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Summary of Legislation: This legislation extends the expiration date of a provision requiring TxDOT and a utility to equally share the cost of relocation of utility facilities triggered by improvement or new construction of certain toll projects. The extension is for 4 years ending on September 1, 2017.
Analysis: This bill would continue cost-sharing obligations for certain utilities and the government. If a TxDoT project is initiated necessitating the relocation of facilities or utility infrastructure TxDOT is responsible for reimbursement of 50% of the cost of relocation. TxDOT will pay out of its budget and recover this over time through the use of the public-private toll project causing the displacement.
This practice increases the expense of toll projects causing more initial cost to taxpayers. However in the event that the government causes direct hardship or disruption to private industry, the government should pay at least a part of the costs involved. By maintaining the status quo, this legislation prevents the possibility that utilities in this situation would be forced to absorb the entire relocation cost on their own. We support HB 2485.