Tourist Train

State House Speaker Tom Craddick is ignoring an official recommendation for financial help for a century-old East Texas tourist railroad.
A Legislative Budget Board expert has recommended the
appropriation of about 2 million dollars the Legislature voted for
the Texas State Railroad during this year's session.
But the full board, which Craddick controls, continues to block
that funding for the beleaguered landmark.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the funding holdup raises
questions about whether the Midland Republican is engaging in
political revenge over a challenge to his leadership this year.
Lawmakers agreed to the cash infusion after funding shortfalls
threatened to permanently end the railroad's operation. The
appropriation was sponsored by state Representative Byron Cook. The
Corsicana Republican was one of Craddick's most outspoken critics
this year.
Craddick spokeswoman Alexis DeLee says the speaker remains
concerned about details of the contract with a private company and
delayed funding to protect taxpayer interests.


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