Texas Legislature
4:38 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

$6 Billion Of Rainy Day Fund Marked For Water And Roads - Education Left Off

Texas Senate Committee on Finance gave their approval for tapping into the state’s so-called Rainy Day Fund to pay for future water and transportation needs.

Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, authored the bill that doesn’t include any of the money going to education.

"Now that is not to say that we do not want to continue to address concerns about education funding, but I think it’s important that we deal with facts and that we go about this in a thoughtful manner especially when you consider that several of the school districts have chosen to sue the state of Texas. If we are going to be partners in education you don’t sue your partner," Williams said.

Williams disputed the total amount taken from education in 2011, saying that it was only $100 million instead of the $5.4 billion that was reported by the legislative budget board.

"I think it’s important, and I said on the floor when we debated the last couple of bills related to this that I felt like it was important that we have that information before we make a final decision. Because we want to make a thoughtful decision and not just throw money over the fence for political expediency," Williams said.

According to the bill, 3.5 billion of the total funds would go roads and rail lines for freight trains.  The remaining $2.5 billion would be left up to voters to decide if they should go toward water. 

The bill now awaits a vote on the Senate floor, but Gov. Rick Perry has already indicated he would support and sign the funding measure.