AUSTIN (KXAN) - Texas lawmakers finally wrapped up their work at the Capitol this week, and now Texas is looking ahead to the November election.
Voters will have the chance to approve the Legislature's $2 billion plan for communities to borrow money from the state for crucial water projects. But waging a statewide campaign can be a difficult thing to do.
"The effort's going to be as all campaigns to educate the voters," Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland. "We're going to be spending the next several months trying to educate people about it and to get them out to vote."
Ritter was behind the push for water funding and is now behind one of the PACs that is pushing its support this November. Such groups are gaining traction, telling Texans just how dire a multi-year drought of record could be.
The state says businesses would lose $116 billion by 2060. That year, 1.1 million jobs would be lost. By then - because of those losses - the state's population could fall by 1.4 million people, and there would be 403,000 fewer students in Texas schools.
The measure would provide a funding source for projects like water treatment plants, surface water pumps and desalination sites.
"It's about the future of Texas," Ritter said.
There are conservatives who do not like this funding plan because it takes money out of the Rainy Day Fund - which requires a constitutional amendment.
Historically these amendments have not always worked. Since 1876 - of the 653 that lawmakers have submitted to voters - only 474 gained approval.
November's proposal is not the first time in recent years state has dealt with water funding. In 2011, Texas voters approved a measure that lets the state issue up to $6 billion in bonds for water, wastewater and flood control projects. The state can keep issuing those bonds for water projects as long as they stay below that $6 billion cap.
The water amendment is one of nine that will be on your ballot this November. Some of the other measures you will have to consider are: a property tax exemption for spouses of veterans killed in action, special elections for city council seats and disciplinary actions against judges.
The water issue might have some challenges with so many issues making the ballot so crowded. The numbers make it an even tighter competition: In the last presidential election, 44 percent of voters turned out. In the last gubernatorial election, it was 27 percent. But in the last election with just issues like this November, only four percent turned out.
Both sides rested Wednesday afternoon in the civil trial to decide whether embattled District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg should be removed from office. The judge said he'll decide the case this afternoon.
County commissioners voted Tuesday to approve the buyout of 23 homes in the Timber Creek neighborhood.
Willie Nelson's nine-hole golf course in Briarcliff is up for sale and the asking price is $3 million, according to a local real estate website.
Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pontiff who won hearts and headlines with his humility and common touch, was named Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2013.
When Dawn Erin decided to seek health coverage for the first time in two decades, she was prepared for the red-tape run-around.
An historic early December cold spell is slowly waning, but temperatures will remain well below average for a couple more days.