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May 30, 2015      3:40 PM

Chambers calibrate compromise on a potential $3 billion in transportation funds per year

Pickett tells House that SJR 5 is a bill that lawmakers of both parties can comfortably support

The compromise on transportation the House just passed on a vote of 142-1 walks the fine line between providing a long-term stable funding source for roads and giving conservatives the assurance of being able to roll the fund back in a pinch.

Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, gave one of his strongest speeches this session as he laid out House Joint Resolution 5, the House and Senate compromise that will go to Texas voters on Nov. 3, 2015. The combination of funds, in excess of $2.5 billion, will provide a potentially stable funding source for transportation out to 2032.

Toll roads are not gone, Pickett acknowledged, but lawmakers could take credit for any number of conservative decisions on transportation this session, including new oversight of and reporting from the Texas Department of Transportation. Those controls were passed to increase the efficiency of the agency, Pickett said.

By Kimberly Reeves