Committees Offer Interim Recommendations

 

January 26, 2015

 

The House Committee on Transportation and the House Select Committee on Transportation Funding, Expenditures and Finance have issued their reports to fellow members of the House on issues studied during the interim.


The House Committee on Transportation, chaired by Rep. Larry Phillips, took a look at rural highways, the impact of energy sector highway damage, local tax increment financing for roads, seaport access needs, rail service and activities of the Department of Motor Vehicles.


The Committee found that rising economic activity outside of metropolitan areas, particularly from energy sector activity, is significantly affecting the inter-regional highways and rural road system.  They found that major improvements to the state’s interstate highways outside metro area are needed.  The Committee recommended that TxDOT push research of materials that are more highly durable to reduce the cost of constructing and maintaining roadways.


Recommendations included exploring funding solutions for future rural transportation needs, ensuring TxDOT continuously carries out cooperative efforts with local governments and the need to continue to pursue options to sustain funding for energy sector roads.


The House Select Committee on Transportation Funding, Expenditures and Finance, chaired by Rep. Joe Pickett, made numerous recommendations, including proposing that the Texas Transportation Commission discontinue the issuance of additional bonds secured by the Texas Mobility Fund.  The Committee reports that if the Commission discontinued issuing additional debt from TMF, there would be approximately $28 million in excess revenues available in the next biennium.  If no additional debt is issued the existing balances will not be paid off until the year 2040.  Service on this debt in 2015 will be $310 million.


The Select Committee also recommended that the state discontinue transfers from the State Highway Fund that are not rights-of-way acquisition, construction or maintenance of public roadways.


DOWNLOAD - Copies of the committee reports can be downloaded  here:

 

House Transportation Committee Report, December 2014 (2.8 MB)

 

Select Committee Report, December 2014 (2.5 MB)