© 2023 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Argument Against The Prop. 6 Water Plan

Ryan Loyd
TPR News
Sam Brannon (at podium) and Terri Hall (right) address the media at the Nix Prop. 6 press conference.

A coalition of people from multiple political backgrounds are calling for Texans to vote "no" on Prop. 6, the plan that is being promoted by a bipartisan group of state legislators and Gov. Rick Perry as the solution to the state's water problems.

Voters will see the measure on the ballot starting next Monday when early voting begins and Election Day in Nov. 5.

If passed, the plan set into motion by Prop. 6 will move $2 billion from the state's Rainy Day Fund to the Texas Water Development Board to be used for loans on water projects.

Terri Hall, founder of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom, said she thinks the plan is being backed by leaders who are just looking out for special interest groups. Hall and others believe corporations being lured to Texas will benefit, leaving residents and farmers high and dry.

"What this Prop. 6 is not tied to is actual water production -- adding water capacity to the system -- which is what Texas needs for the growth that we're experiencing," Hall said. "What this really is about is stealing water from rural areas and shipping it to urban areas for these special interests, primarily developers."

Another problem for those opposing the plan is the Texas Water Development Board. Sam Brannon with the group Hays Constitutional Republicans said the board has three appointees of Perry, who are serving and controlling the 50-year future of private land development.

"New growth should be paying for itself," Brannon said. "To me, that's a very conservative ideal. But I think we'll find people across the political spectrum that would agree with that. Rick Perry's out across the country asking businesses to come here. We shouldn't have to pay, give them a discount of $30,000 per new home lot just because it's coming. That's not the role of Texas taxpayers."

Others who oppose the plan argue that it does not mandate conservation and Hall said voters may have forgot that they approved $6 billion for a water plan two years ago.

"We're using emergency funds, really?" asked Hall. "We're going to use emergency funds in our state to build roads and water? That should be funded out of our core priority base budget instead of coming after our emergency funds."

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.