AUSTIN –Vice President of Policy for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, The Hon. Chuck DeVore, issued the following statement on the Texas Senate passage last night of House Bill 20, which would reform planning processes at the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
“When HB 20 left the House at the end of April, it was a good bill which aimed to require TxDOT to use objective factors in prioritizing funding for needed road projects in Texas. Texas taxpayers and commuters would greatly benefit by taking politics out of the funding prioritization process as much as can be done, and HB 20 does that.
“Unfortunately, when HB 20 arrived in the Senate, it was amended to include language that greatly curtails, if not eliminates, the ability of TxDOT to use design-build contracting. Design-build contracting, when used appropriately, can save billions of dollars while completing needed projects for commuters more rapidly than can be done with traditional bid-design-bid-build contracting. Last night’s floor amendments were particularly problematic, with language added that creates a statutory Catch-22 that prevents any contractor from bidding on a design-build contract unless they completed the preliminary 30 percent schematic design as required by law since 2011.
“If House members want to save taxpayer money and accelerate road construction projects, they need to not concur in the Senate amendments to HB 20 and ask for a conference.”
To schedule an interview with Mr. DeVore please contact Caroline Espinosa at [email protected] or 512-472-2700.
The Honorable Chuck DeVore is Vice President of Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.