BayTran gets legislative update

State Reps. Dennis Paul, left, and Dr. Greg Bonnen are greeted by Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership President Theresa Rodriguez as they arrive at the Marriott South to speak at BayTran’s Legislative Breakfast.

By Mary Alys Cherry

BayTran members were in for a treat when they held their first breakfast meeting in a number years – a rundown of what was going on in Austin by two area legislators – Rep. Dennis Paul of District 129 and Rep. Greg Bonnen of District 24 during the break between the two sessions.

After they were introduced by Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership President Theresa Rodriguez and Treasurer Karen Coglianese, Dr. Bonnen quickly turned to the topic on everyone’s mind, transportation.

“Transportation actually came out quite well with the Legislature dedicating several billion to the Highway Fund,” during what he thought was “a productive but sometimes confusing session.” Also, “TxDOT went through the sunset review without any significant changes,” he said, later adding that while trying to pivot away from debt, the Legislature made a commitment to transportation.”

Rep. Paul gave a rundown of some of the Legislature’s work and listed some of the bills that had passed. “We made sure education was fully funded,” he told the crowd at the Hobby Marriott.

“We did away with straight ticket voting, provided protection for veterans and widows of first responders, voted to help provide vests for police, and spent an enormous amount of time working of the Houston Pension Fund, making lots of concessions all the way around.” He said they also passed a resolution asking the U.S. to move the African Command here.

When asked about help with the proposed Ike Dike or Coastal Spine, he suggested that the public write or call their representatives in Washington. “Any pressure you can put on politicians helps,” both legislators agreed.

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