Lawmakers are getting serious about the state’s water deficit.

By a vote of 144-3, the Texas House voted to use $2 billion from the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund (known as the Rainy Day Fund) to finance much needed water projects.

 

Texas experienced the state’s worst draught on record in 2011, and many of the effects are still being felt. In light of those conditions, the state’s Water Development Board has recommended a plan that would cost $53 billion to implement. House Bill 4 would use the $2 billion as a starting point to prioritize infrastructure, reservoir construction and pipeline improvements.

Debating DOMA

The Supreme Court wrapped up arguments Wednesday afternoon on the Defense of Marriage Act, and supporters of overturning the law say they’re hopeful the outcome will be in their favor.

The 1996 Defense Of Marriage Act defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman, and prevents legally married same-sex couples from receiving the same benefits as heterosexual couples.

On Wednesday, the four liberal justices and swing-vote Anthony Kennedy appeared to question whether the act is constitutional.

 
 

Art of the Amendment

The path from creating a bill to having it become law is a lengthy process, and part of that path includes amendments.

We spoke to two former state lawmakers about that process, and the strategy behind it.