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Perry Signs Measure Creating Water Fund Into Law

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(Credit: Office of the Governor Rick Perry)

(Credit: Office of the Governor Rick Perry)

AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry has signed into law the creation of a state fund to finance new water projects he says will help spark $30 billion worth of infrastructure spending in the next 50 years.

At a signing ceremony Tuesday, Perry said the measure, House Bill 4, was making history by securing the state’s water supply for generations. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus also applauded the bill.

“Water is an essential part of everyone’s life, and ensuring adequate supplies means continued job creation, stronger communities and healthier families for decades to come,” Gov. Perry said in a release.

The Legislature approved $2 billion for the fund, but voters must still ratify its creation on a November ballot.

If approved, it will jumpstart projects to guard against Texas’ frequent, punishing droughts.

On Sunday, the Texas House cleared the two-thirds threshold required to take the money from the state’s Rainy Day Fund. Republican House Speaker Joe Straus took the unusual and symbolic step of also casting a vote for the measure.

The legislative session ended Monday, but Perry immediately called lawmakers back. They have 30 days to approve new voting maps, though the governor will likely add more items to the agenda.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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