April 25, 2013:
Five Good, Five Troublesome Water Bills –
Ken Kramer's Statement: “As we move through the last five weeks of the state legislative session, much of the focus on water legislation is
appropriately on the fate of bills that will provide and guide funding to implement the state’s water plan. The Sierra Club
supports the passage of HB 4 and HB 11 to accomplish that purpose.
“It’s important for Texans to know there are significant water bills in the Texas Legislature in addition to the
funding bills – some will advance the goal of better managing our water resources, some could complicate reaching
that goal. Today we’re identifying five good water bills that Texans should support and five water bills that Texans should
oppose to help secure our water future.
These are not the only bills in either category but a sampling of such bills in play at the Capitol.” ...Read
the full story
Sierra Club Works Good and Not-so-good Bills
Bills Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter Supports
Senate Bill 1727 by Sen. Bob Deuell (R-Greenville), and companion House Bill 3658 by Rep. Ron Reynolds (D-Fort Bend County) are advancing through the legislative process. The bills would continue successful programs that make up the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP): local governments grants and business incentives to convert older diesel trucks and engines to newer, cleaner engines through 2019. The bills would implementl new incentive programs to:
- clean up drayage trucks at the Port of Houston,
- increase the number of electric and natural gas vehicles in Texas, and
- implement energy efficiency programs and onsite solar at Texas schools and other public buildings.
Funding for TERP is currently generated through fees accessed on businesses throughout the state. Assuming that all of the fees will actually be appropriated this session – a big assumption that is still being debated through the budget negotiations – these bills would help the Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin areas meet clean air standards that are likely to become more stringent in 2014. Senate Bill 1727 could be voted on by the full Senate as soon as next week....Read the full story
Appropriations Bill & Efforts to Tap Into the Rainy Day Fund
Both the Texas House and Senate have passed the only bill they must pass – the state’s
budget for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. Now 10 Conferees will meet to hammer out
the differences between the two bills – approximately $600 million in all funds. With the state’s Republican leadership, the Conferees will coordinate appropriations
associated with other bills related to state spending currently working their
way through the process. Thus, besides the budget – more commonly known as Senate
Bill 1 – the House and Senate are separately considering whether or not to appropriate
money out of the Economic Stabilization Fund, a.k.a. the Rainy Day fund, and, if so, for
what purposes....Read the full story
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