Fraser gets watered-down audit bill
May 28, 2013, 7:10 pm by James Walker
The Lower Colorado River Authority’s business operations and practices will be audited after state Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) succeeded in adding the requirement as an amendment to another water-related bill that was approved in the House and Senate on the final day of the regular legislative session Monday.
The audit will be a performance audit and not a financial audit Fraser sought in a bill he introduced that stalled in the Senate and had little hope of passage in the House.
Fraser’s bill ran into opposition from rice farmers in the lower Colorado River basin and their lawmaker allies from agriculture-dependent areas in the state.
Fraser added the LCRA audit language to a bill sponsored by Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) and Rep. Jim Keffer (R-Eastland) in the House that would require audits of other river authorities, including the Brazos River Authority, which Birdwell wanted.
Fraser expressed pleasure in managing to get the LCRA audit language approved but was reluctant to discuss the matter in depth because he could end up being a party in a lawsuit against the river authority.
Fraser also was at the governor’s office Tuesday to witness Gov. Rick Perry signing a bill he sponsored in the Senate that Fraser said sets up the structure "to provide meaningful financing to water providers across the state and finally moves Texas in the right direction of funding the state’s future water needs.”
The State Water Implementation Fund for Texas is a water infrastructure bank that will revolve funds, so that over time—if properly capitalized—it can finance all the strategies included in the 2012 plan, Fraser said.
For the full story, see Wednesday's Burnet Bulletin or Llano County Journal.
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