Rainy day pro­posal a de­par­ture

Lieu­tenant gov­er­nor sug­gests us­ing $1 bil­lion to form a bank to help de­velop water fa­cil­i­ties.

Austin American-Statesman - - B METRO & STATE - By Chris Tom­lin­son Fund B

As Texas law­mak­ers pre­pare for an­other tough bud­get year, Repub­li­can Lt. Gov. David De­whurst has floated the idea of tap­ping the state’s rainy day fund, a sur­prise sug­ges­tion con­sid­er­ing most con­ser­va­tives have spent years fight­ing to pre­serve it.

In the past, Gov. Rick Perry has made main­tain­ing the fund’s $8.1 bil­lion a top pri­or­ity. When Democrats wanted to tap the fund last year to avoid cut­ting $5.4 bil­lion in school fund­ing, Perry said such a move was fis­cally un­wise.

Yet on Thurs­day, De­whurst told the Dal­las Re­gional Cham­ber that law­mak­ers should con­sider tak­ing $1 bil­lion from the fund to start a “water in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment bank” to help cities and coun­ties pay for en­vi­ron­men­tal stud­ies, per­mits and other ground­work for new con­struc­tion. He said the fund could also help the state build more roads.

“I think, as a fis­cal con­ser­va­tive, we could draw down a lit­tle bit and still keep a very healthy bal­ance in the rainy day fund,” said De­whurst, who pre­sides over the Texas Se­nate.

De­whurst was let­ting the pub­lic in on an idea cir­cu­lat­ing around the Capi­tol. No con­ser­va­tives im­me­di­ately de­nounced the sug­ges­tion and Perry’s spokes­woman said the gov­er­nor was ready to talk about such so­lu­tions to the state’s water prob­lems. Busi­ness and en­vi­ron­men­tal groups praised the recom­men-

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.