Monday, November 12, 2018, was the first day that Texas legislators and legislators-elect could begin filing bills for the upcoming regular session, which will last for 140 days from Tuesday, January 8, 2019 to Monday, May 27, 2019. Texas legislators may continue filing bills until Friday, March 8, 2019, which is the deadline for the unrestricted filing of bills and joint resolutions other than local bills, emergency appropriations, and emergency matters submitted by the governor. The 86th Texas Legislature has filed the following bills pertaining to environmental issues throughout the state.
The various committees within the Texas Senate and House of Representatives are charged with interim duties that they must address between the biennial regular legislative sessions. The 85th Texas Legislature assigned the following interim charges to multiple committees concerning the environment in the state of Texas. This year, many of these interim charges concern the response to natural disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey, in order to better prepare the state for future natural disasters. Other notable interim charges include studying the effects of declining migratory species, identifying methods for the early detection of invasive organisms, evaluating the flood risk in unincorporated rural and suburban areas, examining how emergency alert systems related to hazardous releases are organized, and reviewing local and state zoning and land use regulations. The entire list of the interim committee charges for the Texas House of Representatives can be found at www.house.texas.gov, and for the Texas Senate at www.ltgov.state.tx.us (Round 1, Round 2, issued October 2017).
The Texas House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources met at 10:00 AM, Tuesday, October 16, 2018 in order to hear invited and public testimony on multiple interim charges. These charges include an examination of Texas water markets, the implications of a broad-based information campaign regarding water issues in Texas, analysis of the Water Availability Models for river basins in the state, and the oversight of relevant agencies and programs responsible for the implementation of legislation passed by the 85th Texas Legislature. The House Committee on Natural Resources previously held meetings regarding the status of groundwater policy in Texas as well as hazards presented by abandoned and deteriorated groundwater wells and September 27, 2018 regarding water development opportunities involving neighboring states and Mexico as well as the status of groundwater policy in Texas. Continue reading