Texas Infrastructure Under Gov. Perry

Now that Gov. Perry has declared his candidacy for President, the Houston Chronicle has begun a series of articles to spotlight how infrastructure has fared under the state's longest serving governor. Transportation is the focus of the first report.
August 20, 2011, 11am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Gov. Rick Perry is quick to note how much Texas has grown - adding "1,200 new residents every day for the last 10 years." The Chronicle examines how Texas has kept up with the needs of all the state's residents.

"During Perry's tenure, the state has postponed investment or turned to debt to finance critical infrastructure needs, experts say. More than any other issue, Texas' transportation policies illustrate its growing pains.

Perry was a major backer of the "controversial Trans-Texas Corridor, an ambitious transportation scheme that relied on foreign investment and tolls for financing". After the plan was dropped in 2009, Perry resorted even more to debt financing to pay for roads - which had begun in 2003. Texas "will owe $17.3 billion by the end of (2012), contributing to the rapid escalation of total state debt, from $13.4 billion in 2001 to $37.8 billion today."

An alternative to debt financing for transportation would be increasing the gas tax, but Perry derailed a Republican legislative effort in 2007 to allow voters to approve gas tax hikes.

Thanks to Environment & Energy - Greenwire

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Published on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 in The Houston Chronicle
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