Watch the Joint Hearing (Senate Committee on Finance, Senate Committee on Transportation & Homeland Security) that is expected to grill TxDOT live here today. We expect TxDOT testimony all day long from 9am to late afternoon. Public hearings are to come.
9:24 am TxDOT Chair Hope Andrade and Ted Houghton have a horrified look on their faces as they sit behind State Auditor and the committee members ask questions and use words like "rogue" for TxDOT. Committee members say they have little confidence in what TxDOT will tell them.
9:36 am Sounds like the committee will soon have the Auditor formally dig deep into TxDOT.
9:41 am TxDOT is asked to come up to testify. Chair Hope Andrade and Ted Houghton don't come up! Senators ask that they step up to the table to be asked questions. Unreal!
9:47 am Committee asking TxDOT, where the hell is the money?
9:53 am TxDOT Executive Director Amadeo Saenz admits that they DO NOT currently have a funding shortage (as they cut projects across the state).
9:59 am An angry Sen. Watson is shaming Saenz over the tax dollars TxDOT promised CAMPO for the Kirk Watson's freeway toll roads.
10:05 am Saenz uses the excuse that he's "new to the job", as Watons says "so it's an issue of competence?".
10:15 am A female committee member (Sen. Zaffirini?) says TxDOT claimed via the press statewide, to have a short fall, when they don't have one, only to push toll roads on the public and the Ledge. She demands TxDOT hands over talking points used (for the press) during this hearing.
10:29 am TxDOT admits it counted 1 Billion dollars twice, and realized the screw up after they told the press and public.
12:05 am Sen. Watson says he thinks TxDOT might be trying to set up a privatization scheme for the Phase II toll roads he helped usher in on 10/07 - with the recent TxDOT gamesmanship. Watson threatens to "strip" the freeway toll roads from the CAMPO plan.