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House Votes on Toll Roads, E-Verify; Approves TxDOT Bill

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Today, the Texas House gave preliminary approval to SB 312, defining the rules for the Department of Transportation until 2029.

The “sunset bill” – a term for bills with an expiration date – provided lawmakers on both sides of the aisle the opportunity to tack on some transportation reforms that have otherwise failed to pass this session.

Many Texans complain that many toll roads are built, at least partially, with government money. They call this “double taxation” because they pay the government to build the road, and they pay the toll company to drive on it.

Amendment 12 by Rep. Joe Pickett ends this “double taxation,” if you will, by requiring toll companies to repay all public money they receive from the state. It was adopted 73-65.



Amendment 16 by Rep. Matt Rinaldi requires the Texas Department of Transportation to contract only with companies who use E-Verify to make sure taxpayer dollars are not going to pay the wages of illegal immigrants. It was adopted 83-59.

Amendment 32 by Rep. Matt Shaheen would have removed tolls from toll roads, once the road had been paid for by the collected toll monies. It failed 53-74.

Amendment 37 by Pickett prevents the state from operating HOV lanes as toll lanes. It was adopted without objection (no record vote, presumably no Nays).

Amendment 39 by Rep. Ina Minjarez restricts the amount a motorist can be fined for being late on toll payments. The Department of Transportation can now only charge a $6 administrative fee per notice. They cannot charge more than $48 per year in administrative fees. Additionally, they can only levy a $25 civil penalty per six months, and only after two or more notices have been sent out. It was adopted 136-3.

There were many other amendments, including one by Rinaldi which would have banned red-light cameras statewide, but the Speaker decided it was not “germane” to the bill, and refused to allow it to be voted on.

See the record votes on each of the aforementioned amendments:

Amdt 12 – Pickett (Ending “Double Tax”) Adopted

73-65

Yeas – Alvarado; Anchia; Anderson, C.; Anderson, R.; Biedermann; Blanco; Bohac; Bonnen, D.; Bonnen, G.; Burns; Burrows; Button; Cain; Canales; Capriglione; Cyrier; Dean; Dutton; Faircloth; Fallon; Frullo; Goldman; González; Gooden; Guillen; Gutierrez; Hefner; Hernandez; Herrero; Holland; Keough; Klick; Koop; Krause; Lang; Laubenberg; Leach; Longoria; Lucio; Martinez; Metcalf; Meyer; Miller; Moody; Muñoz; Murr; Neave; Nevárez; Oliveira; Ortega; Parker; Paul; Pickett; Raymond; Rinaldi; Roberts; Romero; Sanford; Schaefer; Schofield; Schubert; Shaheen; Springer; Stephenson; Stucky; Swanson; Thompson, E.; Tinderholt; Turner; Walle; White; Wilson; Wu

Nays – Allen; Alonzo; Arévalo; Ashby; Bailes; Bell; Bernal; Clardy; Coleman; Collier; Cook; Cortez; Cosper; Craddick; Dale; Darby; Davis, S.; Davis, Y.; Deshotel; Farrar; Flynn; Frank; Geren; Gervin-Hawkins; Giddings; Gonzales; Guerra; Hinojosa; Howard; Huberty; Hunter; Isaac; Israel; Johnson, J.; King, K.; King, P.; Kuempel; Lambert; Landgraf; Larson; Lozano; Minjarez; Morrison; Murphy; Oliverson; Paddie; Perez; Phelan; Phillips; Price; Reynolds; Rodriguez, E.; Rodriguez, J.; Rose; Sheffield; Shine; Smithee; Thierry; Thompson, S.; Uresti; VanDeaver; Villalba; Vo; Workman; Wray

Present, not voting – Kacal(C); Mr. Speaker; Zedler

Absent, Excused – Johnson, E.; Simmons; Stickland

Absent, Excused, Committee Meeting – Zerwas

Absent – Burkett; Dukes; Elkins; King, T.; Raney

Amdt 16 – Rinaldi (Requiring E-Verify for contractors) Adopted

83-59

Yeas – Anderson, C.; Anderson, R.; Bailes; Bell; Biedermann; Bohac; Bonnen, D.; Bonnen, G.; Burkett; Burns; Burrows; Button; Cain; Capriglione; Cook; Cosper; Craddick; Cyrier; Dale; Davis, S.; Dean; Elkins; Faircloth; Fallon; Flynn; Frank; Frullo; Geren; Gonzales; Gooden; Hefner; Herrero; Holland; Hunter; Isaac; Kacal; Keough; King, K.; King, P.; Klick; Koop; Krause; Kuempel; Landgraf; Lang; Larson; Laubenberg; Leach; Lozano; Metcalf; Meyer; Miller; Murr; Oliverson; Parker; Paul; Phelan; Phillips; Pickett; Price; Raymond; Rinaldi; Roberts; Sanford; Schaefer; Schofield; Schubert; Shaheen; Sheffield; Shine; Smithee; Springer; Stephenson; Swanson; Thompson, E.; Tinderholt; VanDeaver; Villalba; White; Wilson; Workman; Wray; Zedler

Nays – Allen; Alonzo; Alvarado; Anchia; Arévalo; Ashby; Bernal; Blanco; Canales; Clardy; Coleman; Collier; Cortez; Darby; Davis, Y.; Deshotel; Dutton; Farrar; Gervin-Hawkins; Giddings; González; Guerra; Guillen; Gutierrez; Hernandez; Hinojosa; Howard; Huberty; Israel; Johnson, J.; King, T.; Lambert; Longoria; Lucio; Martinez; Minjarez; Moody; Morrison; Muñoz; Murphy; Neave; Nevárez; Oliveira; Ortega; Perez; Raney; Reynolds; Rodriguez, E.; Rodriguez, J.; Romero; Rose; Stucky; Thierry; Thompson, S.; Turner; Uresti; Vo; Walle; Wu

Present, not voting – Goldman(C); Mr. Speaker

Absent, Excused – Johnson, E.; Simmons; Stickland

Absent, Excused, Committee Meeting – Zerwas

Absent – Dukes; Paddie

Amdt 32 – Shaheen (Removing tolls from paid-off roads) Failed

53-74

Yeas – Anchia; Anderson, R.; Ashby; Bailes; Bell; Biedermann; Bohac; Bonnen, D.; Bonnen, G.; Burns; Burrows; Cain; Capriglione; Cosper; Cyrier; Dale; Elkins; Fallon; Flynn; Frank; Gooden; Hefner; Holland; Hunter; Isaac; Johnson, J.; Klick; Koop; Krause; Lambert; Landgraf; Lang; Leach; Metcalf; Murr; Paul; Phelan; Pickett; Raymond; Rinaldi; Sanford; Schaefer; Schofield; Schubert; Shaheen; Springer; Stucky; Swanson; Thompson, E.; Tinderholt; White; Wilson; Zedler

Nays – Allen; Alonzo; Alvarado; Arévalo; Bernal; Blanco; Burkett; Button; Canales; Clardy; Coleman; Collier; Cortez; Darby; Davis, S.; Davis, Y.; Dean; Deshotel; Dutton; Faircloth; Gervin-Hawkins; Gonzales; González; Guerra; Gutierrez; Hernandez; Herrero; Hinojosa; Howard; Huberty; Israel; Kacal; Keough; King, P.; King, T.; Larson; Longoria; Lozano; Lucio; Martinez; Miller; Minjarez; Moody; Morrison; Muñoz; Murphy; Neave; Nevárez; Oliveira; Oliverson; Ortega; Parker; Perez; Phillips; Price; Raney; Reynolds; Roberts; Rodriguez, J.; Romero; Rose; Shine; Stephenson; Thierry; Thompson, S.; Turner; Uresti; VanDeaver; Villalba; Vo; Walle; Workman; Wray; Wu

Present, not voting – Goldman(C); Mr. Speaker

Absent, Excused – Johnson, E.; Simmons; Stickland

Absent, Excused, Committee Meeting – Cook; Craddick; Farrar; Geren; Giddings; Guillen; King, K.; Kuempel; Meyer; Paddie; Rodriguez, E.; Sheffield; Smithee; Zerwas

Absent – Anderson, C.; Dukes; Frullo; Laubenberg

Amdt 39 – Minjarez (Restricting late fees) Adopted

136-3

Yeas – Allen; Alonzo; Alvarado; Anchia; Anderson, C.; Anderson, R.; Arévalo; Ashby; Bailes; Bell; Bernal; Biedermann; Blanco; Bohac; Bonnen, G.; Burkett; Burns; Burrows; Button; Cain; Canales; Capriglione; Clardy; Coleman; Collier; Cook; Cortez; Cosper; Craddick; Cyrier; Dale; Darby; Davis, S.; Dean; Deshotel; Dutton; Elkins; Faircloth; Fallon; Farrar; Flynn; Frank; Frullo; Geren; Gervin-Hawkins; Giddings; Goldman; González; Gooden; Guerra; Guillen; Gutierrez; Hefner; Hernandez; Herrero; Hinojosa; Holland; Howard; Huberty; Hunter; Isaac; Israel; Kacal; Keough; King, K.; King, P.; King, T.; Klick; Koop; Krause; Kuempel; Lambert; Landgraf; Lang; Larson; Leach; Longoria; Lozano; Lucio; Martinez; Metcalf; Meyer; Miller; Minjarez; Moody; Muñoz; Murphy; Murr; Neave; Nevárez; Oliveira; Oliverson; Ortega; Paddie; Parker; Paul; Perez; Phelan; Phillips; Pickett; Price; Raney; Raymond; Reynolds; Rinaldi; Roberts; Rodriguez, E.; Rodriguez, J.; Romero; Rose; Sanford; Schaefer; Schofield; Schubert; Shaheen; Shine; Smithee; Springer; Stephenson; Stucky; Swanson; Thierry; Thompson, E.; Tinderholt; Turner; Uresti; VanDeaver; Villalba; Vo; Walle; White; Wilson; Workman; Wray; Wu; Zedler

Nays – Gonzales; Morrison; Sheffield

Present, not voting – Bonnen, D.; Mr. Speaker(C)

Absent, Excused – Johnson, E.; Simmons; Stickland

Absent, Excused, Committee Meeting – Zerwas

Absent – Davis, Y.; Dukes; Johnson, J.; Laubenberg; Thompson, S.



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