AUSTIN (July 30, 2013)--Gov. Rick Perry called the Texas Legislature back for a third special session Tuesday to address transportation funding after a proposed constitutional amendment stalled in the House.
House lawmakers couldn't muster the 100 votes necessary to approve the amendment would divert money from Texas' Rainy Day Fund for highway construction.
If approved by voters on a 2014 ballot, it would free up at least $840 million annually, which is less than a fourth of what the state needs to maintain its current road network.
Perry threatened to call a third, 30-day extra session if transportation wasn't taken care of and Tuesday afternoon he made good on the threat.
"A plan was on the table that would have taken a significant step toward improving our roads and highways using existing revenue,” he said in announcing the session.
“Inaction is a Washington-style attempt to kick a can down the road, he said, “but everybody in Texas knows we're rapidly running out of roads to kick that can down.”
The Legislature has been meeting since January.
The last time there were three special sessions was in 2005-2006 over school finance issues.