May 23, 2018


Representative Guillen Says No To Using Public Funds To Build Privately Owned Roads


AUSTIN - Representative Ryan Guillen (D - Rural South Texas), agreeing with a recent Texas Attorney General ruling, is against using public funds for the construction of toll roads. Guillen is a strong supporter of transportation funding and believes in the importance of keeping funds gained from state sales tax away from toll roads that require drivers to pay, again, to use them.


"We absolutely need to improve our transportation network, highways, and local roads," said Guillen. "But what we cannot do is use taxpayers' money to fund the construction of roads that impose another tax on those same people."

Propositions 1 and 7, recently passed by Representative Guillen and the legislature and approved by the voters as Constitutional amendments, allocated half of oil and gas severance taxes to go toward the State Highway Fund and a portion of the state's sales tax, as well as motor vehicle sales and rental taxes. The language specified that the funding would only go to non-tolled projects as part of the State Highway Fund, but there have been recent fears that the money was being used to partially fund private toll-roads. The Attorney General recently ruled that funds raised from propositions 1 and 7 could not be used on toll roads.

Representative Guillen is a strong supporter of reliable transportation systems and infrastructure in South Texas. He helped secure $175 million in road funding for colonias in South Texas, and has continued to fight for similar funding since. Propositions 1 and 7 will bring in an estimated $2 billion in road funding next year alone.

"Reliable and free-to-use public transportation routes are a necessity for all Texans," added Guillen. "Toll roads have their place in our state, but we must use public funds specifically only for public, free roads, as they were intended by Propositions 1 and 7."

Serving ten rural South Texas counties in the Texas House of Representatives, Ryan Guillen is known for his hard work, fierce independence, and relentless efforts for South Texas families. Recently, Capitol Inside called him a “House Bill Machine,” and a “one-person assembly line for legislation.” Since elected, few other legislators have passed more bills than Guillen. Sign up for updates at,, and