First Special Session – City-Related Bills Filed

*Note:  Some of the bills listed here also appear in other sections (such as “Significant Floor Actions” and “Significant Committee Actions”) because of the speed at which the Senate moved through its process.

Property Tax

1H.B. 5 (D. Bonnen) – Appraisal Cap: would provide that an appraisal office may increase the appraised value of a parcel of commercial or industrial real property for a tax year to an amount not to exceed the lesser of: (1) the market value of the property for the most recent tax year that the market value was determined by the appraisal office; or (2) the sum of: (a) 20 percent of the appraised value of the property for the preceding tax year; (b) the appraised value of the property for the preceding tax year; and (c) the market value of all new improvements to the property.

1H.B. 220 (Shaheen) – Revenue Cap: would make numerous changes to the process for calculating and adopting property tax rates. Of primary importance to cities, the bill would adjust the property tax rollback rate in the following ways:

  1. define “small taxing unit” as a taxing unit other than a school district for which the maintenance and operations tax rate proposed for the current tax year is: (a) two cents per $100 of taxable value; or (b) would impose taxes of $10 million or less when applied to the current total value for the taxing unit;
  2. maintain an eight percent rollback rate for all small taxing units;
  3. for a taxing unit other than a small taxing unit, provide for a rollback rate of five percent;
  4. provide that any adopted rate of a taxing unit other than a small taxing unit exceeding the rollback rate would subject the taxing unit to an automatic rollback election to be held not less than 30 or more than 90 days after the day on which it adopted the tax rate, at which the voters would determine whether or not to reduce the tax rate adopted for the current year to the rollback rate; and
  5. provide that the governing body of a taxing unit other than a small taxing unit may direct the designated officer or employee to calculate the rollback tax rate of the unit in the manner provided for a small taxing unit if any part of the unit is located in an area declared a disaster area during the current tax year by the governor or by the president of the United States.

(See 1H.J.R. 2, below.)

1H.B. 223 (Nichols) – Property Tax Appraisal: would provide that land used principally as an ecological laboratory by a public or private college or university does not qualify for appraisal as qualified open-space land unless the land was appraised as qualified open-space land on the basis of that use for the 2017 tax year. (Companion bill is 1S.B. 78 by Nichols.)

1H.B. 239 (Capriglione) – Property Tax Exemption: would: (1) exempt from property taxation precious metal that is held in the Texas Bullion Depository regardless of whether the precious metal is held or used by the person for the production of income; and (2) prohibit the governing body of a taxing unit from providing for the taxation of precious metal exempted from taxation under (1). (See 1H.J.R. 38, below.)

1H.B. 249 (Phillips) – Property Tax Exemption: would provide that, if a change is made in the use of land appraised as qualified open-space land, an additional tax is imposed on land equal to the difference between the taxes imposed on the land for each of the three years preceding the year in which the change of use occurred, plus interest at an annual rate of five percent calculated from the dates on which the differences would have become due.

1H.B. 251 (Phillips) – Property Tax Appraisal: would define “wildlife management” for purposes of a property tax appraisal as actively using land in specific ways in accordance with standards developed by the Parks and Wildlife Department and the comptroller.

1H.B. 261 (Neave) – Property Tax Limitation: would provide that: (1) for a residence homestead that is located in an area declared by the governor to be a disaster area following a natural disaster and rendered uninhabitable or unusable as a result of the disaster, a taxing unit may not increase the total amount of property taxes the taxing unit imposes on a residence homestead above the amount of the taxes the taxing unit imposed on the residence homestead for the tax year in which the residence homestead was rendered uninhabitable; and (2) the limitation described in (1): (a) takes effect on January 1 of the first tax year following the tax year in which the natural disaster that renders the residence homestead uninhabitable or unusable occurs; and (b) expires on January 1 of the earlier of the first tax year: (i) following the tax year in which the fifth anniversary of the natural disaster occurs; or (ii) in which the property no longer qualifies as the property owner or surviving spouse’s residence homestead. (See 1H.J.R. 40, below.)

1H.B. 266 (Munoz) – Appraisal District: would, among other things, provide that: (1) an appraisal district is governed by a board of five directors; (2) one director is elected from each of the four commissioners precincts of the county for which the appraisal district is established; (3) the county assessor-collector is a director by virtue of the person’s office; (4) if the county assessor-collector is ineligible to serve pursuant to a contract, the appraisal district is governed by the four directors elected from the commissioners precincts and a director elected from the county at large; and (5) the directors other than the county assessor-collector are elected at the general election for state an county officers and serve two-year terms beginning on January 1 of odd-numbered years.

1H.B. 298 (Cosper) – Appraisal Cap: would: (1) impose a seven percent appraisal cap on the appraised value of a residence homestead; and (2) provide that an appraisal office may increase the appraised value of real property other than a homestead for a tax year to an amount not to exceed the lesser of: (1) the market value of the property for the most recent tax year that the market value was determined by the appraisal office; or (2) the sum of: (a) 20 percent of the appraised value of the property for the preceding tax year; (b) the appraised value of the property for the preceding tax year; and (c) the market value of all new improvements to the property. (See 1H.J.R. 43, below.)

1H.B. 299 (Metcalf) – Appraisal Review Boards: would, among other things, provide: (1) that an appraisal review board consists of five members elected by the voters of the county in which the appraisal district is established at the general election for state and county officers; and (2) that the members of the appraisal review board serve two-year terms beginning on January 1st of odd-numbered years.

1H.B. 314 (Gervin-Hawkins) – Property Tax Exemption: would provide that an eligible peace officer is entitled to a property tax exemption for the total appraised value of the officer’s residence homestead if the residence homestead is located in a qualified high crime area. (See 1H.J.R. 44, below.)

1H.J.R. 2 (D. Bonnen) – Appraisal Cap: would propose an amendment to the Texas Constitution to authorize the legislature by general law to limit the maximum appraised value of a parcel of commercial or industrial real property for a tax year to an amount not to exceed the lesser of: (1) the most recent market value of the property as determined by the appraisal entity; or (2) 120 percent, or a greater percentage, of the appraised value of the property for the preceding tax year of the appraised value of the property for the preceding tax year. (See 1H.B. 5, above.)

1H.J.R. 35 (D. Bonnen) – Appraisal Cap: would propose an amendment to the Texas Constitution to authorize the legislature by general law to limit the maximum appraised value of a parcel of commercial or industrial real property for a tax year to an amount not to exceed the lesser of: (1) the most recent market value of the property as determined by the appraisal entity; or (2) 120 percent, or a greater percentage, of the appraised value of the property for the preceding tax year of the appraised value of the property for the preceding tax year.

1H.J.R. 38 (Capriglione) – Property Tax Exemption: would amend the Texas Constitution to authorize the legislature to exempt from property taxation precious metal held in the Texas Bullion Depository.

1H.J.R. 40 (Neave) – Property Tax Limitation: would propose an amendment to the Texas Constitution to provide that for a temporary period following a natural disaster the total amount of property taxes imposed on a residence homestead by a political subdivision may not exceed the amount of taxes the political subdivision imposed on the property in the year in which the property was rendered uninhabitable or unusable as a result of the disaster. (See 1H.B. 261, above.)

1H.J.R. 43 (Cosper) – Appraisal Cap: would propose an amendment to the Texas Constitution to authorize the legislature, by general law, to: (1) impose a seven percent appraisal cap on the appraised value of a residence homestead; and (2) limit the maximum appraised value of a parcel of real property for a tax year to an amount not to exceed the lesser of: (a) the most recent market value of the property as determined by the appraisal entity; or (2) 120 percent, or a greater percentage, of the appraised value of the property for the preceding tax year of the appraised value of the property for the preceding tax year.. (See 1H.B. 298, above.)

1H.J.R. 44 (Gervin-Hawkins) – Property Tax Exemption: would propose an amendment to the Texas Constitution to provide that an eligible peace officer is entitled to a property tax exemption for the total appraised value of the officer’s residence homestead if the residence homestead is located in a qualified high crime area. (See 1H.B. 314, above.) 

 

Sales Tax

1H.B. 244 (Fallon) – Sales Tax Exemption: would exempt from sales taxes a taxable item sold, leased, or rented within the boundaries of a United States military installation to a person who is a member of the United States armed forces on active duty if the sale, lease, or rental is made by a seller physically located at the installation.

1H.B. 301 (Krause) – Sales Tax Substitute for Property Tax: would authorize a city that, before June 30 of each year, adopts an ordinance or order providing that the city will not impose a property tax to adopt an ordinance to adopt, increase, reduce, or abolish a supplemental sales tax that acts as a substitute for the lost property tax revenue at any rate necessary to generate an equivalent amount of revenue as was being received when the property tax was in effect.  

 

Elections

1H.B. 267 (Fallon) – Early Voting at Temporary Branch Polling Place: would provide that: (1) in an election in which the authority ordering the election has established at least five temporary branch polling places in the territory served by the early voting clerk, early voting by personal appearance at no less than 80 percent of the temporary branch polling places shall be conducted on the same days and during the same hours as voting is conducted at the main early voting polling place; (2) for all other elections, early voting by personal appearance at a temporary branch polling place may be conducted on any one or more days and during any hours of the period for early voting by personal appearance, as determined by the authority establishing the branch; and (3) the authority authorized to order early voting on a Saturday or Sunday may order such voting at any temporary branch polling place that is not required to conduct voting on the same days and during the same hours as voting is conducted at the main early voting polling place under (2).

1H.B. 269 (Fallon) – Cell Phones: would provide that: (1) a person may not use any mechanical or electronic means to take photographs, take video, or record sound within 100 feed of a voting station; and (2) a person may use the person’s mobile phone to access information.

1H.B. 279 (Reynolds) – Voter Identification: would, among other things, provide that a voter must present only a voter registration certificate in order to vote, rather than any form of photo identification.

1H.B. 294 (Fallon) – Early Voting: would: (1) shorten the period for early voting by personal appearance on the November uniform election date to the 10th day before election day through the fourth day before election day, except as otherwise provided by state law; (2) for an election ordered by a city, reduce the time that early voting by personal appearance at the main early voting place must be conducted to at least 12 hours on only one weekday (instead of 12 hours on two weekdays under certain circumstances); and (3) provide that the authority ordering an election may order early voting by personal appearance at the main early voting polling place to be conducted on a Saturday or Sunday during the early voting period.

1S.B. 88 (Huffines) – Voting by Non-Citizens: would increase the criminal punishment for conviction for a false statement on a voter registration application or illegal voting if the crime was committed by a person who is not a citizen of the United States.

1S.B. 99 (Miles) – Election Cybersecurity: would provide that: (1) in conducting a study regarding cyber attacks on election infrastructure, the secretary of state shall consult with county election officials, local law enforcement officials, and federal law enforcement officials; and (2) a county clerk shall report any cyber attack or attempted cyber attack on a county’s voting system to the secretary of state not later than 48 hours after the discovery of the attack or attempted attack.

1S.B. 101 (Menendez) – Voter Registration: would provide that: (1) voter registration information released to a person by the voter registrar may not include: (a) a voter’s social security number; or (b) the residence address of a voter who is a federal or state judge, if the voter has submitted the requisite affidavit; (2) a registrar may only furnish information from the voter registration list that is public information subject to required disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act, another law, or subpoena; and (3) the secretary of state may only furnish information from the statewide computerized voter registration list that is public information subject to required disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act, another law, or subpoena.

 

Other Finance and Administration

1H.B. 14 (Springer) – Abortion Providers: would, with limited exceptions, prohibit a governmental entity from entering into a taxpayer resource transaction or contract with an abortion provider or an affiliate of an abortion provider. (Companion bills are 1S.B.4 and 1S.B. 77 by Schwertner.)

1H.B. 245 (Fallon) – Term Limits: would authorize the governing body of a general law city to order an election to impose, amend, or repeal a limit on the number of terms of service a member of the governing body may serve.

1H.J.R. 37 (Larson) – Term Limits: would amend the Texas Constitution to provide that: (1) the legislature by general law shall require a political subdivision of this state that is governed by one or more elected officers to establish a limit on the number of terms a person may be elected to serve in an office of the political subdivision to ensure that a person may not serve longer than 12 years in an office; and (2) an officer who has been elected to serve for the maximum number of terms established by the political subdivision under (1) is not eligible for election to serve an additional term of that office.

1S.B. 3 (Kolkhorst) – Local Government Bathrooms: would: (1) provide that each multiple-occupancy restroom, shower, and changing facility of a political subdivision or an open-enrollment charter school must be designated for and used only by persons of the same sex as stated on the person’s birth certificate; and (2) except in accordance with federal law, as enacted by Congress and interpreted in controlling federal case law, and state law, as enacted by the legislature and interpreted in controlling case law of this state, prohibit a political subdivision or an open-enrollment charter school from adopting an order, ordinance, policy, or other measure to protect a class of persons from discrimination to the extent that the order, ordinance, policy, or measure regulates: (a) access to multiple-occupancy restrooms, showers, or changing facilities; or (b) participation in athletic activities; and (3) authorize the attorney general to enforce the requirement in (1) and the prohibition in (2) through mandamus or injunctive relief, and allow the attorney general to recover costs and attorney’s fees. (Note:  This bill has passed the Senate – see “Significant Floor Actions” elsewhere in this edition.)

1S.B. 91 (Kolkhorst) – Local Government Bathrooms: would: (1) provide that each multiple-occupancy restroom, shower, and changing facility of a political subdivision or an open-enrollment charter school must be designated for and used only by persons of the same sex as stated on the person’s birth certificate; (2) except in accordance with federal and state law, prohibit a political subdivision or open-enrollment charter school from adopting an order, ordinance, policy, or other measure to protect a class of persons from discrimination to the extent the order, ordinance, policy, or measure regulates: (a) access to multiple-occupancy restrooms, showers, or changing facilities; or (b) participation in athletic activities; and (3) authorize the attorney general to enforce the requirement in (1) and prohibition in (2) through mandamus or injunctive relief, and allow the attorney general to recover costs and attorney’s fees.

 

Community and Economic Development

1H.B. 7 (Phelan) – Tree Mitigation Fees: would provide that:

  1. a city that imposes a tree mitigation fee for tree removal that is necessary for development or construction on a person’s property must allow that person to apply for a credit for tree planting under this section to offset the amount of the fee.
  2. an application for a credit under (1), above, must be in the form and manner prescribed by the city.
  3. to qualify for a credit under the bill, a tree must be: (a) planted on property for which the tree mitigation fee was assessed or mutually agreed upon by the city and the person planting the tree; and (b) at least two inches in diameter at the point on the trunk 4.5 feet above ground.
  4. for purposes of determining a mutually agreed upon planting location, the city and the person planting the tree may consult with an academic organization, state agency, or nonprofit organization to identify an area for which tree planting will best address the science-based benefits of trees and other reforestation needs of the city.
  5. the amount of a credit provided to a person under the bill must be: (a) applied in the same manner as the tree mitigation fee assessed against the person; and (b) at least 50 percent of the amount of the tree mitigation fee assessed against the person.
  6. as long as the municipality meets the requirement to provide a person a credit under (1), above, the bill does not affect the ability of or require a city to determine: (a) the size, number, and type of trees that must be planted to receive a credit under the bill, except as provided by (3)(b), above; (b) the requirements for tree removal and corresponding tree mitigation fees, if applicable; or (c) the requirements for tree planting methods and best management practices to ensure that the tree grows to the anticipated height at maturity.
  7. the bill does not apply to property within five miles of a federal military base in active use as of September 1, 2017.

(Companion bill is S.B. 107 by Kolkhorst.) (Note:  This bill has been reported from a House committee – see “Significant Comittee Actions” elsewhere in this edition.)

1H.B. 293 (J. Johnson) – Group Homes: would: (1) prohibit a person from establishing or operating a group home for recovering substance abusers unless the person holds a license issued by the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC); (2) authorize HHSC to adopt rules and fees related to licensing a group home for recovering substance abusers; and (3) provide that the prohibition in (1) does not apply to: (a) certain persons with other types of licenses or exempt from licensing; (b) a hotel; (c) a retirement community; (d) a monastery or convent; (e) certain child-care facilities; (f) family violence shelter centers; or (g) a sorority, fraternity, or any other dormitory associated with an institution of higher education.

1H.B. 308 (Bell) – Eminent Domain: would provide, among other things, that: (1) after making a bona fide offer, an entity with eminent domain authority shall disclose to the property owner any new, amended, or updated appraisal report produced or acquired by or on behalf of the entity after making the offer and used in determining the entity’s opinion of value; (2) a disclosure required by (1) must be made not later than the earlier of: (a) the 10th day after the date the entity receives the appraisal report; or (b) the third business day before the date of a special commissioner’s hearing if the appraisal report is to be used at the hearing; (3) a court shall dismiss a condemnation proceeding unless the entity that files a petition proves to the court that the entity has not violated legal procedural requirements; and (4) a court that grants a motion to dismiss shall make an allowance to the property owner for reasonable and necessary fees for attorneys, appraisers, and photographers and for the other expenses incurred by the property owner to the date of the hearing.

1H.J.R. 41 (Uresti) – Annexation/Taxation: would propose an amendment to the Texas Constitution that would apply only to the ad valorem taxation by a city of property located in an area that is first included in the corporate boundaries on or after January 1, 2019, and provide that the tax is phased in over a four-year period.

1S.B. 83 (Bettencourt) – Annexation/Extraterritorial Jurisdiction: would provide that: (1) a home rule city shall make publicly available a digital map (in addition to a paper map under current law) reflecting annexations and extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) changes; (2) a city, before the 90th day after the date it adopts or amends an annexation plan, shall give written notice with certain provisions to each property owner in any area that would be newly included in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction as a result of the proposed annexation; (3) a home rule city, before the 90th day after the date it adopts or amends an annexation plan, shall create and make publicly available a digital map that identifies the area proposed for annexation and any area that would be newly included in the city’s ETJ as a result of the proposed annexation; (4) in addition to publishing notice of annexation hearings in a newspaper of general circulation in the city and area to be annexed, the notice must be published in a newspaper of publish notice of the hearings in a newspaper of general circulation in any area that would be newly included in the city’s ETJ resulting from the proposed annexation; and (5) if applicable, the notice for each annexation hearing must include: (a) a statement that the completed annexation of the area will expand the city’s ETJ; (b) a description of the area that would be newly included in the city’s ETJ; (c) a statement of the purpose of ETJ designation; and (d) a list of municipal ordinances that would be applicable in the area that would be newly included in the city’s ETJ; and (6) in addition to the notice requirements for a plan-exempt annexation, a home rule city, before it may institute annexation proceedings, shall create and make publicly available a digital map that identifies the area proposed for annexation and any area that would be newly included in the city’s ETJ as a result of the proposed annexation.

1S.B. 86 (Campbell) – Tree Ordinance Preemption: would provide, among other things, that: (1) a city may not regulate the trimming or removal of trees or timber in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the city; and (2) the bill does not apply to the trimming or removal of a tree in the easement or right-of-way of a pipeline or utility line.

1S.B. 98 (V. Taylor) – Chickens: would provide that: (1) a political subdivision may not impose a requirement that prohibits an individual from raising or keeping six or fewer chickens in the boundaries of the political subdivision; (2) a city may impose reasonable requirements on the raising or keeping of poultry that do not have the effect of prohibiting the raising or keeping of six or fewer chickens, including: (a) a limit on the number of chickens an individual may raise or keep in excess of six; (b) a prohibition on breeding poultry; (c) a prohibition on raising or keeping roosters; or (d) the minimum distance an individual must maintain between a chicken coop and a residential structure; and (3) a requirement adopted by a political subdivision that violates the prohibition in (1) is void.

1S.B.104 (Uresti) – Annexation: would completely rewrite the Municipal Annexation Act in essentially the same way as 1.S.B. 6 (Campbell) to severely curtail the ability of cities to annex property, but with two less burdensome provisions.  Generally, the bill would provide that:

  1. A “Tier 1 county” means a county with a population of less than 500,000.
  2. A “Tier 2 county” means a county with a population of 500,000 or more.
  3. A “Tier 1 municipality” means a municipality wholly located in one or more tier 1 counties that proposes to annex an area wholly located in one or more tier 1 counties.
  4. A “Tier 2 municipality” means a municipality: (a) wholly or partly located in a tier 2 county; or (b) wholly located in one or more tier 1 counties that proposes to annex an area wholly or partly located in a tier 2 county.

The two provisions that differ from 1S.B. 6 would provide that:

  1. A new subchapter C-5 of the Local  is created that applies only to a tier 2 municipality and authorizes the annexation of an area with a population of 200 or more only if the following conditions are met, as applicable:  (a) the city holds an election in the area proposed to be annexed at which the qualified voters of the area and the city may vote on the question of the annexation and a majority of the votes received at the election approve the annexation
  2. A city may annex any part of the area located within five miles of the boundaries of a military base under the requirements applicable to a tier 1 municipality.

 

Personnel

1S.B. 94 (Hughes) – Labor Organizations/Payroll Deductions: would: (1) prohibit the state or a political subdivision of the state from deducting or withholding from an employee’s salary or wages payment of dues or membership fees to a labor organization or other similar entity, including a trade union, labor union, employees’ association, or professional organization; and (2) except from the prohibition in (1) certain fire, police, and emergency medical services personnel. (Companion bill is 1H.B. 156 by Isaac.)

 

Public Safety

1H.B. 235 (Fallon) – Red Light Cameras: would provide that the county assessor-collector or the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles may not refuse to register a motor vehicle solely because the owner of the motor vehicle is delinquent in the payment of a civil penalty resulting from a violation detected by a photographic traffic signal enforcement system.

1H.B. 240 (S. Thompson) – Drug Offenses: would provide that the offense of possession of a Penalty Group 1 controlled substance must be a usable quantity of more than 0.02 grams but less than one gram. (Note: current law provides that it is an offense to possess less than one gram.)

1H.B. 241 (S. Thompson) – Drug Offenses: would reduce the penalty for possession of a small amount of certain controlled substances from a state jail felony to a class A misdemeanor.

1H.B. 280 (Fallon) – Driver’s License: would provide that a voter registration certification is not satisfactory proof of authorization to be in the United States for purposes of obtaining a driver’s license.

1H.B. 296 (Stickland) – Handguns:  would provide, among many other things and with certain exceptions, that a person who is not otherwise prohibited by law may, without a license, openly carry a handgun.

1H.B. 316 (Dutton) – Juveniles:  would modify the age of criminal responsibility in various statutes.

1H.B. 317 (Uresti) – Immigration Enforcement: would repeal most of the provisions from S.B. 4 (the so-called “sanctuary cities” bill) from the 2017 regular session.

 

Transportation

1H.B. 221 (Pickett) – Overweight Vehicles:  would make various changes to the certain laws related to overweight vehicles, including automobile transport backhauls, emergency vehicles, boat transporters, and others.

1H.B. 250 (Fallon) – Injury of Protestor: would provide that a person operating a motor vehicle who injures another person with the motor vehicle is not liable for the injury if: (1) the person operating the motor vehicle was exercising due care; and (2) the person injured was blocking traffic in a public right-of-way while participating in a protest or demonstration. 

1S.B. 92 (Zaffirini) – Cell Phone Ban: would: (1) preempt a city from regulating or prohibiting distracted driving, including the use of a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle; and (2) create the state law offense of distracted driving, which would prohibit a person from operating a motor vehicle while engaging in an activity that is not related to the operation of the motor vehicle and interferes with the operator’s ability to safely operate the vehicle.

 

Utilities and Environment

1H.B. 26 (Larson) – Regulation of Groundwater: would provide: (1) the rules of a groundwater conservation district in effect on the date of an application for a permit or permit amendment are the only district rules that may govern the district’s decision to grant or deny the application; (2) a groundwater conservation district may not deny a permit because the applicant intends to export groundwater for use outside the district; and (3) procedures for a groundwater conservation district to adopt a moratorium on the issuance of a permit or permit amendment.

1H.B. 27 (Larson) – Brackish Groundwater: would: (1) allow groundwater conservation districts to adopt rules for the issuance of permits to withdraw brackish groundwater from a well in a designated brackish groundwater production zone for a project designed to treat the brackish groundwater to drinking water standards; (2) require groundwater conservation districts to adopt such rules, if the district receives a petition from a person with a legally defined interested in groundwater in the district; (3) provide for a minimum term of 30 years for a permit issued for a well that produces brackish groundwater from a designated brackish groundwater production zone; and (4) require the holder of a permit to report to the groundwater conservation district on the amount of brackish groundwater withdrawn and aquifer levels.

1H.B. 226 (Larson) – Interregional Water Planning Council: would require the Texas Water Development Board to appoint an interregional planning council consisting of one member from each regional water planning group to improve coordination among the regional water planning groups.

1H.B. 228 (Larson) – Aquifer Storage and Recovery: would, among other things, provide: (1) for an expedited procedure on an application for a water right involving an aquifer storage and recovery project; and (2) specific procedures for an application for an amendment to a water right to convert use from reservoir storage to aquifer storage and recovery.

1H.B. 229 (Larson) – State Participation Account: would allow the Texas Water Development Board to use the state participation account to provide financial assistance for the development of a desalination or aquifer storage and recovery facility to meet existing or projected future water needs.

1H.B. 230 (Larson) – State Water Pollution Control Fund: would: (1) provide that persons for projects eligible for assistance under Section 603(c) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act are eligible for state funding administered through the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB); and (2) allow the TWDB to use the revolving fund for loans for a term not to exceed the lesser of 30 years or the projected useful life.

1H.B. 275 (Ashby) – Groundwater Conservation District: would automatically extend the term of a permit to transfer groundwater outside of a groundwater conservation district to a term not shorter than the term of the operating permit and would also extend the permit term for each additional term an operating permit is renewed.

1H.B. 276 (E. Thompson) – Municipal Solid Waste Facilities:would require the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to conduct an assessment of the safety and regulation of municipal solid waste facilities.

1H.B. 277 (Larson) – Texas Water Development Board:would require the Texas Water Development Board to conduct studies of aquifer storage and recovery projects identified in the state water plan and report the results of each study to regional water planning groups and interested persons.

1H.B. 295 (Anchia) – Climate Change: would create the Texas Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission, which must include a representative of the municipal electricity sector.

1H.B. 304 (Morrison) – Grease or Grit Trap Waste: would: (1) prohibit the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) from issuing a permit, registration, or other authorization for land application of grease trap waste or grit trap waste; and (2) provide that the prohibition in (1) does not apply to: (a) the disposal of grease trap waste or grit trap waste at a municipal solid waste (MSW) Type I landfill permitted by the TCEQ; (b) the processing of grease trap waste or grit trap waste at a MSW Type V compost facility permitted or registered by the TCEQ; or (c) land application of Grade 1 or Grade 2 compost generated at a Type V compost facility permitted to compost grease trap waste by the TCEQ.

TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose. No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League. 

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