State Rep. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin, filed House Bill 9, which would create the Texas Broadband Infrastructure Fund. The fund would be used to expand access to the internet across Texas, provide better broadband connectivity in schools, support 911 services and more.
The Texas Legislature would set aside a certain amount of money for the fund when creating the biennial state budget. Lawmakers could also designate revenue from state taxes or fees to be deposited into the fund, according to the proposed bill text.
Ashby also filed House Joint Resolution 125, which proposes adding the Texas Broadband Infrastructure Fund to the Texas Constitution as an amendment. If state lawmakers pass HB 9, the amendment would be added to election ballots, giving Texans the opportunity to vote on it during the Nov. 7 general election.
Rep. Tracy King, D-Batesville, filed HB 10. According to a news release, the bill aims to strengthen Texas’ water infrastructure and security as demand rises and droughts remain common.
The bill would create the Texas Water Fund, which would finance local projects to treat and desalinate water, find new water sources and acquire water from other states. Money for these initiatives would be allocated biennially to the Texas Water Development Board.
King also filed HJR 130, which would allow Texans to vote on the creation of a constitutional amendment for the Texas Water Fund.
Rep. Cody Harris, R-Palestine, filed HB 14, which would help increase access to housing by streamlining local property development and building review projects, according to the release.
The bill states that if a city or county government does not take action on development documents or inspections within 15 days after the requests are submitted, a third party must complete the task. In this case, the third party must not be part of the development project or be employed by the local government agency.
Texas lawmakers have until March 10 to file legislative proposals for the current session.