Now that legislators have gone home and trumpeted how they passed a bill to freeze private financing of toll roads, the governor's office has some bubble-busting news.
There isn't much of a moratorium in Senate Bill 792. ....
Slapping a two-year moratorium on privatization contracts started out simple. But skittish lawmakers carved out exceptions in their backyards, and Perry fought to keep a loophole for his cherished multibillion-dollar cross-state network called the Trans-Texas Corridor.
By the time the plotting and jawboning ended a week ago, nearly every toll road project in line for a concession contract with a private developer had been exempted from the ban.
"The governor didn't appreciate the hypocrisy of it," Black said. "These guys were going to run around and say we did a two-year moratorium, when in fact they didn't." ...
Another cloud hanging over SB 792 has to do with whether the moratorium includes the Trans-Texas Corridor leg that will parallel Interstate 35.
A concession was signed in 2005 with Cintra of Spain and Zachry Construction Co. of San Antonio to draw up a development plan. Separate contracts would spin off of the plan to construct individual segments.
TxDOT officials recently said the agency might be ready to move forward with a rail project within two years.
Worried that the construction contracts might slip through the moratorium on new concessions, Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, added an amendment to plug the potential loophole. But Perry balked, threatening to veto the bill.
The House-Senate compromise committee agreed to take the amendment out.
After talking to lawyers and Perry's office, Kolkhorst said she believes in her heart that there is a moratorium on the corridor contracts, according to reports. If TxDOT wants to play with words, she said, the matter could be settled in court.
"It's a strong bill with or without the amendment," she said.
Black said Kolkhorst was told that work couldn't start on corridor projects within two years anyway because environmental studies won't be finished.
But Kolkhorst may not have known that SB 792 would still allow construction contracts to be signed, though work wouldn't begin until after the studies are completed, he said.
"She kind of got her hat handed to her," Black said.
That sound like a moratorium on the TTC to you? So, back to the start of this. Here you have a man who works for a Leininger Think Tank lying to people about the so-called moratorium. Why? To try to scarf up some angry voters by making them think Republicans are on their side? Pffftttttttttt.
The ONLY thing I agreed with in the article, above, is that those of use who are against the TTC MUST KEEP FIGHTING THIS. Our Texas government sold us out, but that just makes all of them grasping and dishonest-and entirely up for being REPLACED.