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Committee Approves Water Bill Despite Funding Disagreement

Ryan Poppe | Texas Public Radio

The Committee on Natural Resources has sent a water funding bill to the House floor that addresses one of the key points stressed by Governor Perry at the start of this legislative session. 

Rep. Allan Ritter, R- Nederland, said HB 4 provides$2 billion of state funds that city municipalities and businesses can tap into for their water needs.

Ritter said this bill makes it so that the people in these areas don't have to put up the billions to tap into those water-related resources. The bill would take money from the state’s rainy day fund, which San Antonio Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer disagrees with.

"This is good water policy, but when comes to how we fund it I am going to be looking at other infrastructures as well.  Republicans took $5.4 billion out of public education two years ago and I want to make sure we put our children before water, concrete, steel and reservoirs," Martinez Fischer said.

Martinez Fischer is hoping the bill can be amended so that funding for future water projects can either come from the $8 billion leftover from the legislature's previous budget or from the $5 billion stowed away from the 2015 session. 

The bill will receive one more final review on the House floor before making its way to its way to Gov. Perry's desk.