Transportation and Environmental Legislation Considered By Senate
The Senate pushed through a myriad of legislation today in an attempt to beat the midnight cutoff after which the Senate can no longer consider bills.
Today followed yesterday's marathon in which the Senate met for twelve and a half hours to consider approximately fifty bills.
Late last night, the Senate began debate on the Committee Substitute to House Bill (CSHB) 3588, a transportation omnibus bill by Bryan Senator Steve Ogden.
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) would be allowed to assess points on a person's driver's license for certain traffic violations under CSHB 3588. A driver who fails to pay the annual surcharge, which would be based on the number of points accumulated, could have his or her license suspended.
About half of the money collected from the point surcharge would go to trauma care, half to the Texas Mobility Fund with once cent of every dollar collected going toward driver education programs.
The legislation also provides for the regulation and development of new toll roads throughout the state and would begin the planning for a new set of transportation facilities that will be known as the Trans-Texas Corridor.
The Senate yesterday also debated CSHB 2877, which concerns the consideration of permits by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and establishes a fifteen-member study commission on water for environmental flows.
In other news, the bill filed by Houston Senator John Whitmire to free the thirteen Tulia residents still in prison despite the indictment for perjury of the only witness against them passed out of the House today. Senate Bill 1948 had been previously approved by the full Senate and is expected to reach the governor's desk for his signature by the end of the week.