On August 1, 2007, tragedy struck when a bridge near downtown Minneapolis collapsed into the Mississippi River during rush hour, killing more than a dozen people.
Following that Twin Cities tragedy, Senator John Carona aimed a spotlight on Texas' methods of financing its roads and bridges and called them "irresponsible." Senator Carona also called for an amendment to the Texas Constitution, an amendment that would prevent lawmakers from diverting revenues designated for the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges.
Senator Carona believes in reducing the amount of transportation revenue that goes to non-transportation purposes. He also believes -- as do many citizens -- that the fuel tax is the most fiscally responsible way to address additional transportation needs in Texas. However, the political will does not exist to make this change.
Senator Carona emphasizes that our statewide transportation network needs to be a balance of free roads, toll roads, and mass transit options. The senator also believes that clean air is an integral element of an improved and balanced transportation network. "But most important," he points out, "we must first stop the diversion of transportation funds for other uses."
In Austin, transportation and homeland security concerns are addressed by the same senate committee. While the issue of immigration reform is under federal authority, there are limited measures the state legislature can undertake to improve homeland security.
In addition to those who cross our border to seek economic opportunities, there are those who seek to cross in order to do us harm. These are terrorists as well as the criminal elements related to the drug cartels and international gangs.
When it comes to immigration reform, Senator Carona supports the greater use of:
manpower and law enforcement resources
technology to track criminal elements and activity
barriers, where appropriate and effective