leg + water

leg+water: April Update


Every month during the 86th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature Dr. Robert Mace and Dr. Todd Votteler provide an update on water-related legislation. The key water committees are Water and Rural Affairs in the Senate (SWRA), and Natural Resources in the House (HNR). Thus far, legislation related to flooding impacts from Hurricane Harvey and statewide flood planning has dominated the water-related efforts of SWRA and HNR.

The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 7 and Senate Bill 8 (see below) on March 20. These bills transfer money from the state’s rainy day fund to pay for Hurricane Harvey recovery and to plan and prepare for future flood events. On the House side, House Bill 13 passed the chamber on April 11 unanimously with one member present and not voting. The House has also passed joint resolutions related to constitutional amendments to create a flood infrastructure fund.

By mid-April, the end of every regular legislative session begins to press upon the legislative process. This means that legislation that has not been passed out of either the Senate or the House faces a serious time crunch. Can a bill still make it through the process in the other chamber and reach the Governor’s desk before the final gavel on May 27? The decreasing odds of passage are reflected in the list of bills you see below as we are only including those bills that have been passed by either the Senate or House.

Below is a list of water-related bills that have been passed by either the House or Senate, and which are pending in the opposite chamber. Click on the bill to find the status and actions taken by the Legislature. Click here to find information about upcoming hearings.

Note: There is no guarantee of accuracy on this sheet. Confirm status of any bill of interest at Texas Legislature Online

Bill Author(s) Companion Caption
HB 13 Phelan et al - Relating to flood planning, mitigation, and infrastructure projects; making an appropriation.
HB 26 Metcalf - Relating to the creation of an alert system to notify affected persons of certain releases of water from certain dams.
HB 687 Guillen SB 230 Relating to a landowner's liability for injuries incurred during certain recreational activities.
HB 721 Larson - Relating to the duty of the Texas Water Development Board to conduct studies of and prepare and submit reports on aquifer storage and recovery.
HB 723 Larson SB 724 Relating to a requirement that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality obtain or develop updated water availability models for certain river basins.
HB 726 Larson - Relating to the regulation of groundwater.
HB 807 Larson - Relating to the state and regional water planning process.
HB 1053 Guillen - Relating to the disposition of real property interests by navigation districts and port authorities.
HB 1066 Ashby SB 800 Relating to extensions of an expired permit for the transfer of groundwater from a groundwater conservation district.
HB 1181 Guillen - Relating to the regulation of commercial catfish fishing on Falcon Lake.
HB 1300 Hunter SB 682 Relating to cultivated oyster mariculture; authorizing fees; creating a criminal offense.
HB 1506 Perez SB 1694 Relating to authorizing a regulatory authority to establish reduced water and sewer utility rates funded by donations for the benefit of certain low-income customers.
HB 1964 Ashby - Relating to the procedure for action on certain applications for an amendment to a water right.
HB 1983 King, Tracy O. SB 1574 Relating to the duties of the Texas Water Development Board.
HB 2846 Larson - Relating to the sale of the Allens Creek Reservoir project
HJR 4 Phelan et al. SJR 51/HJR 81 Proposing a constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the flood infrastructure fund to assist in the financing of drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control projects
HJR 11 González, Mary SJR 79 Proposing a constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board to provide financial assistance for the development of certain projects in economically distressed areas.
SB 7 Creighton et al. - Relating to flood control planning and the funding of flood planning, mitigation, and infrastructure projects.
SB 8 Perry et al. - Relating to state and regional flood planning.
SB 81 Hall - Relating to the naming of a reservoir by certain water districts.
SB 230 Perry HB 687 Relating to a landowner's liability for injuries incurred during certain recreational activities.
SB 407 Birdwell HB 2663 Relating to the presiding officers of the boards of directors of river authorities.
SB 421 Kolkhorst HB 991 Relating to the acquisition of real property by an entity with eminent domain authority.
SB 530 Birdwell HB 1267 Relating to civil and administrative penalties assessed or imposed for violations of laws protecting drinking water, public water supplies, and bodies of water.
SB 563 Perry - Relating to the reporting of information about the use of federal money for flood research, planning, and mitigation projects.
SB 606 Watson | et al. HB 1502 Relating to the Lower Colorado River Authority, following recommendations of the Sunset Advisory Commission.
SB 625 Birdwell HB 1321/HB 3289 Relating to the Nueces River Authority, following recommendations of the Sunset Advisory Commission
SB 700 Nichols | et al. HB 1587 Relating to the regulation of certain classes of retail public water utilities.
SB 755 Hinojosa HB 1928 Relating to the administration, powers, and duties of certain navigation districts
SB 851 Perry - Relating to the award of attorney's fees and other costs in certain proceedings involving a groundwater conservation district.
SB 872 Perry HB 925 Relating to the composition of the board of directors of the Gateway Groundwater Conservation District.
SB 881 Campbell HB 1904 Relating to withdrawals of water from the Edwards Aquifer to supply a military installation.
SB 942 Johnson et al. HB 2023 Relating to the use of money in the state water pollution control revolving fund.
SB 1041 Taylor HB 1617 Relating to the deadline by which the Texas Water Development Board is required to identify and designate brackish groundwater production zones for certain areas of the state.
SB 1574 Alvarado HB 1983 Relating to the duties of the Texas Water Development Board.
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