May 9, 2013 ???? 4:27 PM
NO APPETITE IN HOUSE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO FUND WATER
Straus and Pitts confirm that they remain committed to their approach even after AG Abbott?s letter clarifies that the House?s plan would involve a vote to break the spending cap
House Speaker Joe Straus and his chief budget writer said this afternoon that they remain committed to finding $2 billion for water this session without resorting to a constitutional amendment that would be submitted to the voters in November.
Their comments confirm that budget writers in the House and Senate have yet to find common ground on a funding mechanism for the revolving infrastructure bank that would capitalize the state?s share of a plan to secure water resources for the next 50 years.
The division between the two chambers is persisting even after the promulgation of a letter from Attorney General Greg Abbott clarifying that money spent out of the Rainy Day Fund counts toward the constitutional spending cap.
Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands) was quick to tout the letter as an endorsement of the Senate?s constitutional amendment approach to funding water and a couple of other spending priorities as it would not count against the cap. The Senate has passed SJR 1 that would put before the voters a $5.7 billion appropriation from the RDF, which has inflated to historically unprecedented levels because of sustained high energy prices, to invest in water, roads and education.
http://www.quorumreport.com/? (Daily Buzz)