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Hutchison-Perry Camps Spar Over Tolls


By Shelley Kofler

Dallas, TX – On Friday, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison laid some of the groundwork for a gubernatorial campaign she's launching Monday. KERA's Shelley Kofler says she's making toll roads an early issue in her match-up with Rick Perry.

Friday Hutchison told transportation experts gathered in Irving that she opposes Governor Rick Perry's philosophy for using tolls to finance road construction. Hutchison criticized long-term road building contracts issued to private developers.

"Using toll roads as a permanent tax raise is not good public policy," Hutchison said. "A fifty-year lease on a toll road is never meant to be a free road. That is Governor Perry's transportation strategy and I disagree with it."

Perry's campaign responded by calling Hutchison's week-long attack against Perry's support for toll roads "a scare tactic." A Perry spokesman said neither the state nor the federal government has money to build new roads, and that's why Perry has supported tolling.

The Perry camp challenged Hutchison to offer another solution that will pay for highway construction and maintenance.

On Monday KERA will report from La Marque where Hutchison attended high school. That's where the Senator will launch her campaign for Governor.