A new year brings a new law affecting us right here in the Rio Grande Valley.
Texas Senate Bill 7 goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020 and it’s aimed at helping flood planning and updating infrastructure projects.
“Texas Department of Emergency Management valued our damages at $4-$6 million dollar range,” said David Fuentes, Hidalgo County Commissioner for Precinct 1, that got hit hard in both June floods.
But starting Wednesday, a Texas law now allows federal funding to go towards research to ensure nothing like that happens again.
“What’s great about it, is it may have a component where the state is funding projects that otherwise wouldn’t be able to happen,” said Fuentes.
Senate Bill 7 brings out a rainy day fund to help local governments with matching federal funds.
That money can be used for flood research, planning projects and repairing after natural disasters like hurricanes or those heavy rains from June.
“We’re hopeful that our area will be more of a grant based and will have projects completely funded by the state, as opposed to us paying for everything and then have a small matching component from the state,” said Fuentes.
Fuentes adds the preliminary applications for funding will happen in Spring 2020 and money will be granted in Spring 2021.