James Bass: Transportation Bill Doesn't Look Far Down the Road
CSG Transportation Policy Task Force
Transportation Bill Doesn't Look Far Down the Road
December 1, 2012
The new federal surface transportation authorization bill includes many provisions welcomed by state governments. But the two-year bill, known as MAP-21, did not address long-term transportation revenue needs. Attendees learned how states are implementing MAP-21 and exploring potential new transportation revenue sources and got an update on the state of the nation’s infrastructure. Speakers included representatives from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Texas Department of Transportation, and Texas A&M University’s Texas Transportation Institute.
Presentation by James Bass, Chief Financial Officer, Texas Department of Transportation
James M. Bass is the chief financial officer and directs the Finance Division of the Texas Department of Transportation. He is responsible for programming and scheduling of all transportation projects and letting management activities associated with project delivery. He also oversees grant management, toll operations and innovative financing/debt management.
Bass began his TxDOT career in 1985 working summers in the Fort Worth District, where he maintained records and audited field measurements, among other duties. While earning his bachelor's degree in accounting at the University of Texas at Austin, he also worked part time as an engineering aide in the Austin District's South Travis/Hays County Area Office. There he audited field measurements and processed monthly payments to highway contractors. After graduation in 1991, Bass began full time as an accounting clerk in the Finance Division's Revenue Accounting Section in 1992, and a year later was promoted to budget analyst in the Budget and Forecasting Section.
Becoming a manager in the Budget and Forecasting Branch in 1997, Bass worked on preparation of TxDOT's Legislative Appropriations Request and Operating Budget, and corresponded with the Legislative Budget Board, State Auditor's Office, and the Office of the Texas Comptroller. He also worked on TxDOT's Cash Forecasting System for the State Highway Fund, which details revenue and expenditures on a monthly basis. Bass was selected as division director effective November 1999, and his title was changed to chief financial officer in 2005.