Leaders in both chambers of the Legislature announced Thursday they will work with various organizations to promote a constitutional amendment to fund water projects that will go to the voters in November.
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, and state Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland, unveiled Water Texas, a political action committee to support passage of the amendment to create a $2 billion water development fund.
The Legislature approved the legislation in the regular session. It goes before voters Nov. 5.
“I encourage all Texans to help build support for this amendment so that we can have the reliable supplies of water needed for continued economic growth,” Straus said.
Also Thursday, state Sens. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, and Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, said they will serve as honorary co-chairs of H2O4Texas’ campaign to win approval of the water proposition. The group’s campaign is funded by the H2O4Texas political action committee, which is made up of several associations and businesses, ranging from Ducks Unlimited to CenterPoint Energy.
“We had an army of people helping us pass this legislation — from Realtors, to manufacturers, to farmers. We now need that same army to mobilize their association members to get out the vote in November,” Fraser said.
Efforts of those connected with both PACs will focus on informing voters about the need to approve the amendment creating the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas, or SWIFT.
An opponent of the legislation to allow the election, Michael Quinn Sullivan, president of the conservative group Empower Texans, said he hasn’t heard of an organized effort against the proposition.
Many conservative Texans fought the amendment because it taps the state’s rainy day fund, which some feel should be left untouched unless a disaster or emergency occurs.