Texas Legislation Would End Federal Funding for Transit

SB 1048, proposed by Senator Bob Hall (R-Rockwall), levels an unprecedented attack on transit in Texas. Although it's probably an extreme example of dead-on-arrival legislating, it's notable that an elected official would consider such a proposal.
March 11, 2015, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"A North Texas state senator has introduced a bill in the Texas legislature that would effectively prohibit the state or any of its subsidiaries, such as cities and transit authorities, from using money from the U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for rail mass transportation," reports Lyndon Henry.

According to Henry, Dallas, Houston, and Austin would be particularly impacted by SB 1048, "since such a law would prohibit them from even maintaining their rail systems with essential assistance from the FTA, the primary agency managing federal mass transportation funding programs. Like virtually all U.S. public transit systems, Texas rail systems depend significantly on federal funding both to maintain and expand their operations, which would appear to be seriously threatened by the pending legislation."

Coverage by Michael Glass for Government Executive notes Sen. Hall's Tea Party allegiance and proposal of legislation in February to end funding for organizations "accredited by the United Nations to implement a policy that originated in the Agenda 21 plan."

The Texas State Legislature has recently provided a much different example of Republican leadership, in the form of a bill that "would require county commissioners courts to sign off on toll projects in their jurisdictions," according to a separate article by Brandon Formby. That bill would actually return power to local officials in making transportation decisions, though Formby describes the legislation as motivated to slow down the proliferation of toll roads.

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Published on Sunday, March 8, 2015 in Examiner.com
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