84th Texas Legislature Regular Session update, February 2, 2015

“Elk” is the legislative word of the week, with two bills filed relating to elk. Other legislation relates to water loss, water conservation districts, stormwater, elk, graffiti, landfill gas, air quality, and electronic waste, the GLO, a new “County Park Beautification and Improvement Program,” electric utilities, salvage yards, supplemental environmental projects (SEP), and motor buses.

Last week, the Texas Senate began referring bills to committees. While bills could be referred to any of 16 senate committees, the following committees might be of interest. Some have meetings scheduled.

House Bills

HB 942: Relating to the storage of certain hazardous chemicals; transferring enforcement of certain reporting requirements, including the imposition of criminal, civil, and administrative penalties, from the Department of State Health Services to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
HB 949: Relating to the obligation of certain retail public utilities to mitigate their system water loss.
HB 950: Relating to the review of groundwater conservation districts by the state auditor.
HB 960: Relating to the exemption of school district property from certain infrastructure fees charged for the control of excess water or storm water.
HB 961: Relating to the exemption of certain school district property from certain infrastructure fees charged for the control of excess water or storm water.
HB 962: Relating to the regulation of the amount of installed electric generation capacity.
HB 965: Relating to the classification of exotic and nongame animals. (Specifically elk.)
HB 983: Relating to the repeal of the requirement that counties and municipalities offer to remove graffiti from private property free of charge before requiring the property owner to remove the graffiti.
HB 994: Relating to the exemption from ad valorem taxation of property used to collect, process, and deliver landfill-generated gas.
HB 995: Relating to the establishment of stormwater control planning authorities in certain counties. (Counties with a population of 800,000 or more and average annual rainfall of 15″ or less.)
HB 1004: Relating to the exercise of eminent domain by certain toll road corporations.
HB 1016: Relating to the designation of certain river or stream segments as being of unique ecological value. (Comal, Frio, Guadalupe, Nueces, Sabinal, and San Marcos rivers)
HB 1030: Relating to money used by counties for the low-income vehicle repair assistance, retrofit, and accelerated vehicle retirement program and local initiative air quality projects.
HB 1031: Relating to funding for certain roadway projects intended to improve or maintain air quality.
HB 1058: Relating to notice and information provided by a municipal solid waste facility and a commercial transporter of solid waste regarding recycling programs for certain electronic waste.

Senate Bills

SB 350: Relating to the duties of the General Land Office and other state agencies with regard to the accounting for and management of real property owned by the state.
SB 356: Relating to the creation, purpose, implementation, and funding of the County Park Beautification and Improvement Program.
SB 362: Relating to the repeal of the additional ad valorem taxes imposed as a result of certain changes in the use of open-space land appraised as agricultural land.
SB 365: Relating to the methods of recovery of stranded environmental compliance costs by certain non-ERCOT electric utilities.
SB 366: Relating to the regulation of automotive wrecking and salvage yards in certain counties; increasing the civil penalty. (For unincorporated portions of counties with populations over 3.3 million)
SB 379: Relating to the classification of exotic and nongame animals. (Elk.)
SB 381: Relating to tort liability arising from a volunteer’s operation of a Parks and Wildlife Department motor-driven vehicle or motor-driven equipment.
SB 394: Relating to the use of supplemental environmental projects by a local government to come into compliance with environmental laws or remediate environmental harm caused by the local government.
SB 413: Relating to qualifications for membership on the Texas Water Development Board.
SB 422: Relating to the establishment and operation of a motor-bus-only lane pilot program in certain counties.