Gov. Rick Perry emphasized his commitment to finding long-term solutions to Texas' growing infrastructure needs, specifically strengthening the state's transportation infrastructure to meet the demands of our rapidly growing economy and population. The governor delivered the keynote address at the Texas Lyceum Association's 47th Public Conference.
"We have arrived at a moment of great possibility in our state's history – our booming economy has grown demand on our infrastructure, but has also left us with a solid financial foundation upon which to build sound infrastructure for the next half-century," Gov. Perry said. "Now is the time to do the fiscally responsible thing and make our state more accessible and productive for generations to come. Strengthening our infrastructure will improve the flow of goods throughout our state, reduce wear and tear on vehicles, and improve our quality of life in a way that can't be measured in dollars and cents."
In his State of the State address, Gov. Perry outlined several proposals for funding future infrastructure projects, including using the Rainy Day Fund for a one-time capitalization of water and transportation projects around the state. The governor also called for ending diversions from the State Highway Fund, which would make billions more available for road maintenance and construction.
Gov. Perry noted that Texas' principled fiscal discipline has kept spending in check and our debt low, allowing the state to take advantage of historically low interest rates to capitalize a revolving infrastructure fund using long-term bonds. These bonds would enable the state to lock in today's low interest rates to begin infrastructure projects now, keeping the cost of construction low when rates inevitably increase in the future. Additionally, Gov. Perry has proposed dedicating future growth in the motor vehicle sales tax, which the state already collects on every vehicle bought in Texas, to transportation infrastructure.