85th Texas Legislature First Called Session Update – 8/1/2017

So far, in the first called session of the 85th Legislature,  bills have passed through their designated committees and some have even passed in their respective chambers. One bill that has been progressing quickly is Senate Bill 14 which relates to a property owner’s right to remove trees or vegetation. House Bill 7, which would create a tree planting credit to offset a tree mitigation fee, has also moved quickly through the House. Other bills, however, have been filed but not assigned to any committees.

You can read more on the Texas Senate News page and on the Texas House of Representatives News page.

Update:

Business and Commerce

  • SB 14Hall, Bob
    • Passed by Business and Commerce Committee- 7/24
    • Passed by Senate- 7/26
    • Received by House of Representatives – 7/27

Natural Resources

The following bills moved out of the Natural Resources Committee on July 31st.

Urban Affairs

  • HB 7Phelan, Dade
    • Passed by Urban Affairs Committee 7/26
    • Passed by House of Representatives 7/28
    • Received by the Senate 7/31
  • HB 70 – Workman, Paul
    • Pending in committee- 7/25

Agriculture and Livestock

The Agriculture and Livestock Committee will hold a public hearing on August 2nd for the following bills:

State Affairs

Environmental Regulation

The following Senate bills have been filed but no further action has been taken:

85th Texas Legislature First Called Session Update – July 28, 2017

The Texas Legislature has filed the following bills for consideration during the first called session of the 85th Texas legislative session. The session began on July 18, 2017.

You can read more on the Texas Senate News page and on the Texas House of Representatives News page. Also, this article, published in the Houston Chronicle, gives an update on some recent actions occurring in the House of Representatives.

House Bills

  • HB 7 – Relating to a tree planting credit to offset tree mitigation fees imposed by a municipality. – Passed out of the Urban Affairs Committee and by the House of Representatives 7/28/2017.
  • HB 26 –  Relating to the regulation of groundwater.
  • HB 27 –  Relating to the development of brackish groundwater.
  • HB 70 –  Relating to a property owner’s right to remove a tree or vegetation.
  • HB 103 – Relating to the disposal of pesticides.
  • HB 199 –  Relating to the authority of an electric utility to impose a rate or charge on an owner of solar or wind electric generation.
  • HB 223 –  Relating to the eligibility of land used as an ecological laboratory for appraisal for ad valorem tax purposes as qualified open-space land.
  • HB 226 –  Relating to the state and regional water planning process.
  • HB 228 –  Relating to appropriations of water for use in aquifer storage and recovery projects.
  • HB 230 – Relating to the use of money in the state water pollution control revolving fund.
  • HB 275 –  Relating to extensions of an expired permit for the transfer of groundwater from a groundwater conservation district.
  • HB 276 –  Relating to an assessment of the safety and regulation of municipal solid waste facilities.
  • HB 277 –  Relating to the duty of the Texas Water Development Board to conduct studies of and prepare and submit reports on aquifer storage and recovery.

Senate Bills

  • SB 14 –  Relating to a property owner’s right to remove a tree or vegetation. – Passed out of Business and Commerce Committee and by the Senate. Received by the House of Representatives 7/27/2017.
  • SB 48 – Relating to liability for the additional tax imposed on land appraised for ad valorem tax purposes as agricultural land if the use of the land changes as a result of a condemnation.
  • SB 49 – Relating to liability for interest if land appraised for ad valorem tax purposes as agricultural or open-space land is sold or diverted to a different use.
  • SB 78 –  Relating to the eligibility of land used as an ecological laboratory for appraisal for ad valorem tax purposes as qualified open-space land.
  • SB 86 – Relating to the local regulation of trees and timber.
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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.

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