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Posts Tagged ‘Allan Ritter’

The water campaign begins

The most high profile constitutional amendment now has a campaign behind it. Supporters are laying the groundwork for an aggressive effort to educate voters and drown out opposition with roughly one month before early voting starts. A coalition of political action committees and business groups are leading the push. The strategy will be bankrolled by […]

Water, water, not so fast

So much for that. A major bill on the top of Gov. Rick Perry’s priority list that would authorize spending billions of dollars on state water projects faltered in the Texas House on Monday night after a contentious debate over where to pull the money from. “My understanding is it’s doorknob dead,” the bill’s sponsor, […]

Water infrastructure bill passes

This is good. The Texas House on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to create a revolving, low-interest loan program to help finance a new round of reservoirs, pipelines and other water-supply projects for the drought-stricken state. Lawmakers approved House Bill 4 on a 146-2 vote, but left the question of how much seed money to provide the […]

Meet SWIFT

SWIFT is the State Water Infrastructure Fund for Texas, which would be created by the big water bills of the session, HB4 and SB4. Basically, this is a plan to create a water infrastructure bank, to finance various water projects that the state needs at low interest, with some seed money from the Rainy Day […]

The Lege is going to have to spend some money

Whether they want to or not, there are a lot of issues that will be demanding attention and money from the Legislature when they convene in January. For example, there’s water. House Speaker Joe Straus said Friday the state’s water supply will be among his priorities after years of inaction by lawmakers. In the previous […]

It sure would be nice if The Lege would do something about the drought

Don’t count on it, though. Most of Texas has emerged from its driest year on record, but the turn in weather likely will dampen legislative interest in the state’s water supply. Water planners, policy experts and scientists said Monday at the Texas Water Summit that they do not expect lawmakers to address increasing water demands […]

There’s still a drought out there

Despite the rain, the state of Texas is still mostly in drought conditions, and the threat will remain for the next several years. Most of Central and East Texas beat long odds with heavy rains this winter, but experts warned state lawmakers Thursday that the drought is far from over. State climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said […]

The state of water in Texas

The Statesman has a long story about the state of water in Texas and its outlook for the future. Short summary: We’re going to need more than what we’re capable of getting now, and it’s going to cost a lot of money to bridge the shortfall. “For most of our recent history, we just treated […]

No funding for long term water needs

We know what we need to do, we just don’t want to pay for it. On paper, at least, Texas is well-prepared to meet the water needs of its rapidly expanding population — even when Mother Nature lays down a harsh and lengthy drought. The price tag on the plan: $53 billion. State money allocated: […]

What do yachts and smokeless tobacco have in common?

They’re both getting tax cuts from the Republican legislature. Members of the Texas House on Wednesday approved a bill to lower a tax on Red Man and other brands of loose-leaf chewing tobacco. When Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland , laid out House Bill 2599, one freshman House member from Central Texas couldn’t believe his ears. […]

Ritter switches

The Republicans get their 100th member. State Rep. Allan Ritter of Nederland said Saturday that he will leave the Democratic Party and become a Republican, probably giving the GOP a two-thirds majority in the Texas House. He may not be the last one. Democratic Rep. Aaron Peña of Edinburg hinted Saturday about making the switch […]

TRCC survives sunsetting

Here’s Blogabear‘s view of HB2295, the bill to sunset the Texas Residential Construction Commission, aka the TRCC. And here’s John Coby‘s view of it. I sure hope the former is closer to the truth, because it passed, though with some decent amendments added. I still think we’d be better off if the damn thing were […]

The TRCC should be sunsetted

What EoW says. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s ludicrous to think that a rational profit-maximizing actor such as Bob Perry would spend as much as he does on political access without expecting to get some kind of return on his investment. Seeing him collect the returns on his investment, in […]