Campbell: There were big wins for transportation in 88th legislative session

Transportation Advocates of Texas (TAOT) is proud to announce the achievements of the 88th Session of the Texas Legislature and express our gratitude to all those who contributed to this remarkable journey. These legislative wins would not have been possible without the unwavering support and dedication of those committed to advancing transportation in Texas. 

As Steven Albright, TAOT vice chair, said: “The 88th Legislature made another historic investment in transportation infrastructure. By continuing important transportation revenue sources, the Legislature put TxDOT on a path to address our state’s future transportation needs. TAOT is truly grateful to the entire legislature and especially to Sen. Nichols, Representative Canales, Lt. Governor Patrick, Speaker Phelan, and Governor Abbott for their continued commitment to ensuring Texas has a world-class transportation system.”

Some of the most impactful transportation legislation passed in 2023 include:

* HB 2230, which ensures that the State Highway Fund will continue to receive an annual allocation of revenue from oil and gas severance taxes, as approved by 80 percent of voters statewide in 2014. HB 2230 extends Proposition 1 funding from 2034 to 2042.

* SCR 2, which ensures that annual revenue from Proposition 7 sales tax and vehicle sales tax provisions – as approved by 83 percent of voters in 2015 – will remain an important funding source for TxDOT.  SCR 2 extends Proposition 7 until 2039 (vehicle sales tax).and 2042 (sales tax).

* SB 505, which implements a $200/year additional registration fee for electric vehicles to replace lost gas tax revenue, taking effect September 1, 2023.  SB 505 will ensure that there is an almost dollar-for-dollar replacement for gas and diesel taxes as electric vehicles become a greater share of the overall vehicle fleet.

* HB 1, passed by the Senate and House on the final weekend of the session, raises TxDOT’s 2024-2025 biennial budget to $37.22 billion, an increase of 22 percent over the 2022-2023 budget of $30.35 billion. This is primarily due to record levels of revenue from Proposition 1, Proposition 7, and federal funds.

As Victor Boyer, TAOT past chair, said: “This package of legislation helps preserve and expand primary funding sources for highway projects in our state. Forty percent of TxDOT’s annual revenue (about $6 billion per year) is now derived from Proposition 1 and 7 revenues. Similarly, SB 505 will help preserve the effective funding from gas and diesel taxes by providing a replacement revenue stream as a greater percentage of the state’s vehicle fleet transitions to electric.”

To each and every individual who played a role in this success, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for your tireless efforts and unwavering commitment to the well-being of our communities. With collaboration, innovation, and determination, we have paved the way for a brighter future for transportation in Texas. Our victories in HB 2230, SCR 2, SB 505, and HB 1 represent meaningful progress towards a safer, more efficient, and sustainable transportation system for Texas residents now and into the future.

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by Drew Campbell, chairman of Transportation Advocates of Texas, a San Antonio-based non-profit organization that advocates for transportation growth across Texas. The column appears in The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service with the permission of the author. Campbell can be reached by email via:

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