Referendum: Proposition 6 (the proposed constitutional amendment to fund the State Water Plan), if approved by voters, will allow a one-time transfer of $2 billion from the state Rainy Day Fund to provide local governments with loans to help build water infrastructure in the state.
Key issue: The reason behind this thing, namely the drought that has had Texas in its grips for the past few years and shows no signs of letting go. The drought has done a lot of damage and is changing the face of much of the state, but it has also underlined the fact that the state population is projected to keep right on growing without a water supply to keep up with it. Hence, this bid to revamp the state water infrastructure so that local entities will build some actual water infrastructure and the people of Texas never have to find out what it's like to wake up with the worst hangover of your life and find no water coming out when you try and turn on the tap.
Why you should vote for it: Because running out of water will suck, and the money being pulled out from the fund will only be loaned to local government entities required to pay it back. The water infrastructure in the state is old and decaying, as politicians from Gov. Rick Perry on down are quick to point out, and it needs to be redone so that, you know, we'll have water.
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Why you should vote against it: It all sounds good, but as StateImpact points out, it also sounds a lot like the setup for the state Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, which was set up with those proverbial "good intentions" but then turned into a giant mess of cronyism and inefficiency, with all research accounts frozen and a scathing audit issued earlier this year. The State Water Plan sounds like a good idea, but it could easily turn out to be another pipe dream flooded with corrupt political shenanigans. Odds: Who the hell knows? A constitutional proposition is not the sort of thing that really makes voters turn out, and it's entirely possible the ones who do may decide they're agin' it, but then again there may be a bunch of people in the ballot box on election day who are all about Proposition 6. Either way, Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus pointed out that Houston has a bunch of important local elections coming at the same time. Since we're more likely to have more voters, it's possible Houston could actually be the determining factor on whether the proposition is approved or not.