AUSTIN, Texas -

A new plan by Senate Republicans would take $6 billion from the state's Rainy Day Fund -- and the spending may not stop there.

Republican Sen. Tommy Williams said Thursday he is willing to consider taking more from the projected $12 billion stockpile of cash reserves for schools and health services. The surprising proposal unveiled in the Senate Finance Committee now calls for taking $2.5 billion for water projects and $3.5 billion for transportation.

The GOP plan to use half of the state's emergency piggybank is a pivot for some party leaders who have staunchly opposed tapping into the fund. That includes just two years ago, when the Legislature faced a $27 billion shortfall.

Voters would have to authorize the spending by approving a constitutional amendment in November.