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Legislative Cuts Handcuff Vehicle Assistance Plan

AirCheckTexas now to assist in repairs only, no replacements

By Bruce Felps
|  Thursday, Jul 28, 2011  |  Updated 8:55 AM CDT
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Legislative Cuts Handcuff Vehicle Assistance Plan

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(Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

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Commentary
by Bruce Felps

Tough times just seem to make times tougher on people facing tough times.

The AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine Program operated by the North Central Texas Council of Governments -- which helped low-income folks either replace or repair aging, polluting vehicles that failed emmisions tests -- just lost a leg to stand on ... sorry, a leg on which to stand.

According to a press release issued by the NCTCG, the program lost its funding to help replace those old clunkers and now can issue only vouchers to help pay for emmission system repairs. Its full range of assistance fell victim to the 82nd Legislature's budget-slashing moves.

Let's help where we can, though. Applications for repair vouchers are due at 5 p.m. Friday. Qualified applicants drive cars 10 years old or older that have failed an emissions test for state inspection within the past 30 days.

The vouchers take care of up to $600 worth of repairs to keep Ol' Smokey from belching more pollutants into the air and to help the drivers become street-legal, at least partially. They don't help with registration, valid driver's licenses, or insurance, but no doubt those things are all current, right?

Hey, some's better than none.


Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. Is there a state-funded replace-the-convertible-top program to help his leaky car?

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