I’ve been telling you about the big rush in Austin to spend much of our state’s reserves on road construction, an ongoing expense, and to cut in half the amount we save to our reserves from now on, using the money for transportation projects.
Last week we learned, according to the Texas Tribune, that Joe Straus’ big-spending House leaders are reportedly afraid we will “view the [new] legislation [they are working on] as a complete solution for transportation funding instead of as a stopgap to keep transportation programs going until a bigger solution can be found.” That statement alone is enough to indicate where this is going: higher spending now and much higher spending later – all from your pocket.
Paul Burka at Texas Monthly wrote “Advocates for more transportation spending are worried about a phenomenon they call “cone fatigue”–so named for all the construction cones drivers see across the state… The concern is that there is so much road construction going on now, particularly in the Metroplex, that voters will get the idea that the state has a lot of money to spend on highway construction.”
There is a reason people get that idea and it’s not just in the Metroplex, it’s all over from El Paso to the top of the Panhandle and from to SE Texas to the Rio Grande Valley. I’ve been to all but the SE corner of the state in the last year and major road and bridge construction projects are everywhere.
What “advocates” are really saying is that voters may be smart enough to know that TxDOT doesn’t need a big injection of new money quite yet.