The 88th Session of the Texas Legislature (the Lege) begins on January 10th. See important dates for the Lege here.
That said, legislators began filing hundreds of bills for the session on Monday, November 10th. Here at "TLO" is where you can begin following the sausage- making at the Texas Lege.
We invite you to join LIV in tracking legislation throughout the session. This is no easy task when you're up against "The Lobby" of professionals in suits representing interests with plenty of cash to spend to get their way.
This morning we extracted much of a message sent last night from the Simsboro Aquifer Water Defense Fund about today's, Wednesday, November 16, 10 am important Senate Hearing on Water. Here's the notice from the Senate Committee on Water, Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
If you are unable to get to Austin, tune in to https://senate.texas.gov/av-live.php at 10 a.m. Wednesday to see the hearing livestream, or watch the recording later in the November 16, 2022 video/audio archive at https://senate.texas.gov/av-live.php.
FROM SAWDF: Hurray for our Water Supporters!
The Hearing WHAT: Senate Water, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee Interim Hearing, Sen. Charles Perry, Chair WHERE: E1.016 Hearing Room (in the Capitol Extension, must be accessed through main Capitol Building, use South or North entrance, East entrance closed.) Note: there will be an overflow room nearby where you can be more comfortable, come and go at will, and view the meeting via a big screen. We will locate that room when we get there, typically it is very near the meeting room. When our panel of several landowners and SAWDF Executive Director, Andy Wier, is due to be on, our plan is to move as a group when our panel is on, with our identifying "water drop badges" on, to the back of the hearing room to stand and be visible to the committee as a group--- if you can't stand for about 10-15 minutes, there may be seats available in the hearing room or you are of course welcome to return to the overflow room.
If you are unable to get to Austin, tune in to https://senate.texas.gov/av-live.php at 10 a.m. Wednesday to see the hearing livestream, or watch the recording later in the November 16, 2022 video/audio archive at https://senate.texas.gov/av-live.php. WHY: We are attending to support our panel of three speakers who were formally "invited" to testify --- they are carefully chosen well owners, two from Lee County and one from Bastrop (Andy Wier, our Exec. Director for SAWDF, whose work resulted in the panel's invitation to testify). Andy, Nancy McKee and Mike Orosco have been working very hard on their presentations --- we don't have talking points to offer YOU because we believe our panel will use their extra minutes of testimony and lengthier written comments to cover the critical issues we are trying to advance at this time --- the runup to the regular session in January. We want to influence the Committee's written report to the Lt. Governor, as the President of the Senate. We never discourage citizens from giving 2-minute public comments, but we have confidence in the panel, and their ability to answer questions from the committee. We will of course be calling upon you during the regular session to help us play offense and defense, as needed, on specific legislation. Don't feel pressured to speak, but if you do, be as prepared as you can for 2 minutes of directed, focused comments --- but as always, speak from your heart. THE SENATE IS DIFFERENT FROM THE HOUSE --- WE BELIEVE THE COMMITTEE WILL NOT ACCEPT ELECTRONIC (EMAIL) COMMENTS. IF YOU WANT TO HAND IN PHYSICAL COPIES, YOU HAVE TO GIVE THE CLERK 15 COPIES AT THE HEARING. (LIV Note: Of course, you can contact the individual members of the committee anytime you wish. Current committee members may change when the Lt. Governor does his appointments sometime after new members are seated in January. Here is a list of committee members.) Bottom line, we believe our panel will raise, and provide arguments for, the need for the Legislature to address specific issues concerning both aquifer protection as well as property rights in our most precious local resource, our groundwater. When we see actual proposed legislation filed for the regular session (pre-filing started this week), we will know what we all have to focus on --- rumor has it, there may be some legislation proposed that will not favor rural communities and their groundwater districts. No surprise. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! The SAWDF Board --- Travis Brown, George Witta, Andy Wier and Michele Gangnes, all aboard the bus, and Ernie Bogart, who wishes he could go.
LIV Note: SAWDF is taking a bus with Lee County landowners and the Lee County Commissioners Court, including Lee County Judge Paul Fischer. Lee County Judge Elect, Frank Malinak is also attending. If you are able to donate towards the costs of the bus, please do so here.