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NPT Capitol: Shapleigh to be on TxDoT conference committee

State Sen. Eliot Shapleigh will join fellow senators John Carona, Glenn Hegar, Robert Nichols and Kirk Watson on the TxDoT conference committee, according to a source in the Senate.

Shapleigh is an interesting pick. He knows his stuff being on the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee. But he is also not on best terms with House Transportation Chair Joe Pickett. (Let’s just say they’re not on each others’ Christmas card list.) They have clashed so far this session on Stormwater exemption fees and the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority.

Is Shapleigh there to keep Pickett in check so that the other Senators don’t have to?

The TxDoT sunset process has revealed differences in approach and philosophy between the Senate and House versions of the bill. There has been a fair bit of sniping from the sidelines in both chambers. [link] Shapleigh could provide a valuable counterweight to Pickett, who is committed to overhauling TxDoT, while Hegar, author of the Senate version of TxDoT sunset, seems content with making the agency more transparent. [link]

NPT were also told that Hegar was not pleased so many of the conferees were from urban areas. (His district is predominantly rural.) Hegar has also spoken against the local option tax proposal (Carona’s SB 855) which was rolled into the Senate sunset bill. That would give urban areas the ability to raise revenue for transportation projects.

Apparently there have been last minute maneuvers to swap out a couple of the conferees, which haven’t (yet) succeeded.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 27, 2009 at 3:54 pm

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