85th Texas Legislature Regular Session Update – May 2, 2017

The 85th Legislature has been 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.

Upcoming Dates of Note:

  • May 9, 2017: Deadline for the house to distribute its last House Daily Calendar with house bills and house joint resolutions
  • May 10, 2017: Deadline for the house to distribute its last House Local & Consent Calendar with consent house bills
  • May 11, 2017: Last day for the house to consider house bills and house joint resolutions on 2nd reading on the Daily or  Supplemental Calendar
  • May 29, 2017: Last day of legislative session.
  • June 18, 2017: Last day the governor can sign or veto bills passed during the regular legislative session.

Additional Resources:

  • More than half of pre-filed bills have been assigned to a committee. Most of the bills assigned to a committee are waiting for a public hearing, or have already had a public hearing and are left pending. No bills have been passed by the legislature (other than resolutions).
  • Although not many bills have been voted on yet by The Senate and The House of Representatives from the surrounding area of Houston, here are a few pertaining to the environment on this Google Spreadsheet. 
  • Neighborhood Witness is an organization that focuses primarily on air pollution in Texas. If you would like to learn more about this issue, their website provides information on polluted air in great detail.
  • The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC), as of the Natural Resources Advisory Committee, identifies bills filed in the Texas Legislature that may impact or relate to natural resources and their management. The attached report provides a status update on the bills filed during this session for which your organization may want to seek further information. H-GAC welcomes any feedback or requests you may have for tracking additional bills. This tracking is solely for the purpose of providing information to H-GAC’s Committee members. H-GAC does not seek to advocate for or against any bill through the provision of this information.
  • Texas Campaign for the Environment reports that HB 3482 (Relating to clarifying the law regarding local government prohibitions or restrictions on the sale or use of a container or package) was voted the House Urban Affairs Committee on a 4-3 vote. It is now up for consideration by the House Calendars Committee, which includes Representative Sarah Davis from the Houston area.

Additional resources:

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Updates on Committees & Bills in the 85th Legislative Session

  • Agriculture & Livestock – Met on April 26. Bills to note:
    • Bills pending/in committee:
      • HB 1535 – prohibition of pesticides on public road rights of way
    • Bills out of committee:
      • HB 572 – disposal of pesticides
  • Agriculture, Water, & Rural Affairs – Met on April 24. Bills to note:
    • Bills pending/in committee:
      • SB 189 – permit to drill injection wells
      • SB 538 – planning for responses to drought
      • SB 1454 – study/approval of lethal pesticides
    • Bills voted on by Senate:
      • SB 546 – quality of water by public drinking water supply
      • SB 1459 – destroy/remove/treat citrus trees in pest management zones
  • Business & Commerce – Met on April 27. Bills to note:
    • Bills pending/in committee:
      • SB 103 – provision of bags
        • Senator Borris Miles signed a petition in favor of the bag ordinance
      • SB 733 – sanitation and safety requirements for certain artificial bodies of water
    • Bills voted on by Senate:
      • SB 59 – energy and water management planning for state agencies and institutions of higher education
  • Energy Resources – Met on April 26. Bills to note:
    • Bills pending/in committee:
      • HB 1168 – mineral use of land subdivided for energy development
      • HB 1931 – duties of State Energy Conservation Office, clean energy projects
    • Bills out of House committee:
      • HB 2488 – treatment and recycling for beneficial use of drill cuttings (correlates with SB 1541)
  • Environmental Regulation – Met on April 25. Bills to note:
    • Bills pending/in committee:
      • HB 838HB 1979, HB 2682 – emissions
      • HB 1437 – litter reduction
      • HB 1874 – recycling of certain household batteries
      • HB 1927 – alert system for release of toxic chemicals by manufacturing facility. Fire at LyondellBasell Refinery is an example to help support this bill. Read Air Alliance’s article here.
      • HB 2046 – funds to support recycling projects and infrastructure
      • HB 2088 – permits on concrete batch plants
      • HB 2092 – prohibition of land application of grit/grease trap waste (correlates with SB 746)
      • HB 2125 – recycling of architectural paint
      • HB 2662 – Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact waste disposal facility.
    • Bills out of committee:
      • HB 1515 – dry cleaner environmental response program
      • HB 2086 – permits on concrete batch plants
      • HB 3090 – laws prohibiting outdoor burning of waste & combustible material
    • Bills voted on by House:
      • HB 402 –  air quality correlating with vehicles
      • HB 1619 – prosecution and punishment for outdoor burning
  • Intergovernmental Relations – Met on April 26. Bills to note:
    • Bills voted on by Senate:
      • SB 744 – tree planting credit
  • Land & Resource Management – Met on April 25. Bills to note:
    • Bills out of committee:
      • HCR 106 – storm surge barrier on Texas coast (Update 04/27/17: this bill has been placed on Resolutions calendar)
      • HB 1625 – Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act of 1991
  • Natural Resources – Met on April 27. Bills to note:
    • Bills pending/in committee:
      • HB 1318 – regulation of production of wells
    • Bills voted on by House:
      • HB 31 – regulation of groundwater
  • Natural Resources & Economic Development – Met on April 25. Bills to note:
    • Bills pending/in committee:
      • SB 746 – prohibit land application of grit/grease trap waste (correlates with HB 2092)
      • SB 1064 – outdoor burning
    • Bills out of committee:
      • SB 1046 – Texas emissions reduction plan funding (Update 04/27/17: this bill has been placed on intent calendar)
    • Bills voted on by Senate:
      • SB 26 – Texas emissions reduction plan
      • SB 570 – regulation of scrap tires
      • SB 1045 – public notice requirements for air quality permit applicants
      • SB 1541 – treatment and recycling for beneficial use of drill cuttings (correlates with HB 2488)
      • HB 2005 – studies of aquifer storage and recovery
  • Public Health: Met on April 25. Bills to note:
    • Bills voted on by House:
  • State Affairs – Met on April 27. Bills to note:
    • Bills pending/in committee:
      • HB 2204 – water projects, treatment works, flood control measures
  • Urban Affairs – Met on April 25. Bills to note:
    • Bills pending/in committee: