Abbott signs bill establishing I-27 advisory committee

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A stretch of Interstate 27 in Amarillo, Texas on June 15, 2020. (Nexstar photo)

AUSTIN, Texas — Governor Greg Abbott signed Texas Senate bill 1474, establishing an advisory committee to provide TxDOT with information about concerns and interests along the Ports to Plains Corridor.

The Ports to Plains Alliance says the bill was sponsored by Senator Charles Perry (28th Dist.) along with cosponsors, Senator Roland Gutierrez (19th Dist.), Senator Kel Seliger (31st Dist.) and Representative Four Price (87th Dist.), was signed by the House and Senate and sent to Governor Abbott’s office on May 20, 2021, and signed into law on Monday, June 15, 2021.

According to a statement issued by the Ports to Plains Alliance, “Members of the I-27 Advisory Committee, outlined in the bill, include ten county judges or their designee from the counties of Dallam, Howard, Lubbock, Midland, Moore, Potter, Sherman, Tom Green, Val Verde, and Webb. The legislation also identifies seven mayors or designees from cities of Amarillo, Big Spring, San Angelo, Del Rio, Laredo, Lubbock, and Midland.”

“As San Angelo’s mayor I am excited to have the opportunity to continue the work to help move the future interstate I-27 down the road to an active project and transportation option,” said Mayor Brenda Gunter.

“I am pleased and motivated by the Texas Legislature recognizing the importance of mobility within a crucial food, fuel, and fiber producer region,” said Tom Green County Judge Steve Floyd. “The leadership and vision of Senators Perry, Gutierrez, Seliger, and Rep. Price is appreciated by the citizens of our region and the State of Texas.”

The mayors will meet prior to October 1, 2021, to appoint the remaining members of the I-27 Advisory Committee. These appointments will include three members who are economic development professionals selected by the geographical segments identified in the H.B. 1079 Ports-to-Plains Interstate Feasibility Study; one member who is a business representative from the agriculture industry; one member who is a business representative from the international trade industry; and one member who is a business representative from the energy industry.

The committee will meet a minimum of twice per state fiscal year but may meet more often at the request of TxDOT or the advisory committee chair. All meetings of the committee, remote or in person, will be open to the public. The first full meeting of the committee will be held within thirty days of the appointment of the remaining members of the advisory committee.

“As we begin establishing the roadmap for the future of trade and commerce for the state of Texas, the extension of Interstate 27 is vital to our future economic growth,” said Ports-to-Plains Alliance Chairman John Osborne. “On behalf of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance, we appreciate the support of Governor Abbott as well as the sponsors of this bill, particularly Senator Charles Perry and Representative Four Price.”

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