Reporting Jack Fink
DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) — Governor Rick Perry called Texas lawmakers into a third special session starting immediately.
The move, widely expected, came hours after the House and Senate adjourned without approving new money for highway construction and maintenance.
Members of the House and Senate will return to session this Monday afternoon.
For now, legislation remains stalled, and the question now is can House Republicans bridge their differences over whether to use a portion of the rainy day funds for road projects.
AJ Noecker drives all over Texas for his job.
He believes the state should spend $840 million a year from the rainy day fund for highway construction and maintenance.
Noecker says, “Yes, we should use it because the highways need help.”
On Monday, the Republican-controlled House failed to win enough votes to pass the measure.
Veteran political science professor Allan Saxe of UT Arlington says he was surprised by Monday’s vote.
Saxe says, “Some have been absent from the legislature, they haven’t shown up.”
In fact, 23 lawmakers weren’t in the Texas Capitol Monday.
The measure failed by 16 votes.
Some conservatives and liberals oppose using rainy day funds, calling the move a band-aid.
In a statement late Tuesday afternoon, Governor Perry said, “…Inaction is a Washington-style attempt to kick a can down the road – but everybody in Texas knows we’re rapidly running out of roads to kick that can down…”
Saxe says, “From his perspective, you’re not being responsible. You’re not doing what you should be doing. This is an important issue. Come to Austin, get it done.”
Some lawmakers openly asked Governor Perry not to call the third special session.
Many planned summer vacations, and critics say they doubt lawmakers will vote to boost road funding this time.
If lawmakers do, voters will still have to give their ok in November, 2014.
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