The Texas House passed a plan to help pay for the weatherization of power plants across the state.
Voters would ultimately make the decision to allocate $2 billion in loans and grants to make it happen. Supporters of the bill say it’s a key piece of the large puzzle to avoid another statewide catastrophe.
“We are working through the system and trying to identify what should be done in the way of mandating those types of things. Understand there's a cost associated with that,” Rep. Chris Paddie (R-District 9) told KXAN-TV. “So HB 2000 is our answer to creating a resource, if you will, for the cost associated with weatherization.”
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“I believe the weatherization effort should be part of the cost of doing business,” said Rep. Jon Rosenthal (D-District 135).
The money would come from the state's rainy day fund set aside for one-time expenses. Some lawmakers worry this would bail out private companies that weren't as prepared as they should have been.
The bill now heads to the Texas Senate. If it passes out of the legislature, the proposal will go before voters in a November election because it makes changes to the Texas constitution.
Meanwhile, the state has tallied at least 150 deaths tied to the February deep freeze, and that number could still grow. The Dallas County Medical Examiner told our partners at the Dallas Morning News that doctors know many of those who died were from the storm, proving it will take months.