85th Texas Legislature Regular Session Update – March 14, 2017

The 85th Legislature has now passed the date for pre-filing bills (March 10th). The legislature has also begun assigning bills to house and senate committees, and some bills have made it out of committee. You can read more on the Texas Senate News page and on the Texas House of Representatives News page.

The Houston Chronicle posted an article about the number of bills that have been pre-filed for this year’s session along with the different topics that have been proposed. Friday, March 10th was the last day for pre-filing and the capitol reached 880 bills in one day. Per the article, more than 4,200 bills were filed in the House, a 3 percent increase over 2015, and 2,200 bills have been filed in the Senate, an 11 percent increase.

SB 103, the bill that relates to the provision of bags to customers of a business at the point of sale, had a hearing on March 14, 2017, and is currently pending in committee after several people spoke in opposition to the bill. Proactive Bag Bill HB 3482 was recently filed for the 85th Legislation. Specifically, this bill clarifies that local governments do have the right to prohibit or restrict single-use bags. We are following both of these bills and will continue to post updates.

Let us know what legislation you are watching!

Additional resources:

The Texas Legislature has filed the following bills for consideration during Texas’ 85th legislative session….

Updates on Bills in the 85th Legislative Session

Read on for a list of recently filed bills pertaining to the environment.

House Bills

  • HB 31 – Relating to the regulation of groundwater.
  • HB 3525 – Relating to the referral by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the State Office of Administrative Hearings of an issue regarding an application for a water right.
  • HB 3576 – Relating to the collection and release of information on the Zika virus and other high consequence communicable diseases for certain purposes.
  • HB 3582 – Relating to the abolition of certain entities associated with the Department of Agriculture.
  • HB 3590 – Relating to reducing regulations on the application of certain pesticides by school district employees.
  • HB 3602 – Relating to the treatment of certain types of water by water treatment specialists.
  • HB 3618 – Relating to water quality permitting.
  • HB 3634 – Relating to the amendment of the Texas Health Care Transformation and Quality Improvement Program waiver.
  • HB 3644 – Relating to the collection of soil monitoring samples from land application units where sewage sludge or domestic septage is applied.
  • HB 3677 – Relating to the creation of the Heart of Texas Aquifer District and the dissolution of certain groundwater conservation districts; providing authority to issue bonds; providing authority to impose assessments, fees, or surcharges.
  • HB 3679 – Relating to signs informing motorists of facilities providing alternative fuels.
  • HB 3682 – Relating to requiring the statewide health coordinating council and state health plan to examine and report on the impact of low health literacy on consumers and the health care system.
  • HB 3695 – Relating to lead in drinking water at schools and child care facilities.
  • HB 3704 – Relating to the allocation of certain fees on the sale of cigarettes and cigarette tobacco products manufactured by certain companies to the permanent health fund for higher education and to the use of money in that fund.
  • HB 3709 – Relating to authorizing a county to impose a tax on the sale of certain solid materials and substances.
  • HB 3717 – Relating to programs to provide incentives for conserving water in outdoor landscapes.
  • HB 3726 – Relating to certain examination and continuing education requirements for applicants for and holders of liquefied petroleum gas licenses.
  • HB 3735 – Relating to an application for a new or amended water right submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
  • HB 3746 – Relating to the permissible uses of the floodplain management account.
  • HB 3889 – Relating to a study on public drinking water infrastructure by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
  • HB 3946 – Relating to the functions of the Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission.
  • HB 3975 – Relating to qualification of land for appraisal for ad valorem tax purposes as timber land.
  • HB 3988 – Relating to the authority of a county to implement a pilot program to reuse wastewater at county facilities.
  • HB 3991 – Relating to appropriations of water for use in aquifer storage and recovery projects.
  • HB 4006 – Relating to a requirement that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality obtain or develop updated water availability models for all of the river basins in this state.
  • HB 4025 – Relating to the relationship between the amount of an administrative penalty imposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the economic benefit of the violation to the alleged violator.
  • HB 4045 – Relating to the regulation and permitting of groundwater.
  • HB 4050 – Relating to exports of groundwater from a groundwater conservation district.
  • HB 4058 – Relating to systems of prior authorization for the control, management, and disposal of certain nonhazardous, industrial solid wastes for which there are minimum federal requirements.
  • HB 4059 – Relating to the transfer of certain property from The University of Texas System to the Parks and Wildlife Department.
  • HB 4067 – Relating to the applicability of Texas Commission on Environmental Quality rules relating to recycling facilities.
  • HB 4113 – Relating to the name and governance of the Railroad Commission of Texas.
  • HB 4162 – Relating to exports of groundwater from a groundwater conservation district.
  • HB 4164 – Relating to the procedures for adopting a moratorium on the issuance of permits by groundwater conservation districts.
  • HB 4166 – Relating to the applicability of certain rules when considering an application for a permit to drill or operate a well.
  • HB 4221 – Relating to requiring owners of sanitary sewer systems to report the current condition of a system’s infrastructure to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
  • HB 4230 – Relating to the authority of the Texas Water Development Board to provide financial assistance to political subdivisions for flood control or mitigation projects.
  • HB 4231 – Relating to allocating a portion of oil and gas production tax revenue to the counties from which the oil and gas originated.

Senate Bills

  • SB 1580 – Relating to the testing of drinking water from and the replacement and repair of drinking water outlets and water lines on publicly owned and operated property.
  • SB 1587 – Relating to lead in drinking water at schools and child care facilities.
  • SB 1597 – Relating to a requirement that the General Land Office conduct an evaluation and submit a report regarding the use of wind and solar power to desalinate brackish groundwater on real property owned by the state.
  • SB 1598 – Relating to applications for permits issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for certain new or expanded facilities in certain low-income and minority communities.
  • SB 1628 – Relating to the replacement of contested case hearings for certain environmental permits with a petition for administrative review.
  • SB 1629 – Relating to systems of prior authorization for the control, management, and disposal of certain nonhazardous, industrial solid wastes for which there are minimum federal requirements.
  • SB 1667 – Relating to the functions of the Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission.
  • SB 1683 – Relating to food allergen awareness in food service establishments.
  • SB 1707 – Relating to funding for county transportation infrastructure projects in counties with significant oil and gas production.
  • SB 1708 – Relating to funding for counties for transportation infrastructure projects located in areas of the state affected by increased oil and gas production, including administration of county energy transportation reinvestment zones.
  • SB 1715 – Relating to the use of corrugated stainless steel tubing in residential and commercial structures.
  • SB 1723 – Relating to the collection of soil monitoring samples from land application units where sewage sludge or domestic septage is applied.
  • SB 1724 – Relating to a permit requirement for the land application of domestic septage.
  • SB 1868 – Relating to the requirement of a public hearing on certain applications for a permit to drill an oil or gas well.
  • SB 1871 – Relating to the creation of the offense of petroleum product or oil and gas equipment theft.
  • SB 1915 – Relating to the prosecution and punishment of certain outdoor burning violations.
  • SB 1988 – Relating to the nonsubstantive revision of certain local laws concerning water and wastewater special districts, including conforming amendments.
  • SB 2026 – Relating to a study and report by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on the use of green stormwater infrastructure in this state.
  • SB 2099 – Relating to the authority of the Railroad Commission of Texas to enforce requirements for the prevention of damage to interstate and intrastate underground facilities.
  • SB 2100 – Relating to a study of the fees charged by the Railroad Commission of Texas.
  • SB 2120 – Relating to the continuation of the Railroad Commission of Texas.
  • SB 2154 – Relating to the amendment to an existing permit for a municipal solid waste landfill facility to accept increased amounts of Class 1 industrial solid waste.
  • SB 2155 – Relating to the issuance or amendment of a permit for a solid waste landfill facility or hazardous waste land disposal unit to be located in a special flood hazard area.
  • SB 2162 – Relating to a prohibition on the approval by the Railroad Commission of Texas of an application for a permit for a commercial surface disposal facility located near certain reservoirs.
  • SB 2193 – Relating to the regulation of certain aggregate production operations by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; authorizing an increase in the amount of a fee.