Greg Abbott has vowed to roll back an anti-transit law passed by his Texas Legislature, but it has yet to pass the Republican-controlled state Senate.
The House passed the legislation Tuesday, but the Senate has yet again postponed consideration of it.
Abbott has been working behind the scenes to undo the measure, which he says is an attack on Texans’ rights and a waste of taxpayer dollars.
But Texas law already has the ability to impose fines and penalties on people who break traffic laws, including passing on the right of way and not yielding to vehicles when the road is empty.
In order to undo that provision, the Senate is likely to take up the bill next week, potentially giving the governor the opportunity to get it through his own chamber.
Abbott told the Austin American-Statesman Tuesday that the bill was a “bad law” and called it a “sham” that would have a negative impact on Texans.
“The legislature has failed to act, and I am asking the Legislature to do what’s right,” Abbott said.
“This bill will be overturned and we’re going to fight it to the end.”
The bill would have required drivers to stop and yield to traffic lights when it’s empty.
It would also have required vehicles to slow down when the vehicle in front of them gets into a crosswalk.
“I am confident that the Senate will pass this bill with bipartisan support, with no amendments and no delays,” Abbott added.
“We will be taking this legislation to the Governor as soon as it is ready.”
The legislation also would have banned passengers from driving in certain places where the vehicle is empty or not displaying any identification.
The governor’s office declined to comment on the governor’s plan to repeal the bill.
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The bill has drawn criticism from other Democrats, including Rep. Dan Bishop, D-Salt Lake City, who said the bill will “further stigmatize Texans who are just trying to get home from work and not get mugged.”
The Texas Transportation Code currently bans drivers from passing on to the driver in front the vehicle the right-of-way, and drivers are already required to slow to a stop when there’s no other vehicles in front.
But the law also says drivers can give the driver ahead of them a right-hand turn when the roadway is empty and then give the right hand to the right side.
Abbott said he has heard from drivers who have complained that the law “doesn’t do enough to protect them from the bad guys” in Texas, who would be allowed to pass them when they pass on the road.
The legislation has been passed in the past by both chambers of the Legislature.
But since it passed, the measure has been delayed in the Senate and has been rejected by Republicans in the House.
Abbott also has a bill to reform the way Texans pay for their transportation needs.
His legislation would require drivers to pay a flat monthly rate instead of a monthly fee.
He also wants to reduce the percentage of fares that drivers pay to other government entities, including the state.
The Austin American Statesman has more.
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