In the 84th Legislative Session, Leighton joined other conservatives to pass a budget that ends diversions of the State Highway Fund.  Now, all of the money in that fund will pay for transportation instead of other programs.  The result: an infusion of $1.3 billion into building and maintaining Texas’ roads over the next two years.

Leighton also worked to ensure passage of House Bill 20.  That bill requires TxDOT to develop a performance-based planning and programming process that would allow the legislature to assess how well TxDOT is achieving stated goals. Applying common-sense business principles to government, this bill:

  • Requires the Transportation Commission to establish a scoring system to prioritize projects seeking state funding; and

  • Establishes temporary House and Senate select committees to provide oversight as the provisions of the bill are implemented.

Leighton also joined fellow conservatives to pass Senate Joint Resolution 5, a Constitutional Amendment approved by voters in November 2015 that dedicates a portion of general sales tax revenue to the State Highway Fund. This Amendment:

  • Dedicates $2.5 billion of the state's sales & use tax revenue to transportation, beginning in 2018;

  • Dedicates 35% of excess vehicle sales & use tax revenue (over $5 billion) to transportation, beginning in 2020 (estimated to be $500 million in year one);

  • Prohibits any of these new transportation dollars from being used for toll road projects; and

  • Provides a predictable, dedicated revenue source that allows for future planning to address the state’s infrastructure demands. SJR 5 provides a consistent and reliable source of funding for transportation projects in the state without raising taxes or fees.

In the future, Leighton will continue to press for fair treatment for property owners, efficiency and smart spending as Texas works toward rebuilding its fundamental infrastructure, a multi-year process that will guarantee the Texas Miracle continues well into the future.

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