Senate votes to END moratorium and sell off our highways to foreign toll operators!

The Texas Senate voted 29-2 in favor of re-authorizing private toll contracts that essentially sell our highways to the highest bidder. On a deal just signed in Dallas, Spain-based Cintra got the rights to charge us 75 cents a mile even though $500 million in gas taxes and other public subsidies will be used to build the project in yet another sweetheart deal for corporations and a raw deal for taxpayers! These contracts are also at the heart of the Trans Texas Corridor. 

The two voting against were Senators Glenn Hegar and Wendy Davis.Thank Senator Hegar here: glenn.hegar@senate.state.tx.us. Wendy Davis actually wants MORE of these private toll contracts and voted against these bills because she wanted an open door for Cintra instead of giving public toll entities first crack at toll projects, so “no thanks,” Senator Davis.

All senators but Wendy Davis voted for SB 17 that purports to protect taxpayers from private toll contracts, called CDAs, but is a sham since TxDOT and toll agencies can waive the steps and jump right to a CDA allowing private corporations to control our public infrastructure! 
(Read more here…)

THE TAXPAYERS’ WRATH BEGINS!
We also put in 200,000 calls to several senators’ districts (Dan Patrick, Juan Hinojosa, Steve Ogden to name a few) because they claimed they hadn’t received ANY calls against this. Well, now they’ve received plenty of calls against! They know the PEOPLE of Texas DO NOT want private control of public roads where these foreign toll operators can control EVERY MILE WE DRIVE, charging oppressively high tolls where they actually have a financial incentive to price drivers off the road in order to maintain a speed of 50 MPH or greater, “There is a sliding scale of damages payments to TxDOT if Average Speeds in the toll lanes are less than 50mph.” The deal also makes TxDOT pay Cintra for any loss of toll revenue due to HOV users! 
(Read more here…). 

ACTION ALERT
Tell your State Rep to KILL private toll deals!
Now these DISASTROUS bills, SB 404/SB 17, MUST BE KILLED in the House. The House version of the bill is HB 2929. SB 220, the bill to LEGALIZE converting existing freeways into toll roads is also still looming. We must fix or KILL that one. There are three other House bills to END tolls on existing freeways whose authors are willing to work with us, like HB 13 by Rep. David Leibowitz that has not been granted a hearing though he requested one over a month ago! HB 11 has also NOT received a hearing and it would help KILL the Trans Texas Corridor by removing it from the transportation code!

Contact your State Representatives and tell them to:
VOTE NO on HB 2929 that sells our highways to the highest bidder, NO to SB 220 loophole-laden bill to toll existing freeways, and YES to sign onto HB 11 to strip the Trans Texas Corridor from the code. 

Find your state representative here >>

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