On Nov. 4, 2014, Texas voters overwhelmingly approved the ballot measure known as Proposition 1 (Prop 1), authorizing a constitutional amendment for transportation funding. Under the amendment, a portion of oil and gas tax revenues that typically go into the Economic Stabilization Fund will be deposited to the State Highway Fund. The amendment did not create any new taxes or fees. The ballot proposition read:
“The constitutional amendment providing for the use and dedication of certain money transferred to the state highway fund to assist in the completion of transportation construction, maintenance, and rehabilitation projects, not to include toll roads.”
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts certified that $1.74 billion would be available for transfer to the State Highway Fund for FY 2015. Authorization to access these funds was granted by the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) and the Office of the Governor on Dec. 15, 2014.
The LBB and the Governor’s Office approved a plan to distribute the funding using existing formulas adopted by the Texas Transportation Commission (TTC):
The Prop 1 funding FAQ is available for additional information.
Locally elected officials, planning organizations and TxDOT officials have collaborated to identify projects that effectively address the needs outlined for the use of the funds. This collaboration has resulted in the list of projects that will be included in an amended Unified Transportation Plan (UTP), which the TTC will consider for approval at its Feb. 26, 2015 meeting.
Prior to that commission meeting, a statewide public hearing will be held online Jan. 20 to present the recommended projects and begin the process to take comments. Online comments can be submitted until Feb. 26. A public hearing will be held Feb. 12, 2015, in Austin to provide direct comments on the amended UTP to TxDOT staff.
Following TTC approval of the amended UTP, TxDOT can award contracts for the projects, beginning as early as March 2015. TxDOT expects to let all of the Prop 1 projects by the end of summer.