Fri May 17, 2013
Water Resolution Passes Despite Republican Concerns, Democrat Protests
A House budget committee passed Senate Joint Resolution 1 to fund state-related water plans. The measure sets up an empty fund that the state can use to fund water projects over the next 50 years, and now heads to the House floor for a vote.
While many of the committee confidently voted for the resolution, others had reservations.
"For the record, I’ll support SJR 1 today," said Rep. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, "but a couple of things come to mind: There is no money mentioned in this, and not having some floor on how much can come out of the Rainy Day Fund on this does give me some pause that I think we must consider when it gets out on the House floor."
The resolution would set up an account for water, but does not set the amount of money lawmakers will take out of the Rainy Day Fund to fund water.
While some on the committee were concerned about the absence of a dollar amount, Democrats on the committee protested the budget resolution because of what it took away from education spending.
Originally SJR 1 contained $800 million for education, but that has been deleted. Democrats say Republicans targeting other bills geared for education to go towards items beyond their original intent.
"Let's not dodge from the facts that the money will be coming from the schools to do all these other things. Let’s not run away from that, it is what it is, and in House Bill 1025 the money for schools, the $500 million, is being taken away," Turner said.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said they have reached an agreement on education, but Turner countered by saying that no one told the Democrats.