Editorial

15 October 2018

Capitol Update: Land and Resource Management Committee

With cooler weather and our communities bustling with autumn activity, I wanted to take a moment to remind you that Election Day is quickly approaching. Early Voting for the November 6th election will begin on October 22nd, so please don’t forget to exercise your right to vote and have your voice heard. Should you have any questions about where or when to vote, please visit www.votetexas.gov.

With that, here’s an update from your State Capitol…

House Interim Charge: Land and Resource Management

The committee of focus this week is the House Land and Resource Management Committee. With only seven members, Land and Resource is smaller than most committees. Still though, they have purview over several important state agencies, the management of public lands by the state, and have the daunting task of hearing all bills pertaining to eminent domain.

One agency within the scope of the Committee is the General Land Office (GLO). Of particular interest this interim is the discussion around GLO’s State Power Program, which is the only legislatively enabled retail electricity provider for public entities. The central argument is whether it is appropriate for the state, and it’s resources, to be providing this for-profit service in the place of private industry.

The bulk of their work this interim, however, has been on the topic of eminent domain. With a growing state, it is becoming more and more important to ensure a balance between necessary infrastructure growth and fair compensation for landowners. The findings of this committee will likely serve as a baseline for a bill in the next legislature.

In the most recent legislative session, I authored legislation that would have created a more level playing field between landowners and condemning authorities, and plan to support similar measures as long as I’m in Austin. As we move closer to the upcoming legislative session, I look forward to being a part of a solution that increases transparency for all parties, reduces litigation, and encourages progress throughout all of Texas.

Reminders

The mobile office is on the road this month and looks forward to seeing you on the following dates, in the following locations: October 17th at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett from 9:00-11:00am, or at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton from 1:30-3:30pm; October 24th at the San Augustine County Courthouse in San Augustine from 9:00-11:00am.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office if we can help you in any way. Our district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762, or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.

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