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Austin: 2 Tough Women Battle Borrow & Spenders

Greetings from the Austin…

Tomorrow is Citizen Lobby Day in the Capitol for constitutional conservatives who see the current “borrow and spend” method of building state roads as reckless and anti-liberty.  I will join Terri Hall (TURF founder – Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom) tomorrow for a news conference to call on state officials to step up and lead the legislature on a sensible way out of this expensive and wasteful quagmire.

Why is transportation such a big issue for all who value freedom?  See if this short list of outrageous facts about our state’s transportation operation reminds you of Washington, DC…

1) The State of Texas leads the nation in road debt.

$31 billion in principle & interest racked up in less than 10 years (SOURCE: Associated Press, April 24, 2012 – cites federal data)

2) Texas uses borrowed money to pay for road & bridge maintenance.

(SOURCE: 2011 Texas State Budget – HB 1, Rider 42 – Prop 12 bonds to pay for road maintenance)

3) 47% of the gas tax you already pay goes to non-road uses. (SOURCE: Texas Public Policy Foundation)

4) ‘Local control’ has driven up the cost of roads.

Waste on ‘enhancements’ Central Tx Regional Mobility Authority (local control – toll agency) received a bid $20 million lower than the estimated cost to

expand MoPac, rather than return that money to taxpayers to build other roads, the RMA is using it on ‘enhancements.’ It also spent $275,000 on payments to

the losing bidders for the project. (SOURCE: “Contract for MoPac toll lanes lower than expected,” Austin American Statesman, 2/27/13)

Bloated salaries the combined salaries & compensation for just 10 TxDOT employees is over $1 million annually. (SOURCE: Budget documents)

Taxpayer-funded lobbyingAlamo RMA (local control – toll agency) spent over $1 million on lobbyists; 5 other RMAs also spent taxpayer money on lobbying.

(SOURCE: “Contract for MoPac toll lanes lower than expected,” Austin American Statesman, 2/27/13, Alamo RMA Public Hearing presentation – January 2010,

MPO TIP 2009-2012, RMA financial statements, RMA invoices for lobbyists)

Tuesday, March 12 news conference details

Conservative Grassroots leaders call on Perry, Dewhurst & Straus to stop the march toward more road debt, tax hikes, and budget-busting tolls.

“This is no time for the legislature to pile more burdens on small businesses, families, seniors, and young adults on limited income!”

Austin, TX, March 12, 2013 – On Tuesday morning, Texans from across the state will converge at the capitol to call on Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, and budget writers to stop holding conservative, fiscally sound road funding solutions hostage to more budget-busting tolls, soaring debt, and tax hikes.

What: Joint news conference with grassroots conservative leaders

Who: Texans United for Reform and Freedom (TURF), Terri Hall and the Texas Legislature’s Tea Party Caucus Advisory Committee Chair and Grassroots America Executive Director, JoAnn Fleming

When: 9:30 AM on Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Where: South steps of the Texas Capitol, Austin, TX

Terri Hall and JoAnn Fleming will call for a reversal as they describe how statewide leaders, budget writers, and certain committee chairs are about to declare “open season” on taxpayers with:

  • a “Trans Texas Corridor-like” network of toll roads run by foreign corporations with the power to toll (tax) drivers forever and raise tolls (taxes) at will;
  • unelected boards and commissions driving up the cost of transportation with flagrant waste;
  • a raid on the Rainy Day Fund to push the state’s soaring debt down to the local level – opening up a future of possible local property tax hikes to pay for state highways!

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JoAnn Fleming, Executive Director (volunteer), Grassroots America – We the People  www.gawtp.com

Chair – Advisory Committee to the TX Legislature’s TEA Party Caucus

(903) 894-7204 home office or (903) 360-2858 cell