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Governor Calls Special Session


By BJ Austin, KERA News

Dallas, TX – Governor Rick Perry is calling lawmakers back to Austin for a special session to begin Wednesday, July first. KERA's BJ Austin says the "call" contains three items.

The Governor is calling on lawmakers to pass legislation that will keep five state agencies, including the Department of Transportation, operating past September next year - when operating authority runs out. The second item on agenda would authorize two BILLION dollars in bonds to build roads.

The third would extend the authority of TxDot to contract with private companies to build toll roads. Plano State Senator Florence Shapiro is concerned private companies would get preferential deals.

Shapiro: The current law in my opinion leans very much towards the private sector. And the reason Robert Nichols had a bill was because these contractual arrangements do fall, in our opinion, on the side of the private sector and not on the side of the state.

Shapiro says the Governor wants lawmakers to convene on the first and conclude on the third of July. She says the toll road issue COULD hold them up. The high profile, North Texas local option transportation funding bill is NOT specifically on the agenda. Neither is the controversial Voter ID issue. But, some lawmakers may try to tack them onto legislation.

Email BJ Austin