The 84th Legislative Session saw 6,476 bills and joint resolutions filed by Texas lawmakers in 2015. Over 800 of those bills impacted transportation policies and regulations across the Lone Star State. Most of the these bills deal with transportation projects and different methods that can be used to fund these projects. Governor Greg Abbott made it clear the transportation funding was a priority during the last Legislative Session. One method the Texas Department of Transportation have been using to fund construction projects are toll roads.
The Texas Department of Transportation uses toll roads as a method to fund roads and relieve traffic congestion. Tolling is seen as a more efficient funding method compared to traditional funding techniques like registration fees and gas taxes. During the 84th Legislature, a bill was passed that required the Texas Department of Transportation to provide a report that shows the financial impact on the removal of toll roads to Senate and House Transportation Committees. The report is required to disclose the amount of debt that remains on bonds issued for all the tolling projects in the state and identify bonds that could be accelerated or paid in lump sums.
The report was presented to the Senate and House Transportation Committees earlier this month. The report included a review of the 53 toll roads, 28 financial tolling systems and a summary of the outstanding debt for public toll roads in Texas. This report will help Senators and House Members craft the appropriate transportation legislation during the 85th Legislative Session in 2017.