TURF gets time and freedom to develop its case against TxDOT’s taxpayer funded lobbying

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Toll road opponents given more time

AUSTIN — Activists targeting a Texas Department of Transportation toll-road campaign got some extra time to develop their case from a state judge Thursday.
The state attorney general’s office, representing TxDOT, wanted state District Judge Orlinda Naranjo of Travis County to dismiss the case, which seeks to stop state spending on the Keep Texas Moving campaign and on any toll-road lobbying efforts by the agency.

Terri Hall of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom, who brought the case, contends the Keep Texas Moving campaign violates a state prohibition on state officers or employees using their authority for political purposes.

The state says it is acting legally. It also says Hall doesn’t have standing to bring the lawsuit and that work is completed on the campaign’s current phase anyway, so the lawsuit is moot.

Hall’s group says it wants to prevent planned future expenditures.

Naranjo agreed to a 90-day continuance sought by the group, which wants to gather more documents from the state agency and possibly take depositions from officials, said its lawyer, Charles Riley.