Speaker Straus: Houston Could Make Or Break Water Funding Referendum

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus and Greater Houston Partnership president and CEO Bob Harvey
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus headlined the Greater Houston Partnership's State of Water event Monday. The event was devoted to raising awareness about a referendum on funding for the State Water Plan.

Proposition 6 would provide a one-time transfer of $2 billion to the water plan from the state’s rainy day fund. The money would provide loans to local government entities to undertake critical water infrastructure projects.  Speaker Straus helped lead the effort to get Prop 6 on this year’s ballot.

“Constitutional amendment elections don’t usually generate huge voter turnout across Texas. But here in Houston, things are a little bit different. A number of other elections here will help drive voters to the polls on November 5. And so the voters of Houston could well decide whether we secure a reliable supply of water for the decades to come.”

Other speakers at the event, including Partnership president and CEO Bob Harvey, said that Houston has a large stake in the referendum’s outcome. Harvey said the region’s economy could take a severe hit if steps are not taken to secure the state’s long-term water supply — noting the area’s petrochemical industry and the Texas Medical Center are particularly vulnerable.

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Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...