Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lawmakers race to rework transportation measure

Posted on Wed, May. 09, 2007
AUSTIN — Under threat of a special session this summer, a key lawmaker said Wednesday that the Legislature plans to scuttle a sweeping transportation measure considered destined for a veto and send the governor a new bill more to his liking.

“I’m not canceling my vacation plans just yet,” said state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, who chairs the Senate’s committee on transportation and homeland security.

Two well-placed sources said earlier in the day that Perry would call lawmakers back to Austin unless they undo an element in House Bill 1892 that could cost Tarrant County and other areas tens of millions of dollars for road construction projections.

That feature would undermine plans by local officials in North Texas to spread those dollars all over the region in an effort to ease ever-growing urban and suburban traffic congestion. At risk would be such planned projects as the North Tarrant Express and the western link of Texas 121.

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