As a function of TSCRA’s commitment to representing ranchers and landowners in Texas and across the Southwest, our governmental and public affairs office is hard at work tackling the issues important to the beef industry. The association’s team of knowledgeable and experienced representatives are out in the field both locally and nationally to defend landowner rights and the ranching way of life. Each week we will keep TSCRA members informed and up-to-date on the activities and issues taking place in Austin, Washington D.C. and around the globe. This week staff and leaders focused on the end of the 85th Texas Legislature’s Special Session and Waters of the US (WOTUS).
The 85th Texas Legislature — Special Session
The Texas Legislature concluded their first Special Session this week. Among the key issues we tracked and engaged on were annexation reform, property tax relief and municipal tree ordinance restrictions.
- Annexation reform was passed and signed into law by the governor. The legislation will allow citizens targeted by annexation to vote on whether cities in large counties can annex their land. Although a step in the right direction, more work is needed to ensure residents in smaller counties will have access to the same private property rights protection.
- Legislation was also passed and signed by the governor that will allow landowners to offset municipal fees for removing trees on their land by planting new trees in their place. It is a great step, but it too needs continued work to ensure landowners can make decisions about their own property without municipal interference.
- Property tax reform efforts faltered on the final day of the Special Session and were not passed. The legislation included a number of provisions that would benefit property owners and will likely be revisited in the future.
In all, 560 bills were filed and 12 were sent to and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott.
The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has extended their deadline for comments on the repeal of their Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulation. Interested parties now have until Sept. 27 to submit their comments.
TSCRA will be submitting comments, but all members are encouraged to send their own comments to voice support for repealing the rule. For instructions and information on how to submit comments electronically, click or tap here.