Thursday, April 23, 2009

HB 13 to prohibit free lane to toll lane conversions heard on April 21

In addition to HB 11 to kill the Corridor, the House Transportation Committee heard HB 13--like HB 11 authored by Leibowitz with one of the coauthors our HD 52 Representative Diana Maldonado.

HB 13 would plug the loopholes in a similar plan from Sen. Nichols--SB 220. The loopholes or exceptions in SB 220 would allow the tolling of 290 East to go ahead. HB 13 does not have these exceptions and would save 290 East as a free highway.

The Statesman's Ben Wear says "the legislation would effectively kill what used to be called the Phase 2 toll road plan." He opines that since there is still political support in Austin for the Phase 2 toll roads and since Kirk Watson, the CAMPO chair, is in an influential member of the State Senate, HB 13 probably will not pass the legislature.

Many members of the public at the hearing who spoke or filled out witness forms in favor of HB 11 also registered their support for HB 13. Like HB 11, 13 was left pending in committee.

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