Fort Worth Councilman Jungus Jordan wants his council colleagues to reconsider the state legislative program they approved in October — including a controversial proposal to lower speed limits on some residential streets.
Among the issues council members indicated they wanted city representatives to follow included a possible bill that would reduce the state’s default speed limit on residential streets where a speed limit is not posted from 30 mph to 25 mph.
The possible legislation was backed largely at the urging of Councilwoman Ann Zadeh, citing studies that show should a pedestrian get hit by a car, the slower the speed of the car means the likelihood of surviving the accident goes up.
But at last week’s council work session, Jordan asked that the city’s program be changed to exclude supporting any planned bill on the speed limit issue. It all boils down to a matter of local control, he said. Instead, Jordan has asked for more discussion on the rationale behind supporting the speed limit issue.
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“In retrospect, if we build the street we ought to have the authority to set the speed limit,” Jordan said. “That falls under the realm of local control.”
Legislation to lower the default speed limit never made it out of committee during the 2015 session in Austin.
Not so fast
A plan to boost the amount of money Texas lawmakers receive from the state was met with a swift response: No.
As the Texas Ethics Commission pondered hiking the daily legislative allowance legislators receive from $190 to $217, four leaders — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Joe Straus, Senate Administration Chairman state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, and House Administration Chairman state Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth — quickly weighed in on the issue.
The Texas Legislature heads back to work Jan. 10.
“The State of Texas is preparing for a tightened budget in the upcoming biennium, and agencies were asked to reduce their base appropriation levels by four percent accordingly,” they said in a joint letter. “Texas taxpayers expect their dollars to be spent with the highest degree of discretion and fiscal responsibility.
“Simply put, legislators don’t need a pay raise.”
In the end, the Ethics Commission rejected the increase, said Ian Steusloff, the agency’s general counsel.
His last day was Dec. 6.
A five-member Tarrant County Elections Commission — made up of Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, Tax Assessor-Collector Ron Wright, County Clerk Mary Louise Garcia and the chairs of the county’s Republican and Democratic parties — is in charge of choosing the next elections administrator. They likely will meet in January.
No more BOTS
Maybe great minds think alike.
Last year, state Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth, asked lawmakers to approve a bill limiting technology used to buy large numbers of concert tickets in order to prevent everything from concerts to Broadway shows from being sold out within seconds of going on sale.
Goldman’s bill died, but recently the “BOTS Act of 2016” — geared to outlaw the use of the same ticket-buying computer programs —was approved by Congress and was sent to President Barack Obama for consideration.
“The federal government is solving a problem for the entire country that I was trying to solve at the state level,” he said.
Staff writer Sandra Baker contributed to this report.