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Audio: Senators Carona-Hegar Trade Accusations

By Shelley Kofler, KERA News

Austin, TX – In a Sunday afternoon press conference, Senator John Carona, (R) Dallas, cited the importance of fair play in creating good policy as a reason he's prepared to filibuster and kill this session's primary transportation bill before the legislature adjourns Monday.

Carona, chair of the Senate transportation committee, specifically zeroed in on bill sponsor Senator Glenn Hegar, (R) Katy, saying Hegar used "deceitful and dishonest" tactics in negotiating a final transportation bill. Carona said Hegar and some others on a ten-member conference committee didn't confer with him before they stripped the local option transportation tax out of the bill. Carona and North Texas civic leaders have championed the local option as a way to pay for needed roads and rail service in the state's urban areas. The measure would allow counties to seek voter approval for an increase in the gas tax or other fees, with the money raised going for local mobility projects.

Sen. Hegar responded with a timeline of his actions that indicated Carona had been informed of what was happening with the local option measure. Hegar says Carona was advised and invited to negotiating meetings, but Carona maintains that isn't true.

Listen to comments of Senator Carona and then Senator Hegar posted in the audio