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AUSTIN—Despite releasing new television ads today that promise to kill Governor Perry’s unpopular Trans Texas Corridor (TTC) project forever, Kay Bailey Hutchison’s own transportation plan actually revives the Governor’s swath of privatized toll roads anchored by public-private partnerships (PPPS), otherwise known as Comprehensive Development Agreements (CDAs). CDAs and PPPs are the same type of private toll road arrangements used to fund the hugely unpopular TTC. Privatized toll roads offer a hard-to-resist "quick fix" for state politicians but have major hidden costs and big potential downsides for the public. Private infrastructure deals are fraught with problems and often characterized by the same leveraging of debt, conflicts of interest and reckless shifting of risk that triggered the recent financial crisis.
Private toll road operators seek to maximize their profits. But what’s good for toll road business isn’t always good for taxpayers, motorists or for transportation policy in general. If Texas moves forward with any future road privatization deals, state and local governments must insist on the strongest possible public protections to ensure transparency, full value for taxpayers and continued public control of transportation policy.
Read TexPIRG’s detailed analysis of Kay Bailey Hutchison’s transportation plan here
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