Prop 6 Approved: What Happens Next?
In early November, the Texas electorate overwhelmingly approved Proposition 6. Now that the bill has been passed, what happens next?
Passing a Bill is Only the First Phase
Proposition 6 is the amendment to the Texas constitution that authorizes the Texas Legislature to take $2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund to create a water implementation fund. In the wake of the ongoing drought and dry conditions that have been plaguing Texas for years, the amendment has gained widespread support as people struggle with how to address our ongoing need for water. But passing the bill is only the first phase in creating a water implementation fund - there’s a lot more that goes into turning an amendment like this into a reality.
What’s Next for Proposition 6?
The groups that worked hard to back Proposition 6 say: “a lot more work” is what’s next. Representative Four Price says: “What’s next is working on the prioritization of projects (and) to identify those projects across the state that we can finance. The process will start right away, but it will take time to be implemented.”
The Texas Water Development Board will be the central player in the allocation of the funding, but the process of deciding which projects to fund, and how to fairly resolve conflicts within the different water districts, will require ongoing discussion. Some environmental groups feel that it’s important to focus on water conservation, to develop more efficient technology to prevent the loss of water through leaks and bad pipelines. Other groups are working to advocate for rural water needs, such as the need to help ranchers fund vital water projects that they otherwise might not be able to afford.
As we can see from Proposition 6, the process of passing a bill or amendment is only the first step in making an impact via the legislative process. Representatives, environmental groups and Texas citizens must work together to turn the legislative victory into a practical reality.