TSCRA government and public affairs staff have been hitting the Capitol hallways as the 86th Texas Legislative Session wraps up its third week.
The biggest news this week came Wednesday when Rep. DeWayne Burns and Sen. Lois Kolkhorst announced the filing of HB 991 and SB 421. These companion bills provide desperately needed eminent domain reforms and will create transparency, fairness and accountability in a process that currently has none. TSCRA President Robert McKnight, Jr. delivered a statement during the news conference, which can be viewed in its entirety here. TSCRA also issued a press release, which is available here.
Now that the legislation has been filed, it must be referred to a committee for a committee hearing. In the meantime, McKnight is urging the public to contact their legislators in the Texas House and Senate to ask that they sign on as a co-author to the legislation. You can find who represents you at https://fyi.capitol.texas.gov.
In other legislative news, the Texas House released their committee assignments. The full list can be viewed on the Texas Tribune website here. The Texas Senate released their assignments Jan. 18. Those can also be viewed on the Texas Tribune website here.
Finally, TSCRA staff Thursday attended a meeting of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) commission. Kaleb McLaurin, TSCRA executive director of government and public affairs, was recognized for completing the annual Texas Game Warden Citizens Academy. The academy gives participants the opportunity to understand the role of game wardens and to provide an inside view of the many duties they carry out each day. TSCRA works closely with TPWD and Texas Game Wardens on law enforcement and natural resources and wildlife policy issues.