The big news out of Austin this week is that the 86th Texas Legislative Session started Tuesday, Jan. 8. The first few weeks are primarily dedicated to formalities as legislators and staff get settled in for the long haul.
The House of Representatives has already selected Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) to be the Speaker of the House. The next big step will be for Speaker Bonnen and Lt. Governor Patrick to announce committee assignments in their respective chambers. Once that happens, committees can begin hearing some of the 1,000-plus bills that have already been filed.
TSCRA staff are already working with legislators and their staff on a variety of issues, but the association’s focus remains on eminent domain reform. Those efforts to bring transparency, accountability and fairness to the eminent domain process continue to move forward smoothly.
Also, this week our government affairs team met with staff from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to discuss electronic logging device (ELD) requirements and other issues that impact livestock haulers. TSCRA appreciates their recognition of the unique challenges involved with transporting live animals.
Friday marks Day 21 of the partial federal government shutdown, tying it with the longest in history. Impacts on cattle producers have been relatively minimal, especially because beef safety inspections have continued even through the shutdown. However, as the shutdown drags on, there will likely be more and more areas of concern for cattle producers.