AUSTIN -- In the closing hours of the 78th legislature, Rep. Ryan Guillen worked with other representatives and senators on a House-Senate conference committee to provide $1 million for specific colonia access roadway paving projects in Starr and Zapata counties.
House Bill 3420 authored by Representatives Timoteo Garza and Guillen in April required ten percent of general obligation bonds sold by the Texas Department of Transportation to be used for paving projects to connect colonias to major county highways. The bonds sold provided $5 million for all such areas.
The funding is designed to provide paving for first time roads serving border colonias.
After the bill passed in the House, an amendment in the Senate reduced the set-aside amount to five percent. The Senate version would have left only $250,000 each for Starr and Zapata counties.
"By restoring the formula to ten percent in conference committee, we were able to make sure Starr and Zapata counties receive $1 million out of the total of $5 million provided by the set-aside legislation, " Rep. Guillen explained.
When the bill was referred to a ten-member conference committee between the House and Senate to iron-out differences between the bills passed by each body, Guillen was able nominate members who were appointed to the committee. That provided the votes to restore the House language calling for the ten percent set-aside, providing the $1 million in funding for Starr and Zapata counties.
"This effort reflects the benefits that teamwork can provide for our constituents. The work of Senators Eddie Lucio and Frank Madla to support the stand that Rep. Garza and I took was instrumental in preserving this funding," Guillen stated.
With the passage of the bill, it now goes to Governor Rick Perry for his signature to become law. Funding for such projects will remain in effect unless changed by a future session of the legislature.
From the office of: State Representative Ryan Guillen
District 31 : Duval, Starr, Webb and Zapata Counties
For more information contact:
Communications Director Robert McVey ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Office 512-463-0416 -- Cell 512-779-8914 -- Home 512-374-9525 FAX 512-463-1012
Southern District Office: