Interim Charges on Water and Other Issues Released
Lt. Governor Dewhurst continues to release interim charges to committees of the Texas Senate to study prior to the 2015 legislative session. City-related charges relating to water issues for the Senate Natural Resources Committee are reprinted below. TML will continue to monitor additional charges released by the Lt. Governor and the progress of each study.
- Study and make recommendations to encourage the use of brackish water including but not limited to Aquifer Storage and Recovery and Desalination.
- Study and make recommendations on what state and federal environmental regulations most affect implementation of water supply strategies in the State Water Plan, including recommendations to reduce state barriers.
- Examine current processes for environmental permitting, including the impact of permitting delays on economic development.
- Consider what environmental regulations and permitting procedures are most challenging for small businesses and make recommendations to reduce those burdens.
- Study and make recommendations on changes to the permitting process that could speed job creation while continuing to protect the environment.
- Monitor implementation of legislation passed during the 83rd Legislative Session including monitoring implementation of House Bill 4, creating the state water implementation fund.
Lt. Governor Dewhurst also announced a Joint Interim Committee to Study Water Desalination and named the Senate appointees to the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas Advisory Committee, which include Chairman Troy Fraser (R – Marble Falls) and Senators Robert Duncan (R – Lubbock) and Kevin Eltife (R – Tyler). The advisory committee will submit recommendations to the Texas Water Development Board regarding the use of $2 billion from the state’s “rainy day fund” approved by the voters to fund the State Water Plan.
In addition, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee has been charged to: (1) review cases involving the imposition of probation rather than imprisonment or commitment for adult and juvenile intoxication manslaughter offenders; and (2) make recommendations to ensure that intoxication manslaughter sentences include appropriate punishment levels, maintain public safety, and serve to deter driving under the influence.
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.