Governor Perry has called the Texas Legislature for a THIRD special session with transportation funding being the only agenda item. Texas’ transportation system is expanding substantially year-to-year and needs a steady funding stream. Lawmakers have been looking at using oil and gas revenues from the state’s rainy day fund — not exactly the most stable source of revenues. As Speaker Joe Straus said in a statement this week: “[lawmakers] have become increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of diverting and indefinitely dedicating funds away from the Rainy Day Fund to roads. These funds were never intended to be a stable, long-term way to address our transportation needs.”
Our state lawmakers should consider expanded gaming as a new source of revenue for the state and to help fund roads. Experts have estimated that Texans spend $4.37 billion at casinos in OK, LA, and NM. Allowing gaming in Texas could generate $1 billion in tax revenues. Allowing voters to chose on expanded gaming will help resolve funding issues for transportation and other costs, such as education, for the long-term.
Learn more about the transportation funding debate in the Texas legislature at Star-Telegram and Texas Tribune. It’s not to late to contact your legislators and ask them to consider expanded gaming as new revenue for Texas.