Tom Pauken congratulated  State Sens. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, John Carona, R-Dallas, and state Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, on their calls for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to reject pass-through agreements for highway funding.

The rule change, recently proposed by TxDOT to bypass the Texas legislature and enter into private toll road contracts, would significantly increase Texas taxpayers’ responsibilities for additional billions of dollars in transportation debt.

Pauken’s statement follows:

“Texas’ elected officials must do everything they can to thwart the Texas Department of Transportation’s attempted end-run around the legislature to enter into private toll road contracts. I congratulate the state senators and representatives who are doing what they can to stop this move.

“By their action, TxDOT is socializing the risk of toll road financing onto the backs of taxpayers, while privatizing the gains for the companies it selects. This is the type of crony-capitalism that I as governor will firmly oppose and eliminate in a Pauken administration.

“My opponent’s silence on this matter, even while he is in office as Attorney General, is foreshadowing what Texas voters should expect in an Abbott administration.”