FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 5, 2014
AUSTIN — Texas voters overwhelming approved a transportation-related amendment to the state Constitution Tuesday, reflecting widespread support for highway funding.
"Texans want and deserve a safe, first class highway system. Voters have made an investment in our state's economic future by supporting this proposal, and we must carry this momentum forward into the next legislative session. I would like to thank everyone who worked on this proposition and supported it," said Senator Robert Nichols, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and author of the constitutional amendment.
More than two-thirds of Texas voters supported Proposition 1, which will allow a portion of the state's oil and gas production tax revenue to flow into the state's highway fund to build and maintain roads and bridges. An equal portion will continue to be transferred into the state's rainy day fund, which is expected to hold at least $8.4 billion at the end of the current fiscal year. Prop 1 is expected to generate $1.7 billion later this year for the highway fund and allow the state to continue to plan new highways.
"I'm excited that we are able to take this first, big-big step in putting us back on a pay-as-you-go path to finance highway construction and other transportation-related infrastructure," said Rep. Joe Pickett, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Transportation Funding and House sponsor of the constitutional amendment.
Texas must invest at least $5 billion more per year on highway construction simply to maintain current traffic congestion levels, according to a study done by Texas A&M's Texas Transportation Institute.
"This is a great victory, but there is still much to be done," Nichols said. "The Legislature must make additional investments in our state's infrastructure and make funding transportation a priority. Better, safer roads for Texas families and businesses should always be our goal and this is a great step in that direction."