Texas Senate, District 2
P.O. Box 12068 Capitol Station, Austin, Texas 78711
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: April 28, 2002
CONTACT: Don T. Forse, Jr.
Deuell, Senate Call on Congress to Equalize State Highway Funding
Calling Texas the "largest donor state in the history of the Federal Aid Highway Program," Texas State Senator Bob Deuell and his colleagues are calling on the Texas Congressional delegation to remedy the problem.
On Monday, Sen. Deuell circulated a letter addressed to Texas' two U.S. Senators and 32 Members of Congress asking for support of a more equitable funding formula for highway dollars. The letter was signed by all 31 members of the Texas Senate.
According to the letter, Texas has not gotten it's fair share of the federal gasoline tax.
"Since 1956, we have sent five billion more to Washington than we have received," Deuell said. "We currently only get about 87 cents back for every dollar of gasoline tax we send to the federal government."
Deuell said current circumstances warrant more money coming back to Texas.
"Texas is a fast-growing border state with significant infrastructure and transportation needs," Deuell said. "My colleagues and I in the Texas Senate invite our friends in Washington to help us with these challenges."
The letter calls on the Congressional delegation to support bipartisan legislation that will provide at least a 95% rate of return for all states. The letter goes on to state this money would be used to support construction of transportation infrastructure to reduce congestion and pollution, improve safety and support economic growth.
A copy of the text of the letter is contained below. If you would like a copy that contains the signatures of the members of the Texas Senate, contact Don Forse at (512) 463-0102 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 25, 2003
Members of the Texas Congressional Delegation:
Transportation spending amounts to more than $10 billion of the state's biennial budget, almost half of which comes from the federal government's reimbursement of state expenditures. As you know, the United States Congress has already started work to re-authorize and improve the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).
1997's federal TEA-21 measure authorized over $218 billion for highway and transit programs, so this year's effort to craft new transportation funding legislation presents a rare opportunity to improve funding for Texas roads, rail, highways and other transportation infrastructure. Federal transportation funding is an excellent tool for improving safety, quality of life, and long-term economic growth and job creation in Texas.
Historically, Texas has fared rather poorly in federal transportation funding. Since 1956, Texans have sent $5 billion more in federal gasoline taxes to Washington than we have received back, making Texas the single largest "donor state" in the history of the Federal Aid Highway program. Today we receive only about 87 cents of highway funding for every dollar of gasoline tax sent to Washington. A large, fast-growing border state like Texas deserves a fairer share of federal highway dollars.
The last two federal surface transportation acts have provided improvements to our states' rate of return, but we must do better. A more equitable funding formula would provide Texas with millions in additional federal funds to support construction of transportation infrastructure that will reduce congestion and air pollution, improve safety and support economic growth statewide.
We understand that bipartisan legislation will soon be introduced to provide at least a 95% rate of return for all states. We hope that you will be able to support this legislation as a co-sponsor and help Texas fight for what Texans deserve, a fair share of our transportation tax dollars.
Senator Bill Ratliff
Senator Bob Deuell
Senator Todd Staples
Senator Tommy Williams
Senator Steve Ogden
Senator Mario Gallegos
Senator Jon Lindsay
Senator Florence Shapiro
Senator Chris Harris
Senator Kim Brimer
Senator Mike Jackson
Senator Jane Nelson
Senator Rodney Ellis
Senator Gonzalo Barrientos
Senator John Whitmire
Senator John Carona
Senator Kyle Janek
Senator Ken Armbrister
Senator Frank Madla
Senator Juan Hinojosa
Senator Judith Zaffirini
Senator Kip Averitt
Senator Royce West
Senator Troy Fraser
Senator Jeff Wentworth
Senator Leticia Van de Putte
Senator Eddie Lucio
Senator Robert Duncan
Senator Eliot Shapleigh
Senator Craig Estes
Senator Teel Bivins
cc: President George W. Bush
U. S. Senator John Cornyn
U. S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson
U.S. Congressman Joe Barton
U.S. Congressman Chris Bell
U.S. Congressman Henry Bonilla
U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady
U.S. Congressman Michael Burgess
U.S. Congressman John Carter
U.S. Congressman Larry Combest
U.S. Congressman John Culberson
U.S. Congressman Tom Delay
U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett
U.S. Congressman Chet Edwards
U.S. Congressman Martin Frost
U.S. Congressman Charles Gonzales
U.S. Congressman Kay Granger
U.S. Congressman Gene Green
U.S. Congressman Ralph Hall
U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling
U.S. Congressman Ruben Hinojosa
U.S. Congressman Sheila Jackson Lee
U.S. Congressman Eddie Bernice Johnson
U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson
U.S. Congressman Nicholas Lampson
U.S. Congressman Soloman Ortiz
U.S. Congressman Ron Paul
U.S. Congressman Silvestre Reyes
U.S. Congressman Ciro Rodriguez
U.S. Congressman Max Sandlin
U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions
U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith
U.S. Congressman Charles Stenholm
U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry
U.S. Congressman Jim Turner