Austin, TX (Longview News-Journal) — Inspiration from a Longview Republican helped Democrats in Austin defeat a GOP proposal this week to use the state’s emergency reserves for major water projects.
House Bill 11 fell Monday on a parliamentary maneuver raised by Texas House Democrats, led by Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston. The bill would have set aside $2 billion from the so-called rainy day fund as the first-ever dedicated funding source for lake building, cross-state pipelines and other projects in the state’s 50-year water plan.
Simpson’s objection to dipping into the $11.8 billion account, which is raised from fees on oil and gas activity, differed from that of Democrats. The minority party wants to use the money for public schools as well as water needs in the growing state.
Simpson, R-Longview, said Thursday that he merely reminded Turner of a House rule forbidding the transfer of money from the state’s general fund to other accounts during the first 118 days of the 140-day session. Turner and a Democratic coalition took it from there to sink the GOP plan.
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