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Voters to determine future of Texas flood infrastructure with Proposition 8

Over the last two years, Texas has experienced some catastrophic flooding, and it has forced state lawmakers to ensure Texas becomes more resilient and better prepared for storms. During the Legislative Session, House Joint Resolution 4 was signed into law and placed on the November 5 ballot as Proposition 8. If approved by voters, Proposition 8 would create a flood infrastructure fund to assist in the financing of drainage, flood mitigation and flood control projects. The fund will be housed by the Texas Water Development Board, and funding will be appropriated from the Rainy Day Fund. Voter approval of the amendment would automatically move $793 million from the state’s rainy day fund to the new fund to start paying for projects.

Proposition 8 would create a statewide flood plan in five years and require a regional cooperative approach to flooding. Currently, a regional approach doesn’t exist. Regional flood mitigation projects seeking funding would need to be approved by the Texas Water Development Board.

Last week, business leaders received a briefing from Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) and Rep. Lyle Larson (R- Texas) on the importance of Proposition 8. Chairman Phelan discussed the importance of getting Texas involved in flood mitigation and explained that it is the proper role of government to be involved in flood mitigation. Phelan stressed that there is an economic development factor when it comes to flood mitigation strategies, because you do not want flooding to impede economic growth.

Phelan applauded the City of San Antonio, Bexar County and the San Antonio River Authority for their collaboration on flood control. He acknowledged that San Antonio is a model for regional flood mitigation strategies. Following the flooding in 1998 and 2002, government leaders united in an effort to provide improved flood control, storm water management, and water quality.

The official Vote Yes on Prop 8 campaign will launch later this week. The campaign has already launched a website titled Voteyesprop8.com. For more information on Proposition 8 please contact Stephanie Reyes, Vice President of Public Policy by email at sreyes@sachamber.org or by at 210-229-2161.

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