Time to vote: Water, broadband and state parks are on the ballot
This is a preview of our Texas 2036 newsletter highlighting the propositions on the November 2023 election ballot, including water, broadband and state parks. To receive this weekly look at our work, sign up here.
Ballot Ready: November 2023 Election
Early voting is here: Now through Nov. 3, Texans will have the chance to vote on 14 constitutional amendments proposed by legislators earlier this year.
- During the legislative session, we supported bills establishing new, constitutionally-dedicated funds for water infrastructure, broadband expansion and state parks. Now, they are on the ballot as proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution.
Generational investments: Combined, these infrastructure and parkland propositions open the door for greater economic development and enhanced community vitality across the state.
Why this matters: Our 7th Texas Voter Poll, conducted in August, showed nearly three-fourths of Texas voters favor significant investments in the state’s water systems and parks.
- A majority of Texas voters also support investments in expanding access to high-speed internet service.
Below, we break down how these props support the future of Texas.
Securing Texas’ water future 🚰
Proposition 6 … is a down payment as Texas faces two major challenges with regard to our state’s water future: a drought-prone and growing state that will need more water supplies and an aging, deteriorating water infrastructure.
- More than $150 billion is needed over 50 years for new water supplies and fixing an aging system.
How will it work? Prop 6 would create a new fund, the Texas Water Fund, to help fix aging, deteriorating water systems and develop new water supplies for our growing, thirsty state.
- The Texas Water Infrastructure Fund expands the state’s financial strategy for addressing our growing water infrastructure challenges.
Who to watch? The $1 billion investment will be under the operation of the Texas Water Development Board, who already are responsible for water infrastructure financing.
- If approved by Texas voters, the Board would have the flexibility to transfer money from the Texas Water Fund to other existing program funds for water infrastructure projects.
Bridging the digital divide 🧑💻
Proposition 8 … aims to get the nearly 3 million Texas households — over 7 million Texans — who still lack access to broadband internet today online.
- Broadband expansion would broaden the opportunity for all Texans to participate in the 21st century economy.
How will it work? Prop 8 would create a new fund, the Broadband Infrastructure Fund, that would allow the state to pull down billions of additional federal dollars through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program.
- Plus, it would provide needed extra dollars for Next Generation 9-1-1 services.
Who to watch? The $1.5 billion will be released to the Texas Comptroller who has been leading expansion efforts through the Broadband Development Office.
- If Texas voters green light Prop 8, it will bring rural and underserved Texans online while also increasing access to the internet in economically distressed communities.
The future of state parks 🏞️
Proposition 14 … works to safeguard, improve and create new state parks as the state’s population continues to grow.
- The $4–$12 in economic return for every $1 in public money spent on state parks is particularly relevant for rural counties with parks as they experience greater growth in employment, GDP and population than rural counties without parks.
How will it work? Prop 14 would create the Centennial Parks Conservation Fund, which holds the potential to preserve and expand our natural landscapes for future generations.
- The time is ripe for an investment as Texans celebrate the 100th anniversary of Texas’ parks system.
Who to watch? The $1 billion will seed this dedicated parkland fund that will be administered by Texas Parks and Wildlife.
- If Prop 14 passes, it’s estimated that between the fund and the private and federal matching dollars that it would attract, the state would be able to acquire another 1.4 million acres — eventually pushing Texas’ parks system past 2 million acres.
Will you be supporting Texas’ water infrastructure, broadband expansion and state parks?
Pol. Adv. Texas 2036