POSTED: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 5:11pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 8:48am
AUSTIN, TX (GOVERNOR PERRY'S OFFICE) — Governor Rick Perry has called lawmakers back for a third special session of the Texas Legislature, beginning immediately, to consider the funding of transportation infrastructure projects.
Perry released the following statement:
“When it comes to transportation, the stakes facing our state could not be higher, and a failure to act now could take years – if not most of a decade – to correct, as traffic congestion increases and harms our quality of life,” Gov. Perry said. “A plan was on the table that would have taken a significant step toward improving our roads and highways using existing revenue. Inaction is a Washington-style attempt to kick a can down the road – but everybody in Texas knows we’re rapidly running out of roads to kick that can down. For those reasons, I’m calling the Legislature back into another special session immediately.”
Brownsville Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., stated about the special session commenting, "After three sessions, one regular and two special sessions, I am disappointed the Texas House of Representatives failed to pass HJR 2.
"True, not everything was included in the proposal. For example, as the author of Texas’ Port Access Fund, I sincerely hoped funding for our Texas ports would have been included in the transportation proposal. I have advocated consistently throughout the years—most recently last week in Senate Finance—that our Texas Ports are vital to the livelihoods of our coastal constituents, and are an integral part of our state’s economy and infrastructure. It would behoove our state to formally recognize this, especially in light of the of the Panama Canal expansion. Notwithstanding, I recognize that the journey of a lifetime begins with a first step. Although the proposal is not everything, it is a meaningful start to our journey of a thousand miles.
"Speaker Straus described the proposal at hand as a 'Band-Aid to cover a pothole.' I respectfully disagree. To fix a pothole, you need hundreds of pebbles, and every pebble has an important part in filling that hole. The conference committee report to HJR 2 was the first pebble: a proposal worth $900 million.
"I will continue to work with my fellow legislators to help address the growing traffic needs of the citizens of the State of Texas."