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SA Council Endorses Highway Funding Proposal

 
Posted Friday, May 16th 2014 @ 5am

San Antonio City Council has gone on record supporting a proposal which will be on the ballot in November which calls for diverting 37.5% of the state's Rainy Day Fund, which is replenished with revenues from the booming oil and gas industry, to pay for maintenance, repair, and  construction of Texas highways, 1200 WOAI news reports.

The proposal is seen as a way to put the fund, which is estimated to be near $11 billion by the time lawmakers meet in January due to the Eagle Ford and Cline Shale, to be used to deal with a pressing need of the state.

Councilman Joe Krier said it is a 'common sense' proposal.

"Whether we like it or not we have a couple of million people, a million here and another million in the Austin areas, coming here in the next 15 years," Krier said.

Councilman Ron Nirenburg agreed, saying if nothing is done to make sure all of those people are not stuck in traffic, 'this is not the kind of place where I want to live.'

The measure, called SJR 1, stresses that none of the money can be used to build toll roads.

But support was not unanimous.

Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales says she is disappointed that the state is building more highways, instead of building bike paths and railroads.

"As much as we will not be willing to invest in alternatives, we are going to be in the same situation five years from now or ten years from now," Gonzalez said.  "We need to invest in alternative forms of transportation to get us across this state."

Approval of SJR 1 is by no means assured.  Tea Party groups say the state needs to keep the Rainy Day Fund for emergencies, to make sure Texas is not at the mercy of the federal government during a disaster like a hurricane.

 

 

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