SENATE FINISHES WORK FOR SPECIAL SESSION
(AUSTIN) — After two days, the Senate adjourned after passing bills to preserve key state agencies and supply funding for transportation projects over the next two years. Senate and House passed HB 1 on Thursday, July 2, which would issue about $2 billion in transportation bonds authorized by voters in 2007. It would dedicate $1 billion of that money toward non-tolled transportation funds, and the other billion would go to the state infrastructure fund bank. Money in the bank could be used to leverage $3 billion in loans for transportation projects.
Both chambers passed SB 2, the sunset safety net bill, Wednesday.
One issue placed on the governor's call wasn't addressed by legislators. Governor Rick Perry asked the Legislature to consider bills extending comprehensive development agreements (CDA), which are essentially public-private partnerships intended to pay for new roads. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst said that after talking with regional mobility authorities, Senators decided the issue is not pressing. "We didn't see the urgency for these CDA's to be extended at the present time," said Dewhurst. Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee Chair John Carona of Dallas said there will be plenty of time to fully address the issue when the Legislature next meets in regular session. "No major project is going to be left behind between now and 2011," he said.
The Senate stands adjourned sine die.