The Cotton Belt rail line from Plano to Fort Worth and the proposed downtown Dallas subway could be threatened by a bill in the Texas Senate, which would require voter approval before such projects are built.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit officials and the North Central Texas Council of Governments are among a number of state agencies concerned because of the “unintended consequences” of the bill, filed by state Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville.
Burton’s bill, which has passed through committee and is awaiting attention from the full Senate, would require that every city through which a commuter line passes hold an election before federal funds are accepted for the projects. Burton, backed by the tea party movement when she took over Wendy Davis’s vacated seat in 2015, told senators last week that the TEX Rail line project, with service expected to begin in late 2018, spurred the idea for her bill. That’s the western half of the Cotton Belt line, from downtown Fort Worth to DFW International Airport.