AUSTIN — Representative John Wray has filed six pieces of legislation in an effort to halt the planned high-speed rail project between Dallas and Houston and address the many issues it poses.
"Since this project's announcement, it has been one of the top concerns for my district. During my first term, I worked to protect private property owners and taxpayers that could be harmed should this plan become reality," said Wray in a press release when he filed the bills Tuesday, Feb. 21. "Since then, I am more concerned about the effects this high-speed rail would have on our state and the communities it passes through. The legislation I filed today, along with that of my colleagues, seeks to address the legitimate issues posed by this project."
Wray asserted that the input of the legislature is needed due to the nature of the project and the distinct problems it would pose. In addition to questions of eminent domain authority and the use of taxpayer funds for financing, uncertainties remain regarding how the project would affect future transportation plans for Texas, as well as growth in communities along the proposed route.
"Transportation is a critical issue for Texas, which requires thoughtful and pragmatic solutions to the challenges we face today and in the future," Wray added. "Texas Central has failed to demonstrate a viable, transparent, and comprehensive plan to the real mobility needs of the state."
House Bills 2160 through 2165 are now awaiting referral to the House committees with jurisdiction over each bill's subject matter. Within the appropriate committee, bills are set for a hearing — allowing for public testimony and consideration from the membership of that body — before a vote is taken allowing deliberation by the entirety of the Texas House.