On Wednesday April 21, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Richard Perez testified before the Senate Transportation Committee in support of Senate Bill 1910. Sponsored by Senator Blanco, SB 1910 will allow the Texas Department of Transportation to enter into federal agreements to provide road services in partnership with the 14 military installations statewide. This is a top priority of the Texas Military Commanders’ Council, chaired by Brigadier General Caroline Miller, Commander, 502d ABW and Joint Base San Antonio, as well as the Texas Governor’s Committee to Support the Military.
Specifically, SB 1910:
- Allows the federal military installations to use the significant expertise of TxDOT to improve their transportation network and add military value to the installation while incurring no additional cost to TxDOT
- Ensures that TxDOT transportation funding provided through the United States Department of Transportation will NOT be impacted, since the Military Installations will assume the full cost of the projects directly.
By allowing TxDOT to enter into agreements to support military installations, these installations would contract with TxDOT to provide the maintenance, improvement, relocation, or extension of existing roads, reducing costs for the military, and improving base infrastructure. “Integrating improvements to the installation transportation network with TxDOT’s existing network will also positively impact scoring during any future Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) or Basing Action for new or growing missions,” Perez said during his testimony.
Intergovernmental Support Agreements, also known as IGSAs, are already authorized and proven to be successful for roads maintained by Texas cities and their surrounding military communities. This legislation will take that support one step further in allowing TxDOT to offer their services too.
“This bill provides an excellent vehicle for the State of Texas to help keep our Defense Economy, the third largest sector in Texas, vital,” relayed Steve Bonner, President and CEO, SONRI, Inc. “Lowering the cost of doing business at military installations makes them more competitive for new missions and the jobs that come with them. Opening markets for Texas small business owners is the icing on this win-win-win cake for Texas.”
The Chamber believes this legislation is an important step in ensuring our military missions, which contribute over 123.6 Billion dollars to the state economy, remain in Texas.