FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
CONTACT: Doris Sanchez, Press Secretary
Phone: (512) 463-0385
Texas Legislature Gives Final Approval to SJR 20 Allocating One Quarter Billion Dollars for Water/Wastewater Services
AUSTIN, TX -- The Texas Legislature provided final
approval of Senate Joint Resolution 20 by the Chairman of the
International Relations and Trade Committee (IRT), by Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr.,
that would allow the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to issue an
additional $250 million in general obligation bonds for economically distressed areas to obtain water
and wastewater services statewide if approved by Texas voters.
"As Chairman of IRT, for the last
four years, I've been working with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to address the water and wastewater needs of distressed
areas of our state. Yesterday, SJR 20 was "Enrolled" and will be part of the
November 6, 2007, Constitutional Amendment Ballot. Between now and the
November election, I will be meeting with different communities across this state
to inform them of the importance of this Constitutional Amendment in order to
bring essential water and wastewater services to the most economically
distressed areas in Texas," said Chairman Lucio.
"On behalf of the communities
impacted by the IRT Committee, I want to thank Lt. Gov. Dewhurst for appointing
me to the powerful Senate Finance Committee," said Chairman Lucio. "This
appointment enabled me to work with Finance Committee Chairman Steve Ogden and
Natural Resources Committee Chairman Kip Averitt to address a number of issues
outlined in our IRT Interim Report, including acquiring the necessary funding
to finish out the original Economically Distressed Areas Program -- EDAP I --
and setting aside the necessary debt service revenue in the base state budget to
support the newly expanded statewide EDAP II program, which would be funded by
SJR 20 is the accompanying joint
resolution of the bill Sen. Lucio amended last session with the help of Sen.
Mario Gallegos and Rep. Kevin Bailey, which took the Economically
Distressed Areas Program statewide. SJR 20 provides for a constitutional
amendment that if approved would give the TWDB up to $250 million in Bonding Authority to address the estimated $5.4
billion in water & wastewater needs for distressed areas of the state.
Sen. Lucio added, "Throughout the
last four years, my committee, along with the Texas Water Development Board,
identified communities statewide during the interim that are in dire need of
water and wastewater services, and SJR 20 will afford them an opportunity to
apply for critical EDAP funding."
Chavez, Rep. Ryan Guillen, Rep. Tracy King,
Rep. Abel Herrero and Rep. Eddie Lucio, III for their leadership and for working together with
their House counterparts to ensure passage of SJR 20 in the Texas House of
Representatives. Their understanding of the water/wastewater needs of Texas ensure
that SJR 20 made it to the Governor's desk," added Chairman Lucio.
For more information please contact Mr. Dan Esparza, Director for the IRT Committee, at 512-463-0385.