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House Republicans Have Backup Plan To Revive Water Bill

Ryan Poppe | Texas Public Radio
TPR News

Republicans in the Texas House are planning to revive a water bill that died on the House Floor last week due to a technically.

Last week’s bill, which was authored by Rep. Allan Ritter,R-Nederland, died on the House floor due to a point of order raised by Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, on the timing of the bill.

"Since HB 11 went down on a point of order everyone has been looking for a way to fund the priority needs of Texas, which in my opinion includes water and highway infrastructure, and  others includes education. The question is how best we might do that," said Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo.

Darby said his bill, House Bill 19, not only pays for the next 50 years of Texas water needs, it also takes an additional $2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund to help fix roads.

Those in the Senate say they’ve come up with a solution: Asking voter permission to use $5.7 billion from the Rainy Day Fund to fix roads, water and fund public education.

"While it serves great goals and it takes what truly is money that should be devoted for the long-term needs of Texas, I think it would be a concern as to whether or not that will actually pass. I’d rather be proactive. I would rather fix water and transportation this session," Darby said.

Darby argues that Texas schools have been adequately funded and his bill truly goes towards the immediate needs of the state. 

He said if his bill is to be the solution for funding water it will need to be resurrected and voted out of the House by this coming Thursday. 

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.