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Relating to the use of money in the ship channel improvement
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated
SB 1040 would allow the Texas Transportation Commission's revolving loan fund to be used to finance qualified projects of municipalities and boards of trustees to improve harbors and ports. Specifically, it would ensure that all Texas ports are eligible for these funds, regardless of whether they are a navigation district operating under the Water Code (as the Port of Galveston is) or a port governed by the Transportation Code.
Harbors and ports are critical common use infrastructure to the Texas economy. As such they fall into the legitimate transportation function of the state.
Our primary concern with this bill is the substantial cost incurred by a loan program. Being a critical function of government, we believe it is inappropriate to use a loan type program for these types of cost. Once upon a time, our transportation system was a pay as you go system which is more responsible way of funding these types of projects.
Because of these conflicting provisions on our principles, we remain neutral on SB 1040.