Texas House passes bill to spend more than $3 billion to help pay for flood control projects

Nearly two years after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas coast, the Texas House approved legislation Thursday that would pull more than $3 billion from the state’s rainy day fund to help pay for flood control projects statewide.

The House version of Senate Bill 7 is one of three disaster relief bills Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick declared a top priority earlier in the legislative session. Sponsored by state Rep. Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, it combines the Senate version with a House alternative, creating two funds that would provide grants and loans for flood control and mitigation projects.

The first is the Flood Infrastructure Fund, which would draw nearly $3.3 billion from the state’s savings account, the Economic Stabilization Fund. The second is the Texas Infrastructure Resiliency Fund, outlined in the Senate version authored by state Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe. That fund would allow cities, counties and other political subdivisions to apply for grants and low- or zero-interest loans for specific projects through the Texas Water Development Board.

Read more from Carlos Anchondo with The Texas Tribune here.