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Posted on: March 30, 2019

In the News: House Committee Passes RMA Bill

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House Bill 642, which would assist Brazos County officials in created a Regional Mobility Authority, passed 9-0 out of the House Transportation Committee this week and was referred favorably to the Local and Consent Committee.

House Bill 642, which is sponsored by Texas Representative John Raney, would authorize a county fee on vehicle registration in Brazos County -- and other counties of more than 190,000 residents that opt in -- to be used for transportation projects.  Locally, the $10 fee would be added to residents' vehicle registration fees.

A handful of Brazos Valley elected officials traveled to Austin for a March 20 hearing to speak in favor of the bill.  They believe a Regional Mobility Authority would help combat increasing congestion in Bryan-College Station.

The Local and Consent Committee traditionally sets the agenda for uncontested bills and resolutions, according to the Texas Tribune, an indication that the bill has broad support in the Texas House.

Raney, who represents District 14, is the representative for most residents of Bryan and College Station.  He filed the bill January 4 and it was read before the entire House body February 21.

Regional Mobility Authorities are authorized to finance and maintain a wide range of transportation facilities and services.  Neighboring counties may be added to the RMA at a later date.  Funding for RMAs can come from a variety of sources, including rail funds and federal highway funds.  Other sources can include tax-exempt revenue bonds, private equity, public grants, government loans and revenue generated from existing transportation facilities.

Projects taken on by one or more of the nine existing RMAs in the state include highways (tolled and untolled), ferries, airports, bikeways and intermodal hubs.

Source:  The Eagle, 3/30/2019

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