Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Senate votes to END moratorium and sell off our highways to foreign toll operators! Bills now go to the House

By Terri Hall - T.U.R.F. - April 6, 2009

The Texas Senate voted 29-2 in favor of re-authorizing private toll contracts that essentially sell our highways to the highest bidder. On a deal just signed in Dallas, Spain-based Cintra got the rights to charge us 75 cents a mile even though $500 million in gas taxes and other public subsidies will be used to build the project in yet another sweetheart deal for corporations and a raw deal for taxpayers! These contracts are also at the heart of the Trans Texas Corridor.

The two voting against were Senators Glenn Hegar and Wendy Davis. Thank Senator Hegar here: glenn.hegar@senate.state.tx.us. Wendy Davis actually wants MORE of these private toll contracts and voted against these bills because she wanted an open door for Cintra instead of giving public toll entities first crack at toll projects, so "no thanks," Senator Davis.

All senators but Wendy Davis voted for SB 17 that purports to protect taxpayers from private toll contracts, called CDAs, but is a sham since TxDOT and toll agencies can waive the steps and jump right to a CDA allowing private corporations to control our public infrastructure!

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