AUTHOR'S / SPONSOR'S STATEMENT OF INTENT
Current law allows for money in the State Highway Fund to be appropriated to improve the state highway system, mitigate adverse environmental effects that result directly from construction or maintenance of a state highway, or to the Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas (DPS) to police the state highway system and to administer state laws relating to traffic and safety on public roads.
In the 2014-2015 biennium, approximately $1.8 billion from the state highway fund was appropriated to agencies other than the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). Of these appropriations, often referred to as diversions, $812.6 million was appropriated to DPS. S.B. 139 removes language from Section 222.001 (Use of State Highway Fund) of the Transportation Code that allows for the appropriation of state highway funds to DPS.
SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS
SECTION 1. Amends Section 222.001(a), Transportation Code, as follows:
(a) Provides that money that is required to be used for public roadways by the Texas Constitution or federal law and that is deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the state highway fund, including money deposited to the credit of the state highway fund under Title 23, United States Code, is authorized to be used only to improve the state highway system or to mitigate adverse environmental effects that result directly from construction or maintenance of a state highway by (DPS). Deletes existing text providing that such money is authorized to be used by DPS to police the state highway system and to administer state laws relating to traffic and safety on public roads. Makes a nonsubstantive change.
SECTION 2. Effective date: September 1, 2017.
SECTION 3. Makes application of this Act contingent upon passage of the constitutional amendment proposed by the 84th Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, prescribing the purposes for which revenue from motor vehicle registration fees, taxes on motor fuels and lubricants, and certain revenues received from the federal government may be used.