Stalwart Strategies is pleased to offer you an easy-to-navigate brief of the week’s activity inside state government, noteworthy items for the upcoming week, and other important news.
News In State Government
Governor Abbott Governor Abbott Statement on Senate Passage of Senate Bill 2: “Today the Texas Senate took action to deliver on the promise of reining in skyrocketing property taxes….“. Click here to read the full statement.
Governor Greg Abbott Issues Disaster Declaration for 9 Texas Counties in Response to Severe Weather: Governor Greg Abbott today issued a State Disaster Declaration for 9 Texas counties impacted by recent severe weather, including thunderstorms and tornadoes that caused widespread property damage and the loss of life. Click here to read the full news release.
Lt. Governor Releases Statement on Passage of Senate Bill 2: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued this statement today following the passage of Senate Bill 2 – the Property Tax Reform bill, by Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston. Click here to view the full statement.
AG Paxton’s Office Obtains Temporary Restraining Order Against Inland Recycling to Protect Texas Creek from Harmful Pollution: Acting on behalf of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office obtained a temporary restraining order against Inland Recycling LLC, Inland Environmental Remediation, Inc., and David Polston of Altair, Texas, after a Travis County District Court found evidence showing the defendants violated state laws protecting water quality. Click here to read the full news release. Click here to read the full news release.
Fiscal Notes: Texas Water — Planning for More: In the April edition of Fiscal Notes, released today, the Comptroller’s office examines Texas’ efforts to secure reliable supplies of water for its industry, agricultural producers and communities. Click here to read the full news release.
Secretary of State:
Secretary Whitley Meets with U.S. Census Bureau to Discuss Achieving Complete Count for Texas in 2020 Census: Texas Secretary of State David Whitley this week met with regional and local representatives from the U.S. Census Bureau to discuss achieving a complete count for the State of Texas in the 2020 Census. Click here to read the full news release.
RRC Commissioners Assess More Than $203,000 in Penalties: The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $203,375 in fines involving 150 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ conference this week. Click here to read the full news release.
Texas Drilling Permits and Completions Statistics for March 2019: The Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) issued a total of 1,137 original drilling permits in March 2019 compared 1,220 in March 2018. Click here to read the full news release.
Now Available - 2018 Texas NPS Annual Report: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board have jointly published the 2018 Texas Nonpoint Source Program Annual Report. Click here to read the full TCEQ news release.
Spotlight: Cari-Michel LaCaille: As director of TCEQ’s Water Supply Division she has a huge responsibility. More than 27 million people consuming water from these systems rely on the diligence and thoroughness of TCEQ to provide adequate oversight. Click here to read more about Director LaCaille and what her job duties entail.
Can Texas’ Top Three Republicans Muster Enough Support to Pass a Sales Tax Swap?: Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have already signaled opposition to the proposal from Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
Texas Senate Passes Historic Property Tax Reform: On Monday the full Texas Senate approved the passage of Senate Bill 2, the Property Tax Reform & Relief Act of 2019. Click here to read the full Texas Public Policy Foundation news release.
Point of Order: Crude awakening: Evan Smith talks to state Rep. Chris Paddie, who chairs the House Energy Resources Committee, about the impact of oil and gas activity on the Texas economy, the downside of the upside, and what the future holds. Click here to listen to the full TribTalk podcast.
Texas Attracts Most Healthcare Data Hacks But it is Fighting Back: Cyber criminals stole the health records of more than 9 million Americans last year, according to data from U.S. Health and Human Services. Click here to read the full Texas Public Radio article.
Senate Votes to Limit City Regulations on Private Businesses: The Texas Senate signaled approval Tuesday for two bills to limit local government control over private businesses, measures opposed by some of Texas’ major cities. Click here to read the full Statesman article.
Closed on Sundays: A Guide to Some of Texas’ Confusing Alcohol Regulations: Texas politicians love to portray the Lone Star State as a mecca for free-market capitalism and low regulation. But those lawmakers might want to take a gander at their state’s byzantine alcohol policies. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
Why San Antonio’s Energy Execs Should Get to Know Ana Sandoval: Councilwoman Ana Sandoval (D7) supports the formulation of a climate action plan but says she wants to work with business interests on it. Click here to read the full Rivard Report.
Clients, Others Weigh in on Sendero Health Plans’ Uncertain Future: After Sendero Health Plans reported last week that it’s on track to meet its financial goals, officials walked clients and other interested parties through the numbers and Central Health board’s timeline to decide the low-income health care provider’s fate during a public hearing Monday. Click here to read the full Statesman article.
How the Texas Legislature Can Fulfill “Our Promise to Patients” this Session: Texas consumers increasingly have their access to emergency medical care delayed or altogether thwarted, and their coverage for legitimate care denied. After witnessing this alarming trend, Texas’ freestanding emergency room community is taking action to better protect and inform patients and their families. Click here to read the full TribTalk article.
Manufacturers Sue U.S. to Stop Tax Regulation: The National Association of Manufacturers sued the federal government alleging that a tax regulation affecting winemakers and alcohol companies violates clear congressional intent. Subscribers can click here to read the full Wall Street Journal report.
Oil Companies Will Pay You to Take Natural Gas From West Texas: in West Texas, oil well operators will pay you to take their natural gas. The practice is called “negative pricing,” and it could change everything from the price of electricity to the use of renewable energy. Click here to read the full KUT article.
Attorney General William P. Barr Delivers Remarks on the Release of the Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election: On March 22, 2019, Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation of matters related to Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and submitted his confidential report to me pursuant to Department of Justice regulations. Click here to read the full remarks. Click HERE to read The Report with redactions as provided by NPR.
Big Money, Small Donors, and Burn Rates: What to Watch for in 2020 Campaigns’ New Fundraising Reports: Raising money used to be a behind-the-scenes part of politics. Now how much campaigns raise — and from whom — is a big part of the political message. Click here to read the full Vox article.
Energy Dept. Investing $100 Million in Near Zero Emissions Coal Plants: The U.S. Department of Energy announced Friday it is investing $100 million in federal research funding into developing coal power plants with “near zero emissions.” Subscribers can click here to read the full Houston Chronicle article.
Rick Perry Plans His Exit as Trump’s Energy Secretary: Energy Secretary Rick Perry is planning to leave the Trump administration and is finalizing the terms and timing of his departure, according to two people familiar with his plans. Click here to read the full Bloomberg Politics article.
Sports Betting in The South: A Status Update on Gulf States: With Mississippi launching legal sports betting in August 2018, what is the potential for sports wagering in other states in the Gulf region? Subscribers can click here to read the full article by Law 360.
Dates to Note
April 25, 2019: Texas Federation of Republican Women Day
May 6 - 9, 2019: Offshore Technology Conference
May 9, 2019: Last Day for House to Consider 2nd Reading HB’s on Daily or Supplemental Calendar
May 17, 2019: Last Day for House to Consider Local HB’s on 2nd and 3rd Reading
May 18, 2019: Last Day for House Committees to Report SB’s
May 21, 2019: Last Day for House to Consider 2nd Reading SB’s
May 22, 2019: Last Day for House to Consider Local and Consent SB’s and ALL 3rd Reading SB’s on Supplemental Calendar AND Last Day for Senate to Consider ALL Bills & JR’s on 2nd or 3rd Reading
May 24, 2019: Last Day for House to Act on Senate Amendments
May 26, 2019: Last Day for House to Adopt CCR’s or Discharge House Conferees and Concur in Senate Amendments AND Last Day for Senate to Concur in House Amendments or Adopt CCRs
May 27, 2019: Last Day of 86th Legislature (Sine Die)
Corrections Only in House and Senate
June 16, 2019: Last Day for Governor to Act on Bills
September 16- 20, 2019: Energy Trade Mission to Israel 2019
September 26 - 28, 2019: The Texas Tribune Festival
Click Here for Upcoming Texas House Committee Meetings
Click Here for Upcoming Texas Senate Committee Meetings