4/28/2009 12:19 PM
The House Transportation Committee has approved the Texas Department of Transportation Sunset bill 10-1. Rep. Jim Dunnam (D-Waco) was the only no vote.
A new committee substitute has been released. We'll have more to say on this bill after we've had a chance to review it in full. Here's what we can say from the lunchtime committee meeting:
* Chairman Joe Pickett's (D-El Paso) reforms to formula funding are incorporated in the bill.
* The bill keeps a five-member transportation commission, with three appointees of the governor, one from the lieutenant governor, and one from the Speaker of the House.
* Rep. Tommy Merritt's (R-Longview) East Texas and Texas-Mexico border high speed rail initiative is on the sunset bill.
* Sen. Robert Nichols's (R-Jacksonville) bill restricting toll conversion is on the sunset bill.
* Rep. Wayne Smith (R-LaPorte) amended the bill to allow environmental reviews of local toll roads to be conducted by local tolling authorities.
* Rep. Bill Callegari (R-Houston) amended the bill to make design-build contracts comply with rules currently in state law that apply to cities, counties, and Regional Mobility Authorities.