Priorities for 85rd Legislative Session (2017)
DRMC supports the following legislative agenda for the 2017 Legislative session:
1. Support legislative efforts to fully implement Propositions 1 and 7 and ensure equitable distribution of funding among the districts. Oppose any efforts to reduce anticipated funding from these two revenue sources.
2. Support continued policy of non-diversion of revenue from the State Highway Fund. Urge consideration of a Constitutional Amendment to prevent such diversions in future legislative sessions.
3. In an era of rapid growth and limited funding, continue to provide local MPOs with alternative funding mechanisms in order to accelerate project delivery, including the RTC Legislative request to grant public-private partnership authority on IH 35E, 635E and 183 due to inability to fully fund these projects with current available funding.
4. Continue to educate/advocate on the need for additional state and/or local unrestricted funding options to ensure adequate and sustainable funding in the future.
5. Support continuation of existing eminent domain authority and related tools to allow planning and development of new and/or expanded transportation corridors.
6. In general, support legislation that encourages TxDOT to plan and develop multi-modal corridors, implement emerging technology related to autonomous vehicles and other new innovations, and build upon the efforts of the past two sessions to ensure more transparency and accountability by the department.
7. Closely monitor the TxDOT Sunset process to ensure an end product that enhances the ability of the department to deliver needed projects.
8. Support legislation granting North Texas counties the ability to adopt a $10.00 optional registration fee for transportation projects, if the counties choose to adopt.
9. Oppose legislation that would impose revenue caps or appraisal caps on local governments or reduce rollback rates as this would affect their ability to finance and plan for transportation projects and would have an adverse effect on their bond ratings.
10. Oppose legislation that impedes local authorities from adopting, implementing or considering ordinances that regulate traffic controls and safety in their communities.
11. On the Federal level utilize revenue generated from the comprehensive tax reform to address structural inequities in the Federal transportation formulas. Educate Congress and the State Legislature that when the current authorization bill expires at the end of Fiscal year 2020, the funding formula will be 15 years old and based on population data that is 20 years old. Transportation funding should be directed to states based on current data, current lane miles and current population information reflecting the explosive growth of states and cities in several regions of the country.