September 21, 2010
As legislators study the interim charges and prepare to issue reports on these charges, they hear from members of the public, interest groups, and research from entities that specialize in a certain area of public policy or government. This week, I will talk about two research entities that provide information to members of the legislature on transportation issues: the Texas Transportation Institute and the Center for Transportation Research. As the vice-chair of the House Committee on Transportation, I have worked with both of these entities and know first-hand how helpful their research is to legislators.
These two agencies are examples of how members of the legislature use outside resources to research the issues before them. While it is important that legislators hear from interested parties about issues that directly affect them, it is also crucial that members get information from unbiased sources. CTR and TTI's research provide members with the data they need on the state's many transportation issues. Other universities, such as Texas Tech and Texas Southern, also have transportation research divisions that provide information to the public and to the legislature. This wealth of knowledge from diverse sources is a great asset.