In what may go down as the most incredibly stupid error in state history, transportation officials told lawmakers this week that they counted $1.1 billion in revenue twice — leading them to over-commit to road projects. State Sen. Steve Ogden of Bryan summed the situation well: “This is screwed up.”
The state’s funding mechanisms for road projects are, admittedly, very complex — monies flow from state, federal, local and (with tolls) private accounts. keeping it all straight is, obviously quite a chore. But counting $1.1 billion twice? In a state with a total $152 billion budget, $1.1 billion is not small amount. But TxDOT couldn’t keep it straight?
State Sen. Tommy Williams of The Woodlands said the agency needs an audit — and to be more transparent with its books.
“It doesn’t matter what they come up and tell us, if they have poor internal controls,” is how the San Antonio Express News quoted him.
According to the Austin American Statesman, State Sen. Kirk Watson told the agency’s acting director rather bluntly, “it’s not a political effort on your part [to stop road projects]… It’s a lack of competence.”
State bureaucrats are constantly whining about their pay. Maybe if they could add properly, taxpayers would be more sympathetic to the plight of employees who get paid time off for “holidays” like LBJ’s birthday.
Fitting. He was a guy counted dead-people twice in voting, TXDOT counts dollars twice in spending.