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Legislative Victory For Texas’ Working Lands

Legislative victory for Texas’ working lands

Texas Agricultural Land Trust: HB1925, authored by Representative Charlie Geren, will move the Texas Farm & Ranch Lands Conservation Program to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD). TPWD is well-suited to ensure that the program meets its purpose, which is to conserve Texas' farms and ranches that provide our state's critical natural resources. TALT worked with our partner organizations - the statewide agricultural and landowner groups - as well as the Texas Land Trust Council and other conservation organizations to…

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Tussle In Legislature Over Hueco Tanks, Hays County Water

Tussle in Legislature over Hueco Tanks, Hays County water

Residents of flood-ravaged Hays County were furious Tuesday that State Rep. Mary González used a legislative maneuver in an attempt to kill a local bill they say will protect their wells. In calls and emails, several asked why a lawmaker whose district is 500 miles away would insert herself into a strictly local debate. "She seems like a decent person," said Nancy Weaver, who lives about a half mile from a commercial wellfield that she and her neighbors fear will…

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Contested Case Hearing Legislation Signed By The Governor

Contested Case Hearing legislation signed by the Governor

Senate Bill 709, which will become law Sept. 1, scales back contested-case hearings, a process that allows landowners and the public to challenge industrial TCEQ permits such as sand and gravel operations and wastewater discharges in and along Hill Country rivers. From the Texas Tribune: Gov. Greg Abbott has signed legislationaiming to quicken regulators' pace of cranking out permits for major industrial projects by limiting public scrutiny — another victory for a wide range of industries and a blow to…

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Legislative Solution To Hays County Water Dispute Takes Big Step Forward

Legislative Solution to Hays County Water Dispute Takes Big Step Forward

Those of you who have been keeping up with efforts to put restrictions on Electro Purification’s pumping of water from an unregulated area of the Trinity Aquifer in Hays County will be pleased to know that a proposed legislative solution took an important step forward this week when SB1440 was voted out of committee. If passed, the bill would give authority to regulate the area to the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. Meanwhile, a companion bill in the House, HB3405,…

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Truth In Budgeting For  State Park Funding

Truth in Budgeting for State Park Funding

Good news from Representative Larson’s recent capitol update: Last week, HB 158 passed the House by a vote of 138-1. The bill is now headed for the Senate. Since 1993, a portion of the sales tax revenue generated by sporting goods has been statutorily allocated to fund state park operations, capital, and local park grants. Unfortunately, only a portion of this funding has been spent on parks and the rest has been kept in general revenue to be spent on…

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House Bills Erode Water Quality And Open Space Protections In The Hill Country

House Bills Erode Water Quality and Open Space Protections in the Hill Country

On April 13th, the Texas House of Representatives Committee on Land and Resource Management heard House Bills 3620and 3621, authored by State Representative Jason Isaac of Dripping Springs. In a maneuver likely designed to avoid heated debate over his bills, which critics argue will fuel development in environmentally sensitive areas of the Hill County, Representative Isaac successfully raised a point of order to suspend the posting rule to allow the Committee to hear his bills at the last minute without…

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“Transferring Water From One Area To Another Has Social And Environmental Consequences”

“Transferring water from one area to another has social and environmental consequences”

Sierra Club, Lone Star Chapter: TAKE ACTION! “House Bill 3298 is set to be debated on the Texas House floor Thursday, May 7 – the bill would direct the state’s water planning agency to evaluate how to establish and operate a state water conveyance network – a massive plumbing system of pipelines, pumping stations, reservoirs, and other infrastructure to move large amounts of water around Texas. "Transferring water from one area to another has social and environmental consequences" - Con…

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Citizen Referendums Are Fundamental To Democracy

Citizen referendums are fundamental to democracy

Texas League of Conservation Voters urges “NO” votes on HB 2595. Home rule cities have enormous powers to govern.  But in circumstances when governing bodies are not acting—or are slow to act—initiatives have proven useful tools for VOTERS to enact local ordinances and legislate a city’s activities. From the Texas League of Conservation Voters: How It Works: HB 2595 proposes to restrict a city’s ability to accept a voter initiated referendum or ballot initiative. It specifically precludes a city’s ability…

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Kramer: Water Grid Proposal Not Right For Texas

Kramer: Water grid proposal not right for Texas

  Critical vote Thursday, May 7th: Many Texans find satisfaction in being different from California. But a new legislative proposal would have Texas follow the deeply flawed California model of massive and costly pumping of water all over the state. This approach leads to crisis management when the “wet” areas of the state face an extended drought, and communities relying on imported water are left high and dry. House Bill 3298 by state Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) and Senate…

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Lawmakers Move To Speed Permits And Limit Protests

Lawmakers move to speed permits and limit protests

Hill Country landowners already have very little to say about industrial projects upstream. “The bill would scale back contested-case hearings, a process that allows the public to scrutinize and challenge industrial applications for environmental permits, such as those allowing wastewater discharges or air pollution emissions.” Sadly, this legislation passed since this posting... Texas is poised to widen its welcome mat to a wide range of industries. Claiming that the state's bureaucracy is shooing away businesses, House lawmakers on Thursday night…

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