Bill could eliminate toll road fees for some veterans - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Bill could eliminate toll road fees for some veterans

Posted: Updated:
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

More veterans could soon be driving on more Texas toll roads for free. A bill that passed through the Texas House of Representatives was added to the senate's voting calendar Tuesday morning.

Dominic Sciarrini spent 30 years in the United States Navy. He received his Purple Heart in Vietnam

"I wasn't seriously wounded, but I was hospitalized both times," he says.

The plates on his car afford him a free ride on TxDot toll roads. If passed, a new bill could expand that to all toll roads in the state. Legislators are looking to change the wording from "toll project entities 'may' establish a discount program" to "toll entities 'shall.'"

"I may not use a toll road very much, but I know that there are a lot of individuals, military, ex-military, purple heart recipients, disabled veterans who use the different toll roads and would probably welcome that little discount,"  says Sciarrini.

Veterans qualifying for that discount would include drivers with "DV" and "Disabled Veteran" on their license plates. Veterans with military cross "Legion of Valor" plates, Medal of Honor plates and Purple Heart plates would qualify, too.

"Most people, it's not going to be significant enough to make a big difference in their budget, but for a few low income or lower income people, it'd be a good deal," Sciarrini says.

TxDot implemented the discounts on their toll roads on December 24, 2012. By February, they'd waived $203,000 in toll fees for qualifying veterans, which amounts to about 1% of their total toll revenue for the month of January.

TxDot estimates they'll waive $1.2 Million in tolls for qualifying veterans this year. But for some veterans, the bill is less about the money and more about the thought.

"I think the thought behind this privilege is good because many of the veterans feel they weren't acknowledged as they left the service years ago," says Sciarrini.

The legislative budget board says in a fiscal note report, "Based on the number of vehicles registered with Legion of Valor specialty plates, it is assumed the provisions of the bill would not result in a significant fiscal impact to the state." Regarding local governments, the report goes on to say, "Currently, the Harris County Toll Road Authority is the only local toll project entity offering such a program. It is assumed that toll project entities would choose to offer a free or discounted use of toll projects if sufficient resources are available or if it would not result in a significant revenue loss."

Toll 49 is not currently a toll road that allows certain veterans to travel for free. The Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority that oversees that toll road says they are monitoring this legislation. They say, "The NET RMA supports the northeast Texas Veterans and will continue to work with the Legislature to resolve their concerns."

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two teens charged with Gulfport man's murder

    Two teens charged with Gulfport man's murder

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:00:30 GMT
    Two Gulfport teens are charged with murder after police say they shot Lamont Hayes in his home last week and left him to die.More >>
    Two Gulfport teens are charged with murder after police say they shot Lamont Hayes in his home last week and left him to die. Monday night, investigators tracked down Jalen Shaquille Williams, 19, and arrested him at his home. Rashad Rejohn Johnson, 17, was arrested Monday at the Harrison County Juvenile Detention Facility, where he was being held on an unrelated charge.More >>
  • SRHS to Close Two More Clinics

    SRHS to Close Two More Clinics

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:50 AM EDT2014-07-29 14:50:29 GMT
    Singing River Health System has announced the closure of two more primary care clinics as part of a realignment program. The Gautier and D'Iberville facilities will close August 29.
    More >>
    Singing River Health System has announced the closure of two more primary care clinics as part of a realignment program. According to SRHS officials, the Gautier and D'Iberville facilities will close August 29.More >>
  • Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:54 AM EDT2014-07-24 10:54:09 GMT
    According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later Tuesday night.More >>
    An area of Gulfport still reeling from the brutal murder of a child last week was hit with another violent death Tuesday night. According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.