NPT Capitol: Pickett in the lead
From the Houston Chronicle, Transportation crisis not on front burner:
Texas House Transportation Committee Chairman Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, is hoping to jump-start a proposal to allow local communities to raise money to fund local transportation projects.
Pickett’s proposal likely would give all communities the option of deciding whether to increase local gasoline taxes.
The idea is a broader version of legislation that earlier passed the Senate to allow voters in certain areas to raise taxes or fees for local projects. Harris County wasn’t included in the earlier measure. Both proposals are tied to a proposed constitutional amendment to end diversions from the gasoline-tax-fueled state highway fund. Pickett’s idea also would amend the constitution to allow the local-option taxes. Amending the constitution requires a two-thirds vote of lawmakers and statewide voter approval.