El Paso-centric info and commentary from the Center of North America

NPT Capitol: Transportation conference? Not so fast, Sen. Shapleigh

NPT reported yesterday, that state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh was going to be part of the TxDoT conference committee, bar any last minute changes.

But in a surprise move, state Sen. Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen, was named to the five-member Senate team instead. Surprise? As an example, the Austin American-Statesman reported that Hinojosa “is not on the transportation committee and hasn’t been visibly involved in the issue this session.”

The presence of Shapleigh, who knows his stuff when it comes to transportation, would have been an interesting counterpoint to state Rep. Joe Pickett, chair of the House Transportation Committee and instumental in crafting the House version of the TxDOT bill.

So why no Shapleigh? Here’s NPT’s take:

The House and Senate versions of the TxDOT bill are radically different, which has caused some tension between the two chambers. If Shapleigh went to conference, Senate author, Glenn Hegar, R-Katy would be the only conferee from a predominantly rural district. Taking Shapleigh, rather than a fellow rural senator perhaps reflected the fact that Hegar (whose version of the bill is more conservative) thought he needed someone to keep Pickett busy. (And who better to get under Pickett’s skin than Shapleigh?) However, as NPT reported here, the main players in the House and Senate (Hegar, Carona, Isett, Pickett) have been getting on better the last week. Maybe Hegar decided he didn’t need a pit bull after all.

–Sito Negron and Ben Wright

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

May 28, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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