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Relating to the provision by the Texas Water Development Board of financial assistance for the development of certain projects in economically distressed areas.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is required to implement a provision of this Act only if the legislature appropriates money specifically for that purpose. If the legislature does not appropriate money specifically for that purpose, TWDB may, but is not required to, implement a provision of this Act using other appropriations available for that purpose.
SB 2452 is enabling legislation for the constitutional amendment proposed by SJR 79 which would allow the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to issue additional general obligation bonds for the Economically Distressed Areas Program (EDAP) account of the Texas Water Development Fund in an amount that would not exceed $200 million. The bond revenue would be used to provide assistance for the development of water supply and sewer service projects in economically distressed areas of the state.
SB 2452 would stipulate that use of the economically distressed areas account is solely for projects intended to serve economically distressed areas. The bill would expand eligibility for certain assistance to "political subdivisions" rather than only counties as is the current statutory limitation.
The bill would prescribe the use and prioritization of funds from the newly authorized general obligation bonds. Additionally, the bill would mandate certain reporting and transparency requirements related to projects for which the TWDB provides financial assistance under the provisions of this bill.
We oppose SB 2452 and SJR 79 which would grow the cost of government and increase general obligation bond debt at the expense of Texas taxpayers. If the Economically Distressed Areas Program is in need of an additional $200 million in funding, this should be appropriated out of general revenue rather than increasing the debt burden on Texas citizens by issuing new general obligation bonds.