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Analysis: The Fight Over Local Control Turns To Representation — And Lobbyists

Analysis: The fight over local control turns to representation — and lobbyists

Efforts to bar local governments from hiring outside lobbyists or joining associations that lobby the state government are gaining steam, after falling short two years ago. If Texas lawmakers go ahead with current proposals, they’ll be hurting small towns more than big cities, and rural counties more than urban ones. Read more from Ross Ramsey with The Texas Tribune here.

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Nature-based Infrastructure Bill Headed To House Floor As Legislative Session Continues

Nature-based infrastructure bill headed to House floor as Legislative session continues

Texas State Rep. Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) presented several house bills for the 87th Texas Legislative Session in committees this week, one of which is heading to the house floor. Zwiener presented House Bill 48 to the House International Relations and Economic Development Committee and House Bills 2344 and 2350 to the House Public Education Committee and House Natural Resources Committee, respectively. Read more from Stephanie Gates with San Marcos Daily Record here. 

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House Bill 3883: Good Legislation For The Hill Country

House Bill 3883: Good legislation for the Hill Country

NOTE: Although this article was written for a Kendall County audience, the bill itself would apply throughout the Hill Country Priority Groundwater Management Area (PGMA), covering all of Bandera, Blanco, Gillespie, Kendall, and Kerr Counties, as well as parts of Bexar, Comal, Hays, and Travis Counties.  The citizens of Kendall County who are directly affected by the ever-increasing growth of recent years have been heard. Hearing concerns about crowded roads, schools and the ever-increasing taxes that fall on citizens to…

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3 Lessons From A Texas Groundwater District On Managing During Drought

3 lessons from a Texas groundwater district on managing during drought

The Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District in central Texas urges residents to “please protect your aquifer by limiting water use.” The district manages groundwater in Hays County, Texas, one of the top five fastest-growing counties in the U.S. Due to drought, the district has imposed a 20% curtailment on groundwater pumping districtwide and a 30% curtailment in a 39 square-mile region within the district that includes the iconic Jacob’s Well spring, the second-largest underwater cave in Texas and a popular…

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It’s Time To Stop Pointing Fingers And Take Steps To Make The Texas Grid More Reliable

It’s time to stop pointing fingers and take steps to make the Texas grid more reliable

The withering winter weather and associated power outages across Texas left millions without electricity for days (including some of my kids and grandkids). It was the most extensive and will likely to be the most expensive storm in Texas history. The resulting suffering, distress and frustration have rightly triggered a demand for answers that our political leaders of all stripes have been eager to provide, often contradicting themselves from one day to the next. I have heard that it was…

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Representative Biedermann Files Texas Hill Country Protection Legislation

Representative Biedermann files Texas Hill Country protection legislation

 Today, Representative Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg) filed HB 3883& HB 3884 to protect Kendall County's fragile resources. Both bills were a product of teamwork between Rep. Biedermman and the Kendall County Commissioner's Court.  Biedermann said, "The Hill Country is unique and its natural resources are being stretched by incoming developments in unincorporated areas. I am proud of the work of my staff and the Kendall County Commissioners Court on finding two unique ways to foster sustainable growth."   HB 3883 addresses the…

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What Dallas, Houston, Louisville & Rochester Can Teach Us About Widening Freeways: Don’t!

What Dallas, Houston, Louisville & Rochester can teach us about widening freeways: Don’t!

Once upon a time, Portland held itself out as a national example of how to build cities that didn’t revolve (so much) around the private automobile. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, it recognized that building more freeways just generated more traffic, and it tore out one downtown freeway, and cancelled another, and instead took the bold step of investing in transit and encouraging greater urban density. But now the region is confronted with proposals to spend upwards of a…

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Requests For Qualifications: Blanco River Water Reclamation Task Force

Requests for Qualifications: Blanco River Water Reclamation Task Force

Important note: Deadline for submission extended to 2/26/2021 The Blanco Water Reclamation Task Force (Task Force) was formed in September 2020 when the Blanco City Council, with a unanimous vote on Sept. 8, committed to a partnership with local NGO, Protect Our Blanco, that would seek to identify solutions for continued growth and development without wastewater discharge into the Blanco River. The Task Force includes city council representatives, city staff, business representatives and technical experts. The Meadows Center for Water…

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Survey Window Opens For Draft Hays County Transportation Plan

Survey window opens for draft Hays County Transportation Plan

Your time is now to comment on Hays County’s Transportation Plan update, which has been in development since the summer. Virtual Open House Round 2 and public input survey (due by Feb. 7) are available online: https://www.haystransportationplan.com/open-house-2 A six-minute video presentation is accompanied by an interactive plan map and detailed list of roadway recommendations. For context, you may want to read about the plan as WVWA provided for Round 1 in October (https://wimberleywatershed.org/2020/10/05/roadways/). An initial look at the draft plan…

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Texans For Responsible Aggregate Mining (TRAM) Invited To Contribute To House Interim Committee’s Study On Aggregate Production Operations

Texans for Responsible Aggregate Mining (TRAM) invited to contribute to House Interim Committee’s Study on Aggregate Production Operations

Hill Country Alliance - Community Program Note: The Hill Country Alliance is an active member of the Texans for Responsible Aggregate Mining (TRAM) coalition. Quarries, gravel mines, sand mines, and concrete batch plants are increasingly posing significant challenges to Hill Country communities. HCA is dedicated to helping address these issues by working with residents, legislators, state agencies, local governments, and industry through participation in TRAM. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 27, 2021 CONTACT: Fermín Ortiz, (512) 755-9393, info@tramtexas.org  As aggregate production operations…

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