ROAD/BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION: Texas may have found way to pass transportation-funding plan

Deal would call for funds being diverted from state’s rainy day account

July 29, 2013

It appears Texas’ annual road and bridge funding was saved because of a rainy day.

Lawmakers appeared ready to pass a measure that would provide about $900 million a year for highways. Those in the House and Senate were tossing around proposals and were involved in their second special session before sides reached a compromise.

Under the plan, oil production tax revenues will be split between the state’s rainy day fund and transportation spending. Voters will have to approve a constitutional amendment before funds for the rainy day fund could be diverted, and if the special fund—which is predicted to have $11.8 billion during the 2014-15 biennium—drops to a specified level such a transfer would be blocked.

The required minimum would most likely be decided by the Legislative Budge Board.

If lawmakers failed to come up with a solution for its transportation-funding dilemma by the end of the second special session, Gov. Rick Perry said a third would be necessary.