Texas Voters Support Water Infrastructure Bill

According to a recent poll conducted by the University of Texas at Austin in conjunction with the Texas Tribune, Texas voters say they will support the ballot initiative in November to allocate $2 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to invest in water infrastructure projects.

The poll found that 52 percent of Texas voters would approve Proposition 6, while 19 percent would vote against the measure. Some 29 percent of respondents said they don’t intend to vote or do not have an opinion. The proposal calls for a $2 billion withdrawal from the state?s Rainy Day Fund, which requires a constitutional amendment and approval by Texas voters.

Gov. Rick Perry signed off on the measure in May to present the proposal to voters. The bill established a new Texas Water Development Board and creates the funding mechanism for the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas Fund.

Water districts would be able to apply for low-interest loans for water infrastructure, conservation and agriculture projects. By starting with $2 billion, the fund would be replenished as loans are paid back to the state. In addition ? and by a wide margin ? Texas voters want their own vote on the state?s big decisions, rather than leaving those matters to legislators, with 75 percent saying they prefer a vote, and only 19 percent saying lawmakers should make those decisions.

?Many scholars and policymakers would prefer to let legislators and other elected officials determine things like this,? said Daron Shaw, a government professor at UT Austin and co-director of the poll, in a statement. ?But the public wants to maintain control, and the Texas Constitution specifically gives them that right.?

The statewide poll, conducted from Sept. 27 to Oct. 4, surveyed 800 registered Texas voters and had a margin of error of 3.46 percentage points.

Some information in this news update was taken from a report in the Houston Business Journal last month. View the article in full:

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