Texas just showed up Congress on transportation funding

Flood8Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty ImagesTexas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in May 2015 in Wimberly, Texas after flooding devastated parts of the state.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott approved three transportation-related bills on Tuesday, including one, which, pending voter approval, will add $US2.5 billion to the state’s highway fund, in order to keep Texas’ roads in working order. 

Congress has not been able to pass a federal transportation bill in six years. Federal funding for transportation has instead come in the form of 33 short-term measures, the most recent of which was passed at the end of May.  

“The people of the state of Texas spoke loud and clear in the last election,” Abbott said, as reported by Texas Tribune. “They want the Texas Legislature to step up and address the challenges we face because of growing congestion on our roadways. The Legislature did step up, and they passed legislation that provides a historic amount of funding to build roads here in the state of Texas.” 

Governor Abbott signed the bills into law on a heliport, high above an almost $US800 million highway project in Dallas known as “the horseshoe project,” which is scheduled for completion in 2017. 

Texas, which has the most highway miles of any state, has been struggling to find a way to finance its Department of Transportation. Recent flooding in large parts of the state has washed-out miles of highways, bridges and dams.

On the days leading up to the June 1st deadline, lawmakers of the 84th Texas legislature worked well into the night on controversial bills, including open carry gun laws and campus carry.

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