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Concessionaire Deals No Longer Allowed in Lone Star State

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In a special session on July 2, the Texas Legislature refused to extend the authority of the Texas Dept. of Transportation to build privatized toll roads in agreements with private developers. The refusal comes at the end of a two-year moratorium on private toll-road construction passed in 2007. It is a setback for Gov. Rick Perry (R), who had appointed a Legislative Study Committee on Private Participation in Toll Projects. One member, Bob Poole, director of transportation policy for Los-Angeles-based Reason Foundation, says the committee’s 2008 report concluded the state needs tolling and private capital, although rules should be modified to better protect public interests. “Our report and recommendations were largely ignored in legislative debates,” he says.

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