Bill delaying TTC
passes House, Senate
BY: TRACY DANG, Managing
Editor, THE SEALY NEWS
Anti Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC)
groups are celebrating another victory as Texas
legislators take another step toward derailing
the controversial corridor in its current form.
House Bill 1892, authored by Rep. Wayne Smith
(R-Baytown), passed the Senate 27-4 Friday. It
passed the House of Representatives April 11
with a vote of 137-2.
The bill was originally written to give the
Harris County Toll Authority the right of
refusal for any toll roads, protecting it from
losing any projects specifically to companies
A major component added to the original bill was
an amendment by Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham)
placing a two-year ban on the privatization of
state toll roads, including the TTC, through
Sept. 1, 2009. It also requires a legislative
study committee to file a report no later than
Dec. 1, 2008.
"The moratorium is a two-year clause on private
equity comprehensive development agreements
(CDAs), what's being used to build the TTC for
for-profit companies wanting to build toll roads
and wanting 50-year contracts," Kolkhorst said.
"It gives us time to tap the breaks and slow
down and understand what we're really doing."
The amendment used the same language drafted in
Kolkhorst's own HB 2772, which has yet to be
reviewed by the House Transportation Committee.
haven't even been able to get a hearing on the
bill," Kolkhorst said. "But it doesn't matter if
it passes in someone else's bill or if it's a
stand-alone bill, as long as it gets passed."
Although some criticize the bill is not harsh
enough, others are saying it's a start.
"We are advocates of HB 1892, and we support the
moratorium, as well as the limited structure and
effort to provide more local control," Linda
Stall said. "We think it's a really important
start. We think it's the best bill we've had
regarding this issue, and by the end of the
two-year period, everyone should have a better
idea about (Comprehensive Development
The bill has to go back to the House for
approval of the Senate amendments. Then it will
go to the governor's desk for a signature or a
"To veto this bill would be the grandest act of
arrogance imaginable," David Stall said. "This
is not an obscure or misunderstood piece of
legislation. Tens of thousands of Texans know
exactly what this bill is about, and they want
it passed. The governor should take pause and
respect the will of the people."
If the governor takes no action within 10 days,
the bill automatically becomes law. If he
chooses to veto it, the chamber can override the
veto with a 2/3 majority vote.