SJR 5 Goes to Conference Committee


May 6, 2015


The Texas Senate declined to concur in House amendments to SJR 5 and requested a conference committee be named. The following Senators were appointed to the conference committee to reconcile differences between the two chambers: Senators Robert Nichols, Jane Nelson, John Whitmire, Kevin Eltife and Bob Hall. The following House Members were appointed to the conference committee: Representatives Joe Pickett, Yvonne Davis, Patricia Harless, John Otto and Ron Simmons. The House Transportation Committee replaced the text of the original SJR 5 in its entirety and the House approved the alternate version by a vote of 139 to 2. The House version would set aside funds from existing general sales tax revenues for highway funding and would expire in 2026. The Senate version would permanently set aside revenues from the vehicle sales tax. Both versions would provide a significant new source of constitutionally dedicated funding for transportation. As of May 22nd the conference committee had not announced agreement on a measure that could be considered for final passage and later submission to the voters.


House Approves Funding Proposal by 139-2 Vote


May 1, 2015


The Texas House of Representatives today voted 139 to 2 in favor of a resolution that would allow Texas voters to decide whether to constitutionally dedicate an estimated $3.6 billion a year in sales tax revenues to the State Highway Fund. The vote sends the amended version of SJR 5 back to the Texas Senate for further consideration. The Senate earlier passed its own highway funding amendment proposal by a vote of 28 to 2. Votes of two-thirds of the members of each house are required to present a constitutional amendment to the voters. The House added amendments to their substitute proposal that would limit the fund dedication if state revenues fall when compared to a previous biennium. Another approved amendment set the date of the constitutional amendment election for November 2016 instead of 2015. The constitutional dedication would expire in 2026 after a possible 9 years. The House also approved the amended version of the enabling legislation for the House approach.