Texas Legislature to Send $1.2 Billion Road-Spending Hike to Voters

Money would come from oil and gas revenues diverted from the state's Rainy Day Fund, without raising taxes

The Texas Legislature ended its third special session of the year after passing a transportation measure that boosts spending by about $1.2 billion per year. Lawmakers agreed to a deal that would put the amendment in front of voters in a 2014 referendum.

The money would come from oil and gas revenues diverted away from the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

The Legislature must set a minimum balance for the Rainy Day Fund every two years. Conservatives had hoped to set the minimum balance in the Texas Constitution.

The measure falls short of the $4 billion a year experts say the state needs for roads.

"This legislation does not raise taxes, yet it protects a healthy balance (in the Rainy Day Fund) for future fiscal challenges, and divides future revenues between the Rainy Day Fund and the Highway Fund," said Dewhurst. "The fund only had about $500 million in it when I took office, and balances are now in excess of $6 billion."

(more on Texas' new transportation bill . . . )