Capitol Update: Legislative Process and the Texas Right-to-Farm Act
As we kick off the month of May, I want to take a moment to recognize and thank the teachers in our communities during Teacher Appreciation Week. Our teachers play a crucial role in shaping the minds of the next generation and have always been a pillar of support for our students. Teachers often go above and beyond the call of duty, spending countless hours preparing lesson plans, grading papers, and providing extra help to struggling students. Your hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed, and we are grateful for all you do to ensure the success of our children and our future. Thank you!
With that, here’s an update from your State Capitol…
As the author of HB 2308, I am pleased to report that the bill has passed both chambers and will soon be sent to the governor for his signature. HB 2308 updates the Texas Right-to-Farm Act by ensuring the protection of agricultural operations against nuisance actions and other legal challenges without legitimate cause. These updates are particularly important as Texas agriculture is already struggling to keep up with production demands due to recent population growth and droughts. This bill guarantees that these operations will not face unnecessary and harmful legal actions and will continue to provide for the state’s growing needs. As a private landowner and rural Texan, I was honored to play a role in helping to protect agricultural operations in rural areas from unwarranted nuisance restrictions and other legal challenges. HB 2308 not only strengthens protections for agriculture operations, but also reaffirms our commitment to the farmers and ranchers who play a critical role in delivering the food and fiber to our growing population.
At this stage of the legislative session, I want to explain how the remaining month will play out. As mentioned in my previous writings, proposed legislation goes through four rounds of voting: a vote in the House Committee, a vote on the House Floor, a Senate Committee vote, and a Senate Floor vote before it reaches the Governor’s desk for his stamp of approval. When the session reaches its 60th day, proposed legislation is constitutionally permitted to transfer from one chamber to another for deliberation. However, when the session reaches its 122nd day, which happens to be on May 11th of this year, the House is restricted to voting only on Senate bills and is no longer permitted to vote on House bills. Consequently, any House bills that have yet to be voted on by May 11th will effectively be dead. Although this process was implemented to promote better collaboration between the two chambers, legislators must now work fast and efficiently to meet the May 29th deadline, which marks the conclusion of the 140-day legislative session.
The mobile office is on the road again and our District Director will look forward to seeing you on the following dates, in the following locations: May 10 at the Polk County Commissioner’s Court Room in Livingston from 9:00-11:00 am, or at the Tyler County Courthouse in Woodville from 1:30-3:30 pm; May 17 at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett from 9:00-11:00 am, or at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton from 1:30-3:30 pm;
As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762 and our Capitol office at (512) 463-0508. Additionally, I welcome you to follow along on my Official Facebook Page, where I will post regular updates on what’s happening in your State Capitol and share information that could be useful to you and your family: https://www.facebook.com/RepTrentAshby/.