Legislative wrap-up

By Ken Esten Cooke —

It certainly helps to have money, as this 83rd session of the Texas Legislature showed. The state’s coffers were relatively flush with cash from oil and gas revenues, and that helped on every level. Though no legislator got everything he or she wanted, a mostly bipartisan atmosphere helped show that compromise is not a dirty word and that disagreements can be worked out.

Gov. Rick Perry has until June 16 to sign the bills that reached his desk. Being anything but predictable, we won’t venture a guess as to which bills will get vetoed and which will bear his signature.

Here are a few legislative results that affect the Hill Country and its residents.

Water

As we wrote last week, this was basically authorization for voters to approve what is essentially $2 billion in seed money from the state’s rainy day fund for needs totaling more than $50 billion.

Municipalities and counties need up to $240 billion in repairs, replacements and expansions, but those will likely be handled by those entities with help from low-interest loans from the Texas Water Development Board.

The TWDB will see a board shakeup, with directors trimmed from six to three, a move spearheaded by our own state Sen. Troy Fraser.

Transportation

Fredericksburg’s long-proposed alternate loop for U.S. Highway 290 won’t get any additional spurring because of action by the legislature.

 

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