Passage of Texas highway funding bill good news for roadway access and business in the Four States area

With near unanimous votes in both the Texas Senate and House, state lawmakers
have approved a 10-year extension of highway funding authorized by Proposition 1 in 2014.

The Texarkana USA Regional Chamber of Commerce says it supports the legislation to continue the development of a stronger highway system for our area and Texas.

The House voted 140-1 Friday to approve SB 962 and send it to the governor’s desk for
signing. The Senate earlier approved the bill unanimously.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Robert Nichols, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, and Representative John Zerwas, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

The Texarkana Chamber along with other members of the Alliance for I-69 Texas joined
with other advocates of highway funding in urging lawmakers to approve the 10-year extension
that will keep funds flowing to needed projects like Interstate 69 which extends from Texarkana
through Houston and south to the Rio Grande at Brownsville, McAllen and Laredo.

Over the past four years a total of $5.4 billion authorized by Proposition 1 has gone to
upgrade and expand highway capacity in Texas.

Those funds come from a portion of existing oil and natural gas production taxes and have been a significant step forward in filling the state’s highway funding gap.

When lawmakers set up Proposition 1 they included a potential termination date that
would cut off those funds unless extended. Senator Nichols authored and championed the bill
which will extend the termination date until 2034.

“This extension provides a level of funding certainty needed to keep highway improvement
projects moving down the long path of planning, funding and completion,” said Polk County Judge
Sydney Murphy, Alliance for I-69 Texas board chairman.