TML Board Supports Ending Transportation “Diversions”

On June 27, the League’s board of directors adopted a resolution in support of Texas House Speaker Joe Straus’ plan to end the state’s continuing “diversions” of transportation revenue to non-transportation programs.

The legislature currently diverts hundreds-of-millions in revenue from the state gas tax and other sources to fund other state programs, such as the Department of Public Safety.  In a recent op-ed, the Speaker announced his desire to end the practice next session.

The League has, for many sessions, supported the idea.  The following press release was issued after the board of directors adopted the resolution:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 30, 2014

TML backs Speaker’s goal to end transportation revenue diversions

     AUSTIN—The Texas Municipal League has adopted a resolution in support of House Speaker Joe Straus’ goal of ending the diversion of State Highway Fund money to non-transportation uses.

     “We wholeheartedly agree revenues collected for transportation should be spent on transportation,” said TML President Jungus Jordan of Fort Worth.  “State and Federal funding for highways and transit projects has fallen far short of meeting the needs of our rapidly growing population.  The continued economic viability of Texas and quality of the life of our citizens is dependent on efficient mobility.”

     According to Speaker Straus, using the State Highway Fund exclusively for transportation would increase funding for roads by about $1.3 billion over two years.

     The Speaker recently announced he will propose a state budget next year that uses all of the money in the State Highway Fund for transportation instead of sending some of those dollars to other state agencies.

     TML supported ending the diversion of transportation revenue in the organization’s legislative program for the 2013 legislative session, and Jordan said he will recommend that it be included again when TML adopts its issue positions for the 2015 session.

     “We look forward to working with Speaker Straus and partnering with the state to address our transportation needs,” Jordan said.

 

TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose. No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League.

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