AUSTIN -- El Paso's fight over toll roads has made its way to the Capitol, where lawmakers and officials disagree over whether the city should be excluded from a two-year statewide ban on private toll projects.

"Communities that have toll roads have decided to push for a moratorium," said El Paso County Judge Anthony Cobos, who was in Austin on Tuesday. "There's no reason for El Paso to be excluded."

Responding to public outcry over toll roads, legislators are considering two separate bills that would put a two-year stop on government contracts for private toll-road operations.

The House bill would prevent El Paso's new Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority from entering into such contracts for toll roads. The Senate bill, though, would exempt El Paso from the ban.

Cobos and state Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, both members of the El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization, said the city should be included in the private toll moratorium. But state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, said the ban could slow development of much-needed roads in the rapidly growing city.

The House last week overwhelmingly approved a measure that would impose a statewide moratorium and call for a study of private toll road deals.

A Senate committee approved a similar measure, but that bill would exclude El Paso County from the moratorium. It would also exempt Houston and North Texas.

Shapleigh said with the coming of 23,000 new soldiers to Fort Bliss and their families, El Paso needs as much flexibility as possible to negotiate contracts to build critical new roads.

Pickett, though, said the moratorium would not hamper local projects. He said the regional mobility authority could even build toll roads under the ban. The only restriction, he said, would be that private companies could not contract with the authority to build the toll roads.

Exclusion from the moratorium, he said, would be worse for El Paso.

The Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee will consider the House moratorium bill today.

Shapleigh, who is on the committee, said he would try to add the El Paso exemption to the House measure.