Birdwell: Vote was “most difficult” since election to Texas Senate

Republican Texas senators united Tuesday (April 23) on a plan to leave more than $6 billion unspent in the state’s Economic Stability Fund, also known as the “Rainy Day Fund,” empowering voters to consider a one-time infusion of $5.7 billion in Rainy Day funds into critical water, transportation and education priorities. According to a press release sent by the office of state Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), the plan is in compliance with the Texas Budget Compact and preserves the Rainy Day Fund while avoiding new or increased taxes, protecting the state’s AAA credit rating. “This fiscally sound constitutional amendment gives Texas voters the power to reduce transportation-related debt, build needed transportation and water resources and improve funding and equity for Texas schools, teachers and students,” said state Sen. Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands), chair of the Senate Finance Committee. Said Birdwell: “This vote was perhaps the most difficult that I have cast since my election to the Texas Senate. Though I firmly believe the dollar amount set to be drawn from the Rainy Day Fund should have been smaller and more proportional to our actions in 2011, I know that these funds will go to address our immediate water-supply challenges, reducing our transportation debt, and moving our school funding to a more equitable formula.”