Anti toll groups in Texas have long complained about what are called ‘diversions,’ from the state gasoline tax fund.  For the past eighty years, as much as one quarter of the money the state brings in from the 20 cent a gallon gas tax has been ‘diverted’ to other things, ranging from the DPS to those ‘historical markers’ along the roads.

House Speaker Joe Straus (R-Alamo Heights) says the diversions are about to come to an end.  He says in the budget he proposes in January, 100% of all gas tax money will go to highways, meaning an additional $1.3 billion in highway funding in the coming two year budget.

“This approach will make the state budget even more straightforward, just as taxpayers expect,” Straus said.  “It will also provide needed transportation revenue, without a tax increase, as Texas continues to grow twice as fast as the rest of the country.”

Straus conceded that this will require that the state  come up with other ways to fund DPS and other agencies.

“We will not abandon the state troopers and others who so bravely serve and protect Texans every day,” he said.  “The budget is a statement of priorities, and both public safety and mobility are top priorities for the Texas House.”