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Relating to flood planning, mitigation, and infrastructure projects; making an appropriation.
HB 13 would establish a dedicated Flood Infrastructure Fund that would be outside of general revenue. This bill would amend Section 15.405 of the Water Code by adding flood control planning which would relate to any work regarding flood planning at the local, state, or federal level. Under this plan, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) would be granted the authority to use the appropriated funding. TWDB would be able to disperse the fund for the following uses: A loan to a political subdivision at a below market rate, the ability to make a grant for a flood project outside a metropolitan area, or the implementation of a flood project in an economically distressed area. The Flood Infrastructure Plan would enable the funds to participate in a federal relief plan.
HB 13 would also require any political subdivision requesting for this grant to take necessary steps in the determination process during their application. TWDB would review and approve this application.
Based on economic need, the plans for certain distressed areas would be granted relief if they established the required procedures and adopted rules that TWDB set forth under HB 13.
We believe that disaster recovery and planning is a legitimate function of state and local governments. Whether this approach and at the cost estimated by the Legislative Budget Board is the most efficient and effective approach to this issue is not something we have data or research to determine. For these reasons we remain neutral. We do recommend amending to place the Flood Infrastructure Fund within General Revenue for the purposes of transparency and ensuring that the fund counts against the spending cap.