Astrodome bill to be introduced Tuesday

HOUSTON – Harris County's $105 million plan for the Astrodome looked to be sailing on smooth waters. But a bill state Sen. John Whitmire's intends to introduce could scuttle the plan.

Whitmire's chief of staff told KPRC2 the senator will introduce the bill on Tuesday.

That is, if voters don't like the idea.

Last September, Harris County commissioners gave the green light to raise the Astrodome's bottom floor and install 1,400 parking spaces underneath it.

Whitmire is not happy about that plan and didn't mince words when talking with Channel 2 Investigates.

"We had an election on this issue already. They lost and they want to forget that and ignore the will of the voters," Whitmire said.

Whitmire said he'll file a bill that would require voters to approve any improvements to the Astrodome.

"On behalf of the people I represent, I think we should respect the integrity of the bond election. If their plans have merit, then bring them to the people," Whitmire said.

Whitmire is on the cusp of filing the measure.

"It's frustrating that while the Astrodome stood vacant for more than 15 years, very few people stepped forward to offer real solutions. But now that we on Commissioners Court have finally arrived at a way to preserve the dome as a revenue-generating asset for the people, Senator Whitmire's legislation risks derailing that solution," Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said.

Once Whitmire introduces his bill, it will have a long way to go before becoming law, starting with committee hearings in the House and Senate.