New rules that would likely expand private road building, proposed by Texas Department of Transportation officials, would be an end run around the Legislature, add to the agency’s ballooning debt and put taxpayers at risk, four Texas legislators say in letters sent to the agency this month.
State Sens. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, John Carona, R-Dallas, and state Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, asked the Texas Transportation Commission to reject the rules on “pass-through” agreements until the Legislature has a chance to review and act on what the agency has in mind. And Nichols said that trying to do by internal agency decision what the Legislature just declined to do — a failed House bill that would have granted the same authority under different terminology — has hurt TxDOT’s credibility even as the Legislature debates giving the agency more money.
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