seen what the legislation looks like that finally passes, but hopefully the result is a better process for all those involved.
While some of the above legislative matters are just a few of that were are tracking and/or working on, there are many others. If you have a specific question about an issue or proposed legislation, please do not hesitate to contact your TCAWS Board or J Pete and Todd.
Other items of interest
While there are numerous proposed bills that deal directly or indirectly with agriculture, here are a few that are working their way through the process might be of some interest.
SB 1172, relating to a statewide seed standardization law, is also making its way through the process. This bill is meant to address the concern of a patchwork of rules and regulations dealing with the types of seeds that can be planted. The supporters of the bill, which include many of the organizations that TCAWS members belong to, want to avoid different counties and municipalities from passing regulations regarding types and varieties of seeds in various locations, thus the legislation that is designed to have uniformity across the state.
There are a number of bills this session dealing with landowners and property rights. Some relate to the removal of interest from the penalty calculation for property converted from agriculture use to developed property, and there are several other bills dealing with eminent domain.
This session has shaped up to be another big session for eminent domain reform. While there are a number of bills geared towards the Texas Central Railway (TRC) proposal, the most significant and most talked about eminent domain bills revolve around trying to level the playing field between the landowner and the condemnor. These bills were recently heard in committee and there will be a lot of discussion and attempts for both sides to come to some agreements on the issues. It is yet to be
Budget and Soil and Water Conservation
While there have been no final decisions on the budget, this is an area that keeps us hoping constantly, and things change by the day, hour, and
Every session at the capitol has its own unique feel. This session is no different. We are over halfway through the 85th Legislative Session, and so far the session has been moving in what seems like slower than usual. There have been a number of bills heard in both the Senate and the House and committees. However, not much has been decided upon. Due to the slow pace, unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we haven’t had much to update you all on. Below is a brief summary of the happenings around the dome.
Senate Bill 1459, relating to incentives to encourage landowners to destroy, remove, or treat citrus trees located in a pest management zone (Willacy, Cameron, and Hidalgo counties) is moving through the House and Senate. This is a very important piece of legislation that seeks to provide an additional tool to stave off the spread of pests and diseases that if left unaddressed will decimate the citrus industry in Texas.
we all had to spring into action. On Thursday, the House heard amendments to the budget that would have taken money away from the Soil and Water Board. The proposed amendments included taking $250,000 and $1.8 million to go towards other items. With your help, the amendments did not pass. In withdrawing one of his amendments, the author of the amendments referenced the feed-back he had received from the agricultural community as a reason for withdrawing his amendment. This is a true testament to the action by all of you, and your friends in the legislature that went to bat for agriculture and soil and water conservation. Hats off to all that helped.
We want to thank the TCAWS members for springing into action last week during the House Budget debate. Due to the House rule regarding having to take money from somewhere to put it somewhere else, the “Put and Take Rule”,
Texas Conservation Association for Water and Soil
sometimes minute. Late last week, the budget passed by both the Senate and the House. Now, the two chambers must come together in a conference committee, appointed by the Speaker and Lt. Governor, and work out the differences between what was passed in the Senate and in the House.
Review of the 85th Legislation Session