Gov. Abbott Signs Key Ports-to-Plains Bill Moving Texas' 9th Largest Economy in World Forward with I-27 Advisory Committee

“The I-27 Advisory Committee is an important step in the goal of moving Food, Fiber & Fuel from Texas to the world.”

Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – Governor Greg Abbott signed Texas Senate Bill 1474 into law establishing the I-27 Advisory Committee to provide TxDOT with information regarding concerns and interests along the Ports-to-Plains Corridor in Texas, as well as advise TxDOT on transportation improvements that impact the Ports-to-Plains Corridor.

S.B. 1474, sponsored by Senator Charles Perry (above right, 28th Dist.) along with cosponsors, Senator Roland Gutierrez (19th Dist.), Senator Kel Seliger (31st Dist.) and State Rep. Four Price (below right, 87th Dist.), was signed by the House and Senate and sent to Governor Abbott’s office on May 20, 2021, and signed into law on Monday, June 15, 2021.

Members of the I-27 Advisory Committee, outlined in the bill, include ten county judges or their designee from the counties of:
  • Dallam
  • Howard
  • Lubbock
  • Midland
  • Moore
  • Potter
  • Sherman
  • Tom Green
  • Val Verde, and
  • Webb
The legislation also identifies seven mayors or designees from cities of Amarillo, Big Spring, San Angelo, Del Rio, Laredo, Lubbock & Midland.The mayors will meet prior to October 1, 2021, to appoint the remaining members of the I-27 Advisory Committee.
“The I-27 Advisory Committee, created by this Legislation, is an important next step in the goal of moving Food, Fiber, and Fuel from Texas to the world,” said Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish.

“I look forward to continuing to work with my fellow County Judges and Mayors, as we move forward with this very important transportation project.”

These appointments will include three members who are economic development professionals selected by the geographical segments identified in the H.B. 1079 Ports-to-Plains Interstate Feasibility Study; one member who is a business representative from the agriculture industry; one member who is a business representative from the international trade industry; and one member who is a business representative from the energy industry.

“I applaud Governor Abbott signing S.B. 1474 creating an I-27 Advisory Committee,” said Lubbock City Mayor Dan Pope.

“This is significant next step in our Ports-to-Plains effort to extend Interstate 27. The growth in Texas, the world’s 9th Largest Economy, necessitates a north-to-south Interstate to connect Mexico to West Texas, America’s heartland, the West Coast and ultimately Canada.

"We are thankful for our state legislators for supporting this effort – particularly State Sen. Perry and State Rep. Four Price for sponsoring this bill.”

The committee will meet a minimum of twice per state fiscal year but may meet more often at the request of TxDOT or the advisory committee chair. All meetings of the committee, remote or in person, will be open to the public. The first full meeting of the committee will be held within thirty days of the appointment of the remaining members of the advisory committee.

“As we begin establishing the roadmap for the future of trade and commerce for the state of Texas, the extension of Interstate 27 is vital to our future economic growth,” Ports-to-Plains Alliance Chairman John Osborne. “On behalf of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance, we appreciate the support of Governor Abbott as well as the sponsors of this bill, particularly Senator Charles Perry and Representative Four Price.”

Additional quotes from Advisory Committee Members throughout the Texas region:

Mayor Brenda Gunter – San Angelo, Texas:  "As San Angelo’s mayor I am excited to have the opportunity to continue the work to help move the future interstate I-27 down the road to an active project and transportation option."

Judge Steve Floyd – Tom Green County:  “I am pleased and motivated by the Texas Legislature recognizing the importance of mobility within a crucial food, fuel, and fiber producer region. The leadership and vision of Senators Perry, Gutierrez, Seliger, and Rep. Price is appreciated by the citizens of our region and the State of Texas.”

Mayor Pete Saenz - Laredo:  “My congratulations to Governor Greg Abbott in signing Texas Senate Bill 1474 which establishes the I-27 Advisory Committee. This Committee will be composed of ten County Judges, seven Mayors, or their designees, and others to be appointed by them. The purpose of the Committee is to provide vital advisory input to TxDot on any matters that may impact the planning, construction, development or on other concerns that may arise related thereto, on the Ports to Plains I-27 Corridor in Texas. I am pleased to say that the City of Laredo and Webb County will be a part of this Committee and I stand ready to serve with my fellow Committee colleagues to make this Corridor a reality, so as to better connect Port Laredo, being the largest land port in the Western Hemisphere, to other cities and markets in West Texas, the USA, and beyond.”

Mayor Shannon Thomason - Big Spring:  “The City of Big Spring congratulates and thanks Governor Abbott for signing SB 1474. The I-27 Advisory Committee established by the bill will continue the fantastic work of the I-27 Feasibility Study Group and will work to ensure that Texas, especially West Texas, remains competitive in both national and world markets.”

Judge Kathryn Wiseman – Howard County:  “Governor Abbott is growing Texas by signing Texas Senate Bill 1474, establishing the I-27 Advisory Committee. We are excited to see this step toward launching a corridor from Alberta Canada to the largest inland port in the nation located in Laredo Texas. The Permian Basin of Texas is the hub of energy and agriculture for our Nation. Governor Abbott just opened the door for us to pour out our treasures to the World.”

Judge Wes Ritchey – Dallam County:  “I am very excited about what the passage of the Ports-to-Plains bill will mean for the future growth and economy of the Texas Panhandle.”
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