Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday threatened to veto a transportation bill that includes a moratorium on toll roads and to call the Legislature back into special session even if lawmakers override his veto.
The bill -- House Bill 1892 -- would create a two-year moratorium on building new toll roads, but it also would give Harris County commissioners greater authority to build toll roads locally without the involvement of the Texas Department of Transportation.
Perry said the bill would seriously jeopardize transportation funding throughout Texas.
"The good news is, we still have time to fix it," Perry said. "If not, then I have no other option as the leader of this state than to bring the Legislature back until we address this issue and get Texas back to where it can have a vibrant transportation infrastructure."
Perry said his opposition to the bill has nothing to do with the moratorium provisions.
He said that, if the Legislature feels so strongly about the moratorium, it can send him a separate Senate bill pending in the House Calendars Committee that would establish the moratorium.
"I'll sign the moratorium bill tomorrow," Perry said. "This is not about a moratorium."
Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, the Senate sponsor, said he has been involved in negotiations with Perry's staff.
"We've agreed to terms and conditions that all parties in the room have agreed are satisfactory," Carona said.
Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, is the author of a toll road moratorium bill that was added to Smith's legislation. Nichols said he has been left out of the negotiations.
"It's going to be interesting to see if they come up with something that's acceptable to everybody if all the parties aren't sitting at the table," Nichols said.