Water Quest Report: Senate Bill 4, What's Next?
CBS 7 News
May 9, 2013
AUSTIN, TX - A bill that was moving through the Texas Senate would have set aside funding for major water projects across the state but it's been stopped in it's tracks. It was supposed to be the big water legislation of the session but due to an author error the bill has been killed which has us asking, what now?
"They've hit some political roadblocks," said Darrell Peckham, Hydrogeologist, Water Quest, Inc.
Senate Bill 4 planned to take $2 billion from the rainy day fund to establish a water fund. The money would be set-aside to provide low-interest loans for water projects, everything from new pipelines to desalination plants. But a minor error, made by the bill's author, was brought into light by lawmakers who opposed the bill.
"There were a couple of groups that had some other needs that they wanted addressed, they wanted to use the rainy day funds for education," said Peckham.
The bill has been killed which means lawmakers will now have to explore other methods of funding.
"The other options are really typical banker investment funds and there is a lot of investment money available," said Peckham.
But the interest rates will most likely be higher in the private market. Hydrogeologist Darrell Peckham says there is still hope for SB 4, if not this bill he's confident some sort of water funding will be passed.
"It can be resurrected and the governor has even mentioned the possibility of having a special session to address water infrastructure funding, I believe that this legislative session there will be infrastructure funding put into place," said Peckham.