Austin, Texas (FOX 51) — On August 5, 2013, the Texas Legislature passed the SJR 1, the bill that will create a constitutional amendment to dedicate up to 50 percent of all oil and gas severance taxes currently transferred to the Economic Stabilization Fund to the state highway fund.
"I am thankful for Governor Perry's leadership in calling this session to address such an important issue," said Nichols.
Nichols also thanked Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, Speaker Straus, and all members of the House and Senate saying the state's economy depends upon having a safe and reliable road system.
The SJR 1 could deposit as much as $1 billion a year into the state highway fund. The resolution stipulates funds that could only be used for constructing, maintaining and acquiring rights of way for non tolled, public roadways.
"We continue to face a serious crisis in transportation," said Nichols. "Our state’s population is increasing exponentially; our system is aging; traffic continues to rise; and funding for congestion relief will be at a 10 year low in a short two years. The state is also paying millions of dollars a year in debt service for transportation related debt. SJR 1 will go a long way in helping to resolve these problems."
Because SJR 1 is a constitutional amendment, it has passed each chamber with a two-thirds majority. Citizens will now see it on the ballot in November of 2014.