By CHRIS TOMLINSON
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Rep. Allan Ritter has spent years trying to find the money to build the water pipelines, reservoirs and conservation systems Texas' growing population needs. This was supposed to be the year it finally happened.
But his bill failed Monday night and the state's leadership on Tuesday is scrambling to find a way to resurrect Ritter's plan to take $2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund. Ritter wants to leverage it to raise $27 billion for water projects.
The plan needs 100 out of 150 votes to pass. But an estimated 35 tea party members oppose tapping the fund and 55 Democrats are insisting on more money for public schools first.
Gov. Rick Perry and Speaker Joe Straus have both pledged to find a compromise to solve the state's water shortage.
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