AUSTIN — On Wednesday, the Texas House Appropriations Committee unanimously passed House Bill 2154, legislation authored by State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa), whose goal is to bring state money generated by oil and gas production back to energy-producing hotbeds across the state. The legislation considers directing state funds to make drastically needed improvements to roads, boost public safety, enhance educational opportunities across energy producing areas, as well as reduce infrastructure bottlenecks at Texas ports.
"I'm grateful to my colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee who clearly agree that we need to reinvest in energy producing areas in order to keep Texas strong," Landgraf said. "I'm proud of the growing support from across the state."
HB 2154 is aimed at creating the Generate Recurring Oil Wealth for Texas Fund— the “GROW Texas Fund.” The GROW Texas Fund would not raise or create taxes. Instead, it secures existing state revenue paid by oil and gas producers through severance taxes for specific re-investment in the Texas oil patch that has been strained to the brink by record-breaking production in recent years. That money would then be used exclusively to: expand and improve highways and public roads, increase law-enforcement and first responder salaries, and revitalize education and skilled-workforce opportunities by dedicating money to teachers, schools, colleges and universities.
"From the wells in the Permian Basin to the high-rises in Houston, the GROW Texas Fund will help secure a statewide tax base that serves every corner of Texas," Landgraf added.
The GROW Texas Fund legislation is supported by these organizations and their members: Greater Houston Partnership, Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, Texas Association of Business, Texas Oil & Gas Association, Association of Energy Service Companies, Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association, Permian Basin Petroleum Association, Permian Strategic Partnership.