A roughly $800 million border security package working its way through the Texas Legislature is meant to curb drug and people smuggling. But it could also attack another common enemy along the Rio Grande: Carrizo cane.
The House gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill passed last month by the Senate. It seeks to use part of the border security package's funding to eradicate the cane, which grows along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Native to Asia, Carrizo cane is common in South Texas and grows thick enough to choke water flow and obstruct border surveillance by law enforcement.
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The proposal would hire two state employees to help eradicate Carrizo cane at an annual cost of nearly $199,000 in salary and benefits -- though more would be spent on actual eradication efforts.