Friday, May 29, 2009

Calls needed NOW to KILL HB 300!

Calls needed NOW to KILL HB 300!
Get their phones ringing and keep them ringing! This bill ENDS the private toll moratorium, sells our highways to the highest bidder, keeps the Trans Texas Corridor alive, opens a new loophole to toll existing freeways, allows counties a 10 cent gas tax hike, raids public employee pension funds for toll roads, reduces the number of elected officials on transportation boards, and more!

Contact your Texas STATE representatives and tell them:

"KILL HB 300, and pass a safety net bill."

Find your STATE Representative here...

Call the Capitol switchboard (512) 463-4630 between 8 AM - 5 PM. Most are there late into the evening, to get your reps direct phone numbers, go here...

You can also email your STATE Representative by using this formula:
Plug in the name of your STATE Representative to:

You can also email your STATE Senator by using this formula:
Plug in the name of your STATE Senator to:

Phone calls are best at this stage of the game...if you can't get through, keep calling and email.

Monday night, an amendment authored by Senator Glenn Hegar was slipped into the TxDOT Sunset bill, HB 300, that authorizes all the Trans Texas Corridor (TTC) contracts called CDAs (for both TTC-35 & TTC-69) to continue. It also says no provision, restrictions, or "protections" in HB 300 apply to it, despite the repeal of the actual TTC language from the code. Senator Hegar assured Senator Dan Patrick on the floor that the TTC is dead, then slips in this floor amendment that deliberately allows it to continue!

Senator Robert Nichols, who brokered the backroom deal to make it happen, sent a press release all over the state claiming he voted to abolish the TTC, when he and others did just the opposite! HB 300 is now over 1,000 pages long with little time left in the session to read it or know what's in it, much less to be able to strip out all the bad provisions. HB 300 now goes to conference committee where 5 members of the House and 5 members of the Senate will hash out what stays in and what goes. The session ends Monday, June 1. Strong eminent domain reform died in the House yesterday.

HB 300 abandoned the original Sunset committee recommendations long ago, and it's been loaded up with some horrific provisions like:

-Selling our highways to foreign toll operators (CDAs)
-Continuing the Trans Texas Corridor
-New loophole to toll existing freeways
-Raiding public employee retirement funds to invest in these risky CDA deals
-Up to a 10 cent gas tax hike (without ending gas tax diversions or any meaningful reform of TxDOT!)
-An increase in speed limits UP TO 85 MPH on the TTC & toll roads (with the intent to lower speed limits on competing free roads)
-Adding license plate cameras on state highways

Add to that, Speaker Joe Straus from San Antonio did not name either Rep. David Leibowitz or Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (who carried and fought for many of our GOOD amendments in the House version of HB 300) as one of the 5 conferees from the House who will decide which amendments stay in and which ones are stripped from the bill.

This bill simply has too much baggage for taxpayers to choke down, so we need to KILL HB 300. The Legislature can pass what's called a safety net bill that will push TxDOT's Sunset to next session. At this point, we don't want a special session on TxDOT, because no meaningful reform of TxDOT is possible as long as Rick Perry still holds a veto pen.
Highway paid for with 100% gas taxes opens as TOLL ROAD!
Read more here.

Lawmakers at odds over TxDOT sunset bill
Talk of killing it altogether
Read more here.

"Texans Uniting for Reform & Freedom"

"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men."
-- John Adams

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