Bill Alert from TURF
Has the modus operandi for the Texas legislature become “let’s help our friends enjoy huge profits while we let the Texas taxpayer pick up the tab for any losses?”
Critical bills being heard this week:
SB 1650: Allowing MoPac & 183 to become privatized toll roads that charge 75 cents a mile
SB 1700: Establishing insurance checkpoints
SB 1696: Use of license plate cameras
SB 1650 (Watson)
This bill would authorize transportation agencies to privatize and toll portions of MoPac in Austin(from Parmer Lane to Cesar Chavez) and 183 (from Springdale Rd to Parmer Ln.) This bill is up for public hearing on Thursday, March 31 at 8 AM in Rm. E1.012 at the Texas Capitol (in the Extension building – take north elevators to level E1). This bill will cute deals that have profit guarantees, massive public subsidies, low interest taxpayer-backed loans and non-compete agreements that prohibit or penalize the expansion of surrounding free roads. We are seeing published toll rates for these types of contracts starting at 80 cents per mile! This bill will socialize the losses and privatize the profits for a fifty years!
HB 2432 (Davis)
This bill would give authorization to enter into the types of agreements proposed by SB 1650 for any road or other infrastructure projects in Texas. this bill is being heard on Wednesday, March 30 at 8 AM in Rm. E2.014 (take north elevators to level E2).
SB 1700 (Williams)
This bill would establish checkpoints to check for car insurance.
SB 1696 (Williams)
This bill will establish a pilot program for license plate readers and cameras for law enforcement.
Both SB 1700 and SB 1696 will be heard in the Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday, March 30 in Rm. E1.016.
How to Testify or Register Opposition:
You must sign-up to testify by filling out a Witness Affirmation Form to the committee clerk. If you cannot stay to testify orally you can still fill out a Witness Affirmation Form opposing the bill (check the box to oppose but not wishing to testify) and turn it and leave.
Your opposition will not count on the official record without filling out a Witness Affirmation Form on the day the bill is heard. Phone calls to Sen. Watson and your state representatives are still important to pressure the legislators to do the right thing. The Capitol Switchboard is (512) 463-4630 (they can help you figure out who represents you) and you can also to find out who represents you by going here: http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/.
There is metered parking for up to three hours surrounding the Capitol if you plan to come, fill out a card and leave. If you plan to stay to testify orally, there is public parking in the Capitol Parking Garage at 12th and San Jacinto or if that’s full, park at the Texas History Museum at 18th/Congress. Both are $8/day.
To stay updated on these transportation bills go to www.TexasTURF.org, click on the “Grassroots Action Center” and sign-up to receive email alerts at the tab on the lefthand side.