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May 29, 1999     (512) 463-0300

AUSTIN - Cars and trucks will be traveling down federal and state highways at the same speed if the Committee Substitute for House Bill (CSHB) 676 is signed by the governor. Every vehicle, with the exception of school buses, would have the same speed limit in areas outside of cities. Under a House/Senate compromise proposal passed today, a county commissioners court can advise the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) whether to lower speed limits on certain farm or ranch to market roads. The final decision is up to TxDOT.

An Austin airport will get to close its doors. The Capitol City government has been fighting an amendment which would require Robert Mueller Airport to remain open. Austin just celebrated the grand opening of its new airport, Austin-Bergstrom, and would lose federal funds if the old airport stayed open. A conference committee of senators and representatives voted to strip off the amendment and allow the old airport to close. The amendment was added by Houston Representative Ron Wilson to CSHB 370, the Sunset legislation which continues the Department of Public Safety.

Austin Senator Gonzalo Barrientos says local officials know what is best for their city. "While the City of Austin is the capital of the State of Texas, the people who live here should also enjoy the conservative basics of local control and that's what we're talking about, local control," said Barrientos.

The Committee Substitute for Senate Bill (CSSB) 4, the school finance legislation is still being neg otiated. The conference committee met publicly for the first time today but was unable to agree on the final language.

The Senate will reconvene tomorrow, May 30, at 2:00 p.m.

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