During the Texas legislative session, we will list the Texas Ports Association legislative agenda here as well as information on federal and state issues relevant to Texas ports and the maritime industry.
The 83rd Regular Session of the Texas Legislature convened January 8, 2013. For other important dates and information, see the Texas Legislature website www.capitol.state.tx.us/.
The Texas Ports Association supports funding the Port Access Account Fund from general revenues of the State of Texas. Chapter 55, Section 55.005 of the Texas Transportation Code provides for the creation of the Port Access Account Fund as an account in the general revenue fund. Funding in the amount of $25 million for each of the years ending August 31, 2014 and August 31, 2015 shall be credited to the Port Access Account Fund from the general revenues of the State of Texas.
Allocations from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund are through the Army Corps of Engineers (Corp’s) budget, but these monies are not automatically spent on dredging projects. Spending from this account must be considered through the regular budget cycle which includes funding levels proposed through the President’s Budget and ultimately Congressional appropriations.
As a result of policy decisions and competing federal priorities, the amount taken in b the federal government through the HMT far outweighs what is actually spent on project it was designed to fund.
The Texas Ports Association encourages Congress to enact legislation to ensure that all future monies collected from the operations of country’s port through the HMT is used solely for its intended purpose, the maintenance of federal channels.