Building out the tools needed for the state’s future

This is a preview of our Texas 2036 newsletter about the Legislature prioritizing the state’s infrastructure. To receive this weekly highlight of our work, sign up here.

In Texas 2036’s sixth Texas Voter Poll, the voters told us that they would look favorably on state lawmakers investing in infrastructure. You spoke and Texas leaders are listening…

Putting a priority on Texas infrastructure 🛣

This month, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan prioritized legislation dealing with key pieces of the state’s infrastructure, including water, broadband, and housing. Likewise, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick included water and energy infrastructure among his top bills. Texas 2036 infrastructure priorities receiving a coveted low-digit bill number include:

💧 Water Infrastructure — Investing in safer, more efficient water systems.

House Bill 10/House Joint Resolution 130 and Senate Bill 28/Senate Joint Resolution 75: Aims to dedicate significant funding toward water infrastructure improvement projects and create a Texas Water Fund if a constitutional amendment establishing the fund goes before the voters this fall and receives their approval.

  • HJR 169: This amendment would dedicate sales tax revenue to support the Texas Water Fund.

🌐 Broadband — Connecting millions of Texans to the Internet.

HB 9/HJR 125: This legislation would appropriate $5 billion for efforts to expand broadband connectivity across the state if a constitutional amendment creating the Texas Broadband Infrastructure Fund goes before the voters this fall and receives their approval.

Infrastructure newsletter A.J. Rordriguez broadband“This will absolutely make some significant strides towards covering what we’re calling the farm-to-market road of the 21st century.”

— Executive Vice President A.J. Rodriguez on the proposed multi-billion dollar broadband investment that aims to connect millions more Texans to broadband service in the future.

🏠 Housing — Making the dream of homeownership attainable for more Texans.

HB 14: Seeks to address the rapidly increasing demand for housing across the state by streamlining the permitting process to allow third-party reviewers to help clear the backlog or permitting applications.

As we highlighted in last month’s Texas Voter Poll, the Legislature is tapping into widespread voter sentiment when it comes to making these generational investments in key infrastructure:

  • 89% of Texas voters favored directing $5 billion of the state’s revenue surplus toward helping Texas communities fix aging water infrastructure.
  • 88% of Texas voters said it was important for the state to get the maximum amount of federal funds to support building out broadband capacity across the state.
  • 91% of Texas voters said they were concerned about housing affordability.

Infrastructure newsletter Action Center

What infrastructure do you think is most vital for Texas’ future?


Let us know.


Is the American Dream slipping into the Impossible Dream? 🏡

For far too many Texans, reaching the first rung on the ladder to economic success — buying their first home — has become the impossible dream after years of rising prices:

  • In 2018, the median house price in Texas surpassed three times median income, a common measure of unaffordability.
  • Median home prices in Texas in November 2022 stood at $330,000, a dip from the peak of $360,000 in May 2022, but still 35% higher than they were in March 2020.
  • As housing prices rise, so do the percentage of Texans who are housing “cost burdened,” meaning they spend at least 30% of their income on housing. More than 45% of Texas renters are cost burdened, as are 26.4% of homeowners with mortgages.

Infrastructure newsletter housing

Read more:
When high housing costs make it harder to retain and recruit staff, school communities are disrupted.

Texas 2036 favors several common-sense solutions to encourage abundant, diverse housing stock across the state, including:

  • Empowering local communities to increase gentle density as a strategy to improve accessibility and affordability of housing.
  • Supplementing municipal planning departments with third-party contracting professionals to tackle permitting backlogs.
  • Creating flexibility with lot sizes to empower prospective homebuyers with more choices about the size of their property.
  • Enabling property owners to create and maintain an accessory dwelling unit, more commonly known as a casita or in-law suite.

Energy expansion and the promise of hydrogen ⚡️

The 21st century energy expansion, like the oil and gas revolution that reshaped the 20th century, should start in Texas.

Texas has an established track record of leading in the expansion of energy options — a legacy from Spindletop in which Texas first led in oil and gas and then in new wind and solar industries and continuing on to the latest carbon capture and hydrogen technologies.

Infrastructure newsletter energy

Energy expansion will play a critical role in Texas’ economic growth — in terms of GDP and job growth — in the coming decades. State policy needs to focus on promoting new and emerging cleaner energy technologies and innovation. Texas can lead in this emerging field without hindering other energy sectors that have contributed so much over the years to the state’s success.

Hydrogen, in particular, is well positioned in the coming years to join that list of cost-effective and low-emissions sources of energy for many industries, presenting Texas with another opportunity to build up another energy industry and contributing further to the energy independence of the U.S.

  • More than 60%: the portion of U.S. hydrogen pipelines located in Texas.
  • 30%: the portion of hydrogen pipelines worldwide located in Texas.
  • Texas’ robust port infrastructure and proximity to much of the state’s existing pipelines also positions the state to be a leading hydrogen exporter.

Texas 2036 supports establishing a Texas Hydrogen Policy Council to study the development of the hydrogen industry in Texas, monitor regional applications for clean hydrogen hubs authorized under the federal government’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and develop recommendations regarding the oversight and regulation of hydrogen.

Video: Does TX face a water crisis? What to know.

Infrastructure newsletter Jeremy Mazur screenshot

Texas 2036 Senior Policy Advisor Jeremy Mazur talked to “This Week in Texas” on the state of Texas’ water supply and the importance of updating the state’s water infrastructure.