by: Rep. Phelan, Dade
Austin, Texas — Speaker of the Texas House Dade Phelan today announced three priorities for the chamber this legislative session that focus on building a more resilient Texas by expanding the state’s framework for broadband development, dedicating dollars toward improving water infrastructure and cutting burdensome red tape around property development projects in the state.
The following bills, which are part of the Texas House’s broader legislative priorities package for the 88th Texas Legislature, will be filed today:
House Bill 9 by Rep. Trent Ashby
House Bill 10 by Rep. Tracy King
House Bill 14 by Rep. Cody Harris
House Bill 9 by Representative Ashby would create the Texas Broadband Infrastructure Fund to administer the state’s broadband development program, foster community outreach for expansion and affordability efforts and ensure the universal service program is fully funded, among other things. Under House Bill 9, the Texas Legislature would have guidance over the appropriations of the fund and maintain flexibility to address rapidly-evolving technology and consumer needs. Representative Ashby has also filed House Joint Resolution 125, which would put House Bill 9 on the Texas ballot if passed by the Legislature, leaving it up to voters to decide whether it is adopted as state law.
House Bill 10 by Representative King would dedicate billions of dollars toward water development projects in Texas, improving the state’s water infrastructure and security amid rising demand. Under the legislation, which would create the Texas Water Fund, applicants of existing programs administered by the Texas Water Development Board could receive assistance in financing new water sources for the state, including projects to acquire water from other states and develop infrastructure to transport water. House Bill 10 would also create a technical assistance program for water loss audits and require the Texas Water Development Board to report updates to the Legislature every 5 years. Representative King has also filed House Joint Resolution 130, which would put House Bill 10 on the Texas ballot if passed by the Legislature, leaving it up to voters to decide whether it is adopted as state law.
House Bill 14 by Representative Harris would streamline the approval process for property development and building reviews, requiring cities and counties that fail to complete such projects in a timely manner to utilize third-party reviewers.
“The Texas Legislature must continue to support our state’s rapidly-increasing demand for internet, water and housing, and I appreciate Representatives Ashby, King and Harris for filing legislation that would lay the necessary foundations to continue fostering those efforts,” Speaker Phelan said. “Members of the Texas House will discuss this legislation and more in the coming weeks, and I look forward to our chamber passing these proposals during the 88th Legislature.”
Additional legislative priorities of the Texas House will be announced in the coming days.