“We need to be realistic with the taxpayers … and tell them it’s going to take more money to fix this problem,” said Sen. Kevin Eltife of Tyler. Eltife and other senators claim that we’ve refused to pass enough taxes to pay for a modern road system and have voted for a plan to cut the amount we save in the rainy day fund in half and divert the money to TxDOT.

TxDOT spends $13 million to replace new computers.

TxDOT spends $13 million to replace new computers.

Almost all of the senate and leadership moderates in the House, such as Rep. Drew Darby of San Angelo, have been claiming that we don’t pay enough in taxes to fund TxDOT. Now they want to divert half our emergency savings money to TxDOT in perpetuity. Never mind that amidst all the crying for road money, these same legislators have done little to end all of the diversion to other sources of money already supposed to go for roads.

A bigger question is this: Should we be forced to fork over more money to an agency with a record of massive mismanagement at the top?

TxDOT lost a billion, or more, in an accounting error and recently, while claiming it was out of money for roads, it was learned it had four billion in bonding authority which had gone unused. And now, we find TxDOT spending $13 million dollars to replace computers that are not old and that were only recently purchased with $10 million of our money.

KEYE in Austin discovered documents which show that “TxDOT plans to spend more than 12-and-a-half million dollars buying about 7500 computers from Dell. The interesting question however comes from another document.  It’s an inventory of the computers currently being used. 11,516 of them are 3 years old or less.  5612 of them are one year old or less!,” the station reported.

Now, even in light of this and a string of bad management examples, most of our legislators seem to think it wise to throw even more of our money at the agency without first fixing existing diversions and incompetent management. And worse yet, they want to do so in a manner that seriously imperils the future of our state’s emergency fund.

Pratt on Texas

Robert Pratt has been active in Texas Republican politics since the Reagan re-elect in 1984. He has served as Lubbock County Republican chairman, and in 2006 founded the Pratt on Texas radio network, providing the news and commentary of Texas on both radio and podcast. Learn more at www.PrattonTexas.com.