Athens Review, Athens, Texas

July 19, 2013

House, Senate still without transportation deal

Associated Press
The Athens Review

Athens —

AUSTIN, Texas  — There's still no deal for more transportation dollars for Texas roads, sending House and Senate leaders back to the bargaining table.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Friday there are "significant policy differences" between both chambers about how to pay for a congested and crumbling highway system. State transportation officials say another $4 billion a year is needed just to maintain the status quo.

Dewhurst appointed a team of negotiators after the Senate rejected a measure passed by the House a day earlier. Lawmakers want to divert money from the state's Rainy Day Fund, but the Senate wants to protect the balance from dipping below $6 billion.

Dewhurst says House and Senate negotiators will meet informally before both chambers reconvene Thursday. He wants a deal by the end of next week.