7/31/2009 4:36 PM
U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, likely Republican candidate for Governor of Texas and (for the meantime) a member of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations subcommittee, secured language in a transportation bill that would continue the current ban on placing tolls on existing interstate highways in Texas through September 2010.
According to a press release from the Hutchison's senate office, In 2007 and 2008 legislation was approved that prohibits the tolling of existing federal highways in Texas built with taxpayer dollars -- which was likely a counter-move against Gov. Rick Perry's and the Texas Department of Transportation's plan to expand the implementation of toll collection on roadways as a means of transportation funding.
A spokesman for Perry, who is running for re-election, was not reached for comment at the time of posting.
“Again this year, I have worked to ensure that Texas motorists aren’t charged to drive on roads they have already paid for through their taxes,” Hutchison said. “My provision extends this taxpayer protection for another year, but we must still pursue a permanent prohibition of tolling existing federal highways so we can prevent this form of double taxation on drivers, once and for all.”
In another press release, Hutchison announced the securing of $2 million for Capital Metro funding from the federal government's Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, to help operate and develop the city of Austin's bus and rail system.