roads-2Transportation issues are complex. They require hard work, persistence and leadership. Building roads is expensive, so the first step in solving transportation issues is finding the funding to ensure that projects are started and completed.

Democrat Joe Pickett was appointed Chairman of the House Transportation Committee by a Republican Speaker of the House in January 2015, after demonstrating an ability to get things done. During the 2013 Legislative Session, Representative Pickett developed legislation that paved the way for Proposition 1, a ballot referendum on transportation funding that voters overwhelmingly approved. He did it again during the 2015 legislative session when he successfully passed Proposition 7. Together, these ballot items will bring over $38 billion for the express purpose of funding transportation projects throughout Texas.

My opponent, Paul Workman, likes to take credit for Representative Pickett’s hard work, but it’s clear that if he had worked half as hard as Pickett, Workman, as a Republican, would have been appointed Chairman, not the Democrat. Moreover, transportation has improved greatly in El Paso, where Representative Pickett’s district is located, whereas the traffic problems in Western Travis County have only worsened.

The RM 620 corridor in Western Travis County has become one of the most congested roadways in Texas. Because it is the only north-south connector in Western Travis County, and because of the rapid growth we are experiencing in that area, the intersection at RM 620 and FM2222 has become a nightmare. The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) has already determined that that particular corridor is failing and that it is only going to get worse.

Consequently, TXDOT proposed a solution that would alleviate traffic concerns in that area. But, it was recently removed as a viable project because it is unfunded. This is a failure by our Representative and a demonstration of the absence of hard work, persistence and leadership. We deserve better. If elected, I promise to work hard to ensure these projects are funded and completed. And I will join with Representative Pickett to ensure that we pay for roads using innovative methods, like Transportation Reinvestment Zones, rather than resorting to tolls.