IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Senate passes last
CDA moratorium bill 27-4!
Contact: Terri Hall
Texans Uniting for Reform & Freedom (TURF)
PHONE: (210) 275-0640
Senate puts TxDOT on a leash in HB 1892
Last private toll moratorium passes 27-4
Austin, TX, Friday, April 27, 2007 – In yet another
historic move in the Legislature, not only did the
Senate vote to suspend several rules to take-up the
last vehicle to pass a private toll moratorium, HB
1892, early but also senators amended the bill to
put the Department of Transportation on a tighter
leash during the moratorium period.
Senator John Carona, Chair of the Senate
Transportation and Homeland Security Committee, took
key provisions from his omnibus transportation bill
and added them to HB 1892. It puts a sunset on ALL
Comprehensive Development Agreements (private toll
contracts called CDAs) two years sooner, at 2009,
and requires oversight on any CDAs not in the
moratorium by the Attorney General, Legislative
Budget Board, and the State Auditor’s office.
It almost completely eliminates non-compete
provisions, allows the State to buy-out the
contracts, requires greater transparency, and more
input from the public.
“The Senate sent a clear, powerful message to this
Governor. The PEOPLE of Texas and their
representatives have spoken. A supermajority said
‘NO’ to TxDOT’s arrogance and power plays and has
just placed what the public considers a rogue agency
in a box. The Governor would be wise NOT to try and
let them back out with a veto, since it’s clear
it’ll be overturned,” says Terri Hall, Founder and
Director of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom
“Both chambers have overwhelmingly passed every
version of the CDA moratorium in a total repudiation
of the direction this Governor and his
Transportation Commission is trying to take us. We
don’t want to pay what amounts to extortion money
through oppressively high tolls in the hands of
foreign companies just to go to work. We don’t want
the Trans Texas Corridor. We are tired of TxDOT’s
bullying tactics, their flagrant push away from
transportation to selling off our public highways to
the highest bidder, and we’re tired of the secrecy
and back room deals,” states Hall.
Senator Dan Patrick said it best, “There is a
tremendous disconnect between the people and TxDOT.
We couldn’t even get the Transportation Commission
Chairman to sit down and meet with senators”
(referring to Ric Williamson’s dodging tactics with
Chairman Carona at the beginning of the session).
Senator Carona defended the bill and the provisions
he added saying this bill “was not entered into
hastily,” and chastised the Senate for continuing to
allow another $1 billion to be diverted away from
highways in this year’s budget, having failed to
pass any bill to return those funds to
transportation nor to raise some Cain and insist the
House index the gas tax (all tax bills must
originate in the House).
Senator Robert Nichols, ex-Transportation
Commissioner, rallied his colleagues, quieted fears
about some of the new provisions, and reminded them,
"If we don't pass this bill, we will NOT have
another chance to pass a CDA moratorium this
Thanks to the tireless efforts of an engaged
grassroots movement across the state, and thanks to
the many champions of their cause, they got the job
done today. It's a truly historic day in Texas!
Read more about effects on San Antonio toll projects