Paying for Water: The 83rd Legislative Session and the $2 Billion Water Infrastructure Bank
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Among Texas leaders, there is a general consensus that the state must act now to ensure its long-term water security, and as the legislature convened for its 2013 session, many observers predicted water would emerge as a marquee issue. And it did, with lawmakers introducing numerous water-related bills. Three of these bills are aimed at financing enough water infrastructure projects to assure long-term water supplies for the state: H.B. 4, H.B. 1025 and S.J.R. 1. These bills could have a profound and long-lasting impact on Texas water law and water resources. In anticipation of the November 5 special election, when voters will whether to approve through a proposition certain key legislative provisions, and of the extensive rulemaking processes that will follow if the proposition succeeds, the Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration and Environmental Law has prepared this white paper. It explains the key provisions in H.B. 4 and explores the contours and inflection points in complex legislation that –aside from a salient few details – remains relatively unfamiliar to the general public and even to those who work regularly on water policy issues.