The Texas Senate passed the two items on the third special session agenda less than an hour after Governor Rick Perry called them back. The House meanwhile, immediately adjourned until next week after failing to pass a transportation bill Monday.
The constitutional amendment would add more than $840 million a year for roads and bridges by diverting money away from the Rainy Day Fund.
Voters would still need to pass the measure in November.
Rep. Allen Fletcher says they're in this mess because House Democrats want money for education, and GOP conservatives didn't think the proposed funding was enough to meet all of Texas' transportation needs.
“Its our ports, its our railways, its our airports, its everything about transportation,” the Cypress Republican tells KTRH News. “The money that TxDOT would be getting out of what we voted down was just for roads and bridges.”
“The Panama Canal expansion, and the fact the super tankers can't come into the Port of Houston because we're not deep enough,” he says. “The oil and gas money which could have addressed these heavy haulers which are destroying our Farm to Market roads which were built to last 30 years, they're destroying them in five years.”
Still, Fletcher voted for the measure, believing something is better than nothing at all. He and his colleagues now have an additional 30 days to get the deal done.