This past week, we celebrated National Transportation Infrastructure Week. While this recognition does not come with celebratory cake and confetti, I know we can all appreciate the core systems which enable the movement of goods and people throughout the state and across the country. Transportation infrastructure brings prosperity to the nation by connecting Americans to all of the opportunities this great country offers. Whether you’re traveling along the El Camino Real de los Tejas with the family this summer, or transporting agricultural or livestock goods—it is the highways, roads and bridges that keep Texans and the economy moving forward.
With that, here is an update from your State Capitol…
Every budget cycle, the Texas Motor Fuels Tax funds millions of dollars worth of needed transportation projects. By way of background, in 1923 the Texas Legislature created the Texas Motor Fuels Tax to dedicate a portion of motor fuels sales to the building and maintenance of state highways, roads and bridges. When the law was created, motor fuels was defined as any product that could be used to power a vehicle on Texas roads, but since 1941, the state defined and classified fuels types as gasoline, diesel fuel and liquefied gases.
As the reliance on natural gas vehicles is projected to decrease over the years, the passage of Senate Bill 1728 ensures all vehicles on Texas roads contribute to needed transportation projects and road and bridge maintenance. This bill, which was considered in a public hearing by the House Committee on Transportation last week, shores up funding by including electric vehicles among the contributors for transportation projects.
Another bill I wish to highlight is Senate Bill 15, which protects personal information from being sold, rented, or traded to unauthorized third parties by the Texas Department of Transportation. This bill, known as the Texas Consumer Privacy Act Phase I, ensures that personal information disclosed to state agencies is handled properly, and creates a criminal offense in the event of an unauthorized disclosure. Consumer privacy is a budding conversation in our society. As more and more processes move online, it is imperative that personal information is safeguarded and protected.
I also had the honor of presenting Senate Concurrent Resolution 26 this week, which designates the third Tuesday in February as Texas Game Warden Day. Since 1895, Texas Game Wardens have served this state by protecting our natural fish and game resources, protecting our southern border, and providing search and rescue and relief during natural disasters. SCR 26 will serve as a day of advocacy and awareness for Game Wardens for years to come.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762. Additionally, I welcome you to follow along on my Official Facebook Page, where I will be posting regular updates on what’s happening in your State Capitol and sharing information that could be useful to you and your family: https://www.facebook.com/RepTrentAshby/.