statutes passed by the Legislature, he said.

I’m really starting to like Rep. Kolkhorst. And Texas Turf takes issue with what TxDOT’s stance on lobbying, TxDOT’s top brass perjures themselves. Here’s the video.

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