From the Office of State Senator Troy Fraser

For Immediate Release
March 31, 1999
Contact: William A. Scott - (512) 463-0124

Senate Approves Fraser Bill for Study of Strategic Military Deployment Routes

AUSTIN --- The Texas Senate today approved legislation authored by Senator Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, that requires the state to assess the condition and make recommendations for improvements of strategic routes used by the U.S. military to deploy troops and equipment.

The legislation, Senate Bill 606, was approved by a 29-0 vote, and now goes to the Texas House for consideration.

Under the bill, the Texas Department of Transportation is required to work with Texas military installations to assess the condition of strategic deployment routes and identify those that require further construction, maintenance or expansion.

Following the assessment, TxDOT will provide a cost estimate for improvements. The bill requires TxDOT to issue its report to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House no later than January 31, 2000.

"The issue of improving deployment routes is important, and by addressing it now, Texas will be in a stronger position to defend against potential future closure of Texas military installations," Fraser said. "But its equally important to recognize that an adequate transportation infrastructure is essential for national security reasons and the rapid deployment of troops and equipment overseas."

Fraser's bill is the result of one of several recommendations made by the Texas Strategic Military Planning Commission, which was created by the Legislature in 1997 to enhance long-term efforts by the state to address vital issues to the Texas defense community.

Texas has four military installations that would primarily be affected by the legislation, including Fort Hood, near Killeen, and Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, both of which are located in Senate District 24 which Fraser represents.

"These is one of several important steps the Legislature can take toward keeping the defense industry alive and well in Texas at a time when Congress is actively considering another round of military installations closings beginning as early as 2001," Fraser said.