Texoma Legislators Weigh in on Third Special Session

- Senator Craig Estes and Representative James Frank say they'd hoped lawmakers could have gotten all their ducks in a row a bit sooner than this, but they say this third special session deals with an important issue and is definitely needed.

"Both houses of the legislature failed to pass the transportation bill at the last minute, and so the governor immediately called us back in," Estes says.

In their third special session, they'll be mulling over a $900 million a year transportation bill.

"Under certain conditions, it takes money that is going into the Rainy Day Fund and splits it 50/50 between the Rainy Day Fund and Fund Six, which is the Major Highway Fund."

Wichita Falls lawmakers are split on this proposal.

Senator Estes says he's all for it but Representative Frank disagrees.

"I'm a no vote right now because we're only taking out of Rainy Day Funds, which is, I don't think, very good stewardship, he says. "If transportation was a priority, which it should be, then we should have addressed it in the budget, which we didn't."

Estes says the Rainy Day Fund will likely hit its constitutional cap in a few years so money will eventually have to be withdrawn anyway.

Frank says the state needs to stop borrowing money with bonds to fund transportation projects, and this bill would create that funding for the next biennium.

The state house is going in at 2 p.m. Monday and the senate will start the same day.

Both legislators say they hope this third Special Session wraps up by Tuesday morning.

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