Written by Ed Sterling Friday, 02 August 2013 10:32
AUSTIN — As the end of a second, 30-day special session inched closer last week, the Texas House and Senate fell short of reaching a compromise on a path toward the future funding of transportation projects.
During that time span, however, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who presides over the Senate, House Speaker Joe Straus and key lawmakers worked out strategies in back and forth messages, in hopes of bringing House Joint Resolution 2 and House Bill 16 to final votes on July 29 and 30, the last two days of the 30-day special session.
Gov. Rick Perry said he would call a third special session if the Legislature failed to act in accordance with his wishes, that is, to let voters decide via constitutional amendment if sizable-yet-limited withdrawals from the state’s $12 billion Economic Stimulus (rainy day) Fund henceforth should be devoted to future transportation projects.
Wording for the Nov. 5 ballot measure — if approved by the Legislature as currently written — reads: “The constitutional amendment to provide for revenue from motor fuel taxes to be used solely for constructing, maintaining, and acquiring rights-of-way for certain public roadways and to provide for the transfer of certain general revenue to the economic stabilization fund and the available school fund.”