39.5 F
Fort Worth
Thursday, December 3, 2020
Government New water fund top amendment on Texas ballot

New water fund top amendment on Texas ballot

Other News

Tarrant County DA’s office changing how it handles misdemeanor marijuna cases

The Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office is changing how it handles misdemeanor marijuana cases. The Tarrant County  Criminal District Attorney’s Office on Monday, Nov....

Arlington selects new police chief from Baltimore department

Col. Al Jones, a 25-year veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department, has been appointed the new police chief of the the City of...

Family of Black woman shot through window sues Texas officer

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Family members of a Black woman who was killed when a white police officer fired through a window of...

Law firm offers free estate plans for health care workers during pandemic

Fort Worth attorney Erik Martin says he felt compelled to find a way for his law firm to join the effort to support frontline...
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.


Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The GOP-controlled Legislature has left Texas voters to decide this week whether a growing population, booming economy and an ongoing drought are worthy of tapping $2 billion from the state’s rainy day fund to deal with forecast water shortages.

Proposition 6, which would create the State Water Infrastructure Fund, is among nine constitutional amendments on the ballot for Tuesday’s election. The water measure has attracted the most media attention and campaign funds of the proposals, with support coming from business and environmental groups alike. Some conservatives, though, oppose using the state’s savings account to finance large-scale construction projects, while others are concerned the money could be misused.

“These constitutional amendment elections don’t trend on Twitter, and they’re not big ratings winners on cable television, but they are very, very important,” House Speaker Joe Straus said in urging El Paso voters to support the bill.

Experts insist Texas needs to capture more fresh water to meet demand, at least 2.9 trillion gallons by 2060. The 2012 State Water Plan calls for 562 projects, with 34 percent of the water coming from conservation and reuse, 17 percent from new major reservoirs, 34 percent from other surface supplies and 15 percent from other sources.

The constitutional amendment would create a water infrastructure fund as an account available to buy down the cost of borrowing money to build large-scale projects such as reservoirs, long-distance pipelines or replacing old leaky water lines in order to boost conservation. Authorities using the money to issue cheaper bonds would have to pay the fund back over time.

Supporters say this revolving account will help leverage the $53 billion needed to implement the state water plan and guarantee Texas will meet the needs of a growing economy and population over the next 50 years.

The issue would likely be debated again in the 2015 legislative session if the measure fails.

Gov. Rick Perry has barnstormed the state for the amendment and each of the two top candidates vying to replace Perry next year when he steps down — Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott and Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis — support it.

A vocal voice against the measure is tea party favorite David Simpson of Longview who says it “unnecessarily expands state government into investment banking.”

“Intervention in the market by the state will no doubt favor some at the expense of others,” Simpson wrote in urging voters to oppose the measure.

Also, Linda Curtis, director of the advocacy group Independent Texans, said in a statement that “career bureaucrats will determine which projects are built, which investment bankers, lawyers, engineers, construction firms and consultants are hired to work on them.”

Also before voters, Proposition 1 would provide property tax breaks to the spouses of military veterans killed in the line of duty. No. 2 seeks to eliminate requirements for a State Medical Education Board and a State Medical Education Fund, neither of which is operational.

Proposition 3 would extend tax exemptions for aircraft parts brought into the state for resale, while No. 4 provides property tax exemptions for disabled military veterans and their spouses.

Proposition 5 seeks to expand “reverse mortgage” lending, No. 7 would allow the appointment of city leaders when an elected official resigns with less than a year left in office, and No. 8 asks voters whether to increase the taxing authority of a Hidalgo County hospital district.

Proposition 9 would expand the powers of the state commissioner on judicial conduct.



Oh hi there 👋 It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.


Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Latest News

Fort Worth announces plans to purchase Pier 1 Building for City Hall

Plans for a new City Hall for Fort Worth have been knocked around for years, maybe even decades. On Dec. 2, city officials announced...

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess loses bid for GOP leadership position on key committee

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, conceded his bid to be the Republican leader on the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday. “I want to...

Fort Worth’s Redistricting Task Force presents draft recommendations

A City Council-appointed, 11-member Redistricting Task Force that will advise on redistricting issues in Fort Worth presented its draft criteria as part of its...

U.S. Reps. Michael Burgess and Joaquin Castro seek House leadership roles

The fall campaigns may be over, but for two Texans in Congress the elections are continuing into this week. U.S. Reps. Michael Burgess, a Lewisville...

Grand Prairie Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Swafford dies from COVID

City of Grand Prairie Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Jim Swafford died from COVID-19 Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, while hospitalized at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center. He...