The Texas House of Representatives has taken an important, historic step toward establishing a reliable funding stream to support key water initiatives this year by approving a proposed constitutional amendment to dedicate a set amount of state sales tax revenue each year to support efforts to meet the demands of a growing, thirsty state in the decades to come.
The amendment by state Rep. Travis Clardy, R-Nacogdoches, provides funding certainty for this legislative session’s signature efforts to secure new water supplies and fix aging, leaky water infrastructure.
The House overwhelmingly adopted the amendment on a vote of 127-5. If it receives two-thirds approval from the Senate, the amendment would go before the voters for their approval in the November constitutional election.
The amendment would annually direct $250 million of the net revenue from the state sales and use tax collected in excess of $30.5 billion to the Texas Water Fund, which would be established by separate legislation originating in the Senate.
That legislation has passed the Senate and is expected to make it to the House floor soon.
A dedicated revenue stream for the Texas Water Fund provides more than just funding certainty for these important initiatives. It also complements lawmakers’ efforts this session to provide upfront funding from the state’s historic revenue surplus to jump start this new strategy. Taken together, their work represents a monumental and historic change in the state’s financial strategy in addressing our water infrastructure needs.
The data underscores the need for lawmakers’ bold action for water infrastructure funding:
For Texas to continue as the nation’s leading jobs and economic growth generator, water is a key ingredient. Lawmakers must seize the opportunity and finish the job to assure our future water supplies and, by extension, our state’s future.