Watch TxDOT On The Hot Seat Today - Live

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.


Anonymous said...

This is going better than I anticipated...Maybe they can kill TxDOT and start over from scratch. I think more than an Auditor is needed. I think an ethical and criminal investigation is warranted. They have already admitted to breaking one law. To me that warrants a deeper dig, and to find out there is no short fall, while in this economy, they are cutting funds to companies who's employees are getting laid off. How can they justify this? This needs to stop now!

Anonymous said...

Counted a billion dollars twice!

That's rich. They never would have admitted that if this meeting had not been called.

The full truth will not be forthcoming. It will have to be pried open.

Yes, an audit is not enough.

There is some gaming by TxDOT going on but who knows what the game is.

Anonymous said...

I can only shake my head in disgust. I hope this is just the beginning of more investigations to come.

Anonymous said...

Kill the snake. Cut off its head. Impeach Perry. Prosecute conspriators.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say that I'm almost on the side of TXDOT because they want to take away funding for PHASE II, which in effect might possibly nullify PHASE II entirely!! I would rather see NO roads built/upgraded rather than more toll roads in Austin. We have enough as it is! We need more FREEways!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sal, for always getting us the facts first!

Sen. Watson is a real snake, trying to be the hero, when he voted to use our tax dollars to toll our public highways.

Anonymous said...

As much as I hate to be negative about it, the question is "OK, now what is going to be done about it?"
They held a hearing last March, raked TXDOT over the coals for shoddy budget/contract matters, but nothing ever happened, as far as I can tell. Is the lege just barking at TxDOT for exercise, or do they expect something to be done about it? If they expect action, I would think there would be some emphasis on what and when.
The stakes for the citizens of Texas are awful high, and shouldn't be ignored.

Sal Costello said...

It's all a primer for Sunset review! Do a search for it on this blog.