Money designated to State Highway Fund should be used to pay for roads
AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation commends House Speaker Joe Straus for his call to craft a budget next session directing all money in the State Highway Fund to transportation.
“With transportation playing a pivotal role in Texas’ vibrant economy, we applaud Speaker Straus for identifying an end of State Highway Fund money not going to transportation as a priority,” said Talmadge Heflin, Director of TPPF’s Center for Fiscal Policy. “Ending $1.3 billion in diversions over two years would go a long way towards funding roads without raising taxes. By suggesting this early in the interim, the Speaker allows legislators and agencies ample time to adjust budget requests to cover the priorities of public safety and mobility while protecting the taxpayer by not spending every available dollar next session.”
“Speaker Straus takes an important step today in increasing transparency and accountability in Texas’ transportation system,” said Chuck DeVore, TPPF’s Vice President of Policy. “Legislators should also allow the restrictions on design-build contracts to end as scheduled in 2015. Design-build procurement saves from 22 percent to as much as 30 percent over traditional design-bid-build contracting, potentially saving as much as $1.2 billion per year that can go into building more roads without raising tax rates or diverting funds from growing surpluses that ought to be returned to Texas taxpayers.”
The Honorable Talmadge Heflin is Director of the Center for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Honorable Chuck DeVore is Vice President of Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.