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.
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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.