Legislative Affairs


This is an image of the United States CapitolBoth the Texas Legislature and the United States Congress address many important transportation issues that affect the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Transportation and air quality in the North Central Texas region are impacted by legislative decisions at the State and federal levels. 

NCTCOG staff regularly update policy and technical committee members, transportation partners and others interested in monitoring legislative initiatives related to the Regional Transportation Council (RTC) legislative priorities.

In order to understand current legislative initiatives, the RTC directed the development of a Transportation Funding 101 primer so legislators and the general public can better understand funding sources for transportation as well as trends that impact the amount of funding available. A shortfall of funding has been identified and the primer also addresses potential solutions to increase funding options.

Legislative Update

Legislative Update: May 2024


FAA Reauthorization

On Wednesday, the House passed a bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for five years, awaiting President Biden's approval before the Friday deadline. The bill passed the House with a 387-26 vote, following the Senate's approval at 88-4. The House had less difficulty passing the FAA bill than the Senate, where amendment votes on unrelated issues were contentious. This ends Congress's prolonged effort to reauthorize the FAA, which required four short-term extensions. 

Federal Rulemaking Calendar

National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Regulations Revisions Phase 2

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is finalizing its ‘‘Bipartisan Permitting Reform Implementation Rule’’ to revise its regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), including the recent amendments to NEPA in the Fiscal Responsibility Act.


The Lt. Governor and the Speaker of the House each recently released Interim Legislative Charges. These are the topics that will be studied by the Texas Senate and Texas House in committee hearings throughout this year, which often result in legislation filed during the 2025 legislative session. Select topics of interest can be found below:

Senate Interim Charges

Senate Transportation Committee

  • Transportation Funding: Assess the implementation of funding appropriated by the 88th Legislature for aviation, maritime ports, international points of entry, existing rail line operations, and public transportation from non-dedicated state funds and federal funds and make recommendations to ensure these sectors meet current demands and are prepared for future growth.
  • Autonomous Vehicle Safety: Evaluate autonomous vehicle operations, implementation, incident reporting, and accountability to law enforcement. Make recommendations to ensure public safety and transparency.
  • Reviewing Historic Accomplishments in Transportation: Review the implementations and outcomes of key transportation funding and policy initiatives since the 84th Legislature. Report on trends or patterns to guide future planning and governance.
  • The Future of Our Economy: Evaluate President Biden’s plan to transition to all-electric vehicles, and the impact on Texans and the state economy. Assess and report on the viability of the charging infrastructure, including the need for more charging stations and upgrades to the power grid, loss of gas tax revenue for transportation and public education, barriers to widespread adoption such as consumer costs for purchasing new vehicles and installing residential charging infrastructure, and the impacts to the oil and gas economy in Texas.

Senate Finance Committee
  • Monitor Property Tax Relief and Infrastructure Funds: Monitor the appropriations supporting, and implementation of, the following legislation passed during the 88th Legislature, Regular or Special Sessions, and approved by voters, amending the Texas Constitution:
    • …Texas Water Fund: Senate Bill 28 and Senate Joint Resolution 75, 88th Legislature, Regular Session;
    • Broadband Infrastructure Fund: House Bill 9 and House Joint Resolution 125, 88th Legislature, Regular Session.

Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee
  • Overcoming Federal Incompetence: Consider the impact to the Texas economy from federal interference including, but not limited to, restricting liquified natural gas exports, supply chain limitations, a net-zero carbon agenda, and other air emission provisions. Report on what impact these federal interferences will have on the Texas economy and workforce, and make recommendations to minimize the damage to Texas.

Texas House of Representatives Interim Charges

Committee on Transportation
  • Monitoring: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 88th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions to ensure all legislation's intended legislative outcome.
  • Bridge Safety: Evaluate the current status of state-maintained bridges, existing safety standards related to bridges, and long-term financial needs for bridge planning, construction, maintenance, and inspection. Examine ways to improve bridge project delivery.
  • Alleviating Road Traffic: Identify the most congested roadways and review state forecasts for future congestion and the expected impact on economic activity. Evaluate TxDOT plans for relieving congestion and consider the necessity of additional options to ensure economic development, congestion, and safety goals are achieved promptly with reduced cost to public tax dollars.

Committee on Environmental Regulation
  • Monitoring: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 88th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure the intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:
    • HB 3060, relating to the regulation of recycling and recycled products; and
    • HB 4885, relating to programs established and funded under the Texas emissions reduction plan.
  • Impact of New EPA Air Quality Regulations: Evaluate and address the implications of recent EPA regulations proposed and promulgated rules to assess their collective impact on air quality in Texas. Examine the necessity for a new State Implementation Plan and explore potential legislative measures to ensure a balanced approach that promotes regulatory compliance while preserving economic vitality, especially in counties identified as at risk of violation.
  • Texas Hydrogen Industry: Evaluate the environmental impacts of the industrial development of emerging markets for hydrogen, including production, transportation, storage, power generation, and other competitive market opportunities. Make recommendations needed to build a competitive hydrogen industry in the state.

Committee on State Affairs
  • Monitoring: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 88th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure the intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:
    •  HB 9, relating to the development and funding of broadband and telecommunications services.

Committee on Defense & Veterans Affairs
  • Strength of Texas Military Bases: Review the federal criteria for considering and recommending base closure or realignment and evaluate the strength of Texas Military Bases under the scoring system utilized by the U.S. Department of Defense. Make recommendations to mitigate the risk of realignments or closures of military installations in Texas.

April Texas Transportation Commission (TTC)

The Texas Transportation Commissioners heard a presentation detailing Texas's ambitious long-range transportation plan set to manage the state's anticipated growth through 2050. The plan addresses the challenges of a growing population, expected to reach 40 million by 2050, and a corresponding increase in vehicle miles traveled by 42%. To address these challenges, the plan outlines substantial infrastructure investments, including:
  • Safety: $80B-$90B
  • Pavement Preservation: $75B-$80B
  • Bridge Preservation: $45B-$50B
  • Urban Congestion: $185B-$205B
  • Rural Connectivity: $85B-$95B
  • Development Costs: $160B-$180B
  • Routine Maintenance Contracts: $35B-$40B

The total investment needed is between $665 billion and $740 billion from 2025 through 2046. The plan emphasizes enhancing multimodal transportation to effectively support future growth and improve safety and efficiency. Stakeholder and public engagement played a significant role in the plan, with thousands participating in various meetings and surveys and offering over 5,000 comments. Key strategies include leveraging technology and innovation, optimizing funding, and strengthening partnerships across the state. The following steps involve a 30-day public comment period, a public hearing, and a presentation for adoption by the Texas Transportation Commission. 

This comprehensive approach aims to prepare Texas for future demands, ensuring a robust and efficient transportation system that supports economic competitiveness and quality of life. No action was taken by the TTC on this item. The presentation can be found here: https://ftp.txdot.gov/pub/txdot/commission/2024/0425/5.pdf  


The Texas Legislature is not in session. If you need information on the federal bills being tracked, please contact Nick Allen.

US House Appropriations Committee

Secretary Buttigieg testified at an April 30 meeting to make the Department of Transportation's official FY 2025 appropriation request. 

US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

The Subcommittee on Highways and Transit met  on April 17 to discuss fleet electrification efforts. Kim Okafor, General Manager of Zero Emission Solutions for the Love’s Family of Companies, emphasized the importance of government investments in charging infrastructure for commercial and consumer vehicles. 

On April 19, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials met for a hearing titled “Examining Challenges and Solutions in the Commuter Rail Industry.” The subcommittee called on several witnesses to provide insights into the current landscape of commuter rail and address critical opportunities in commuter rail policy. Various improvements were discussed, including adapting service hours beyond traditional peak times to serve a broader demographic and investing in modern, low-emissions locomotives to address urban air quality issues. The need for infrastructure upgrades was also emphasized, with aging tracks and rolling stock affecting the efficiency and appeal of commuter rail.


Texas House
Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence

The House Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence & Emerging Technologies convened on April 19 under Chair Giovanni Capriglione. The session opened with an AI-generated message from committee members. Legal and ethical considerations of AI in public and private sectors were debated, particularly concerning its use in influencing elections and handling sensitive data. The hearings concluded with discussions on the need for robust AI governance, including transparency, accountability, and the implementation of safety mechanisms to mitigate AI's risks and biases.


  • The Senate State Affairs Committee will meet on May 29. The Committee will meet to discuss interim charges.
  • The Senate Business & Commerce Committee will meet on June 12, August 29, and October 1. The Committee will meet to discuss interim charges.
  • The Senate Finance Committee will meet on September 5. The Committee will discuss the Broadband Infrastructure Fund.
  • The Senate Transportation Committee will meet on September 18. The Committee will discuss electric vehicles and autonomous vehicle safety.


To view Committee Hearings for the Texas Senate, visit http://www.senate.texas.gov/av-live.php.
To view Committee Hearings for the Texas House, visit http://www.house.state.tx.us/video-audio/.

US Congress

Congressional Updates important to our region

In 2005 Congress passed the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) . This legislation guided surface transportation policy and funding through 2009. Nine short-term extensions passed since SAFETEA-LU expired in 2009. The final short-term extension of SAFETEA-LU extended surface transportation authorization through June 30, 2012.

On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law a two-year $105 billion surface transportation authorization, titled Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). MAP-21 reauthorized the federal-aid highway, highway safety and transit programs that were last authorized by SAFETEA-LU. New programs and funding levels began on October 1, 2012, and continued through September 30, 2014. The final short-term extension of MAP-21 expired on December 4, 2015.  

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act into law, which authorizes Federal highway, transit, safety and rail programs for five years at $305 billion. The FAST Act is effective October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2020.

2019 RTC Principles for Federal Surface Transportation Authorization


Infrastructure Investment and Jobs (IIJA) Act