The ongoing drought has generated similar proposals in Oklahoma and Texas.
Locally, legislation creating a $10 million Emergency Drought Relief Fund has gained House committee approval. The fund could pay for cleaning or building ponds, water conservation, water for livestock, rural fire suppression, getting rid of Eastern red cedar trees and other drought-relief activities identified by the governor.
In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry has called for tapping the state’s Rainy Day Fund to pay for water conservation projects. His plan may draw opposition from some tea party elements on the political right while also needing Democratic support on the left to get the two-thirds vote required — no sure thing.
So far, the Oklahoma proposal has received unanimous bipartisan support. Here’s hoping Oklahoma discussions remain centered on policy. This proposal should live or die based on merit and careful analysis, not the political version of inside baseball.