Rainy day fund
Lawmakers took the first step Thursday to setting up a $2 billion fund to finance water projects across the state. Members of the House Natural Resources Committee approved a plan that would take the money from the state’s Rainy Day Fund.
Texas lawmakers are expected to begin public hearings on a proposed $2 billion fund to finance water projects across the state.
Texas transportation officials are scheduled to give lawmakers a road map for the challenges the state faces in keeping up an aging highway system to move its growing population.
The state climatologist says Texas continues to experience a serious shortage of rainfall and is on track to experience the second-worst drought on record.
The Texas House and Senate Natural Resources Committees will be holding a joint hearing on the ongoing drought and the status of the state water plan.
Governor Rick Perry presented a glowing assessment of the Texas economy Tuesday and said there was more than enough money in the state’s Rainy Day fund for a one-time, $3.7 billion-investment in water and transportation upgrades while also cutting taxes.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said, with the state’s population set to double in the next 40 or 50 years, it is time to tap the Rainy Day Fund, which could be nearly $12 billion by 2015.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst spoke Thursday at an event held by the Dallas Regional Chamber.
A director from the comptroller’s office said that the state’s emergency savings account is expected to hit $8.1 billion when nearly $2 billion is transferred into the fund next month.
The Texas economy is coming back, but the state budget is still in trouble, top budget experts told lawmakers Tuesday.
Lawmakers will most likely have to tap the Rainy Day Fund to balance the budget in 2013, state comptroller Susan Combs said in an interview.
The state’s chief revenue estimator says Texas tax revenues have bounced back to levels nearly equal to pre-recession levels.