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 Releases Statements on Passage of HB 3 and SB 2: Click here to read Governor Greg Abbott’s statements on the passage of both HB 3 and SB 2.
Governor Post-Sine Die Action: Click here to view most recent veto’s and other action from the Governor’s desk. As of today the Governor has vetoed 6 bills.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Released a Statement on Sine Die of the 86th Legislative Session: ‘Teamwork’ was the first word that came to Lt. Governor Patrick’s mind when asked to recap the 86th Legislative Session. Click here to read the full statement.
AG Paxton Wins Major Court Victory to End Unlawful Obama-Era “Waters of the United States” Rule: Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that his office won a major court victory to hold unlawful the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which attempted to expand the reach of the federal Clean Water Act in a way that would harm Texans and the Texas economy. Click here to read the full news release.
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar Receives Bob Bullock Award for Outstanding Public Stewardship: Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar received the 22nd annual Bob Bullock Award for Outstanding Public Stewardship at the Texas Digital Government Summit today at the Austin Club. Click here to read the full news release.
General Land Office:
Commissioner Bush to all Texans: Hurricane Season 2019 Starts Saturday: Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush is encouraging all Texans to prepare for the 2019 Hurricane Season, which begins Saturday, June 1 and runs through November 30, 2019. Click here to read the full news release.
Chairman Craddick Applauds Legislature for Prioritizing Railroad Commission Funding: Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick thanked the 86th Texas Legislature for prioritizing the important role the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) plays in keeping the state’s citizens and natural resources safe. The Legislature’s FY 2020-2021 budget includes increased funding for the RRC to strengthen the agency’s inspection and enforcement capabilities, as well as increases transparency for the public. Click here to read the full news release.
10 TEEA Award Recipients Highlighted: The Ten (10) winners of the 2019 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards were recognized by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Congratulations! Click here to view that video.
After Blocking David Whitley’s Confirmation, Senate Democrats See Bills Die on Abbott’s Desk: A months-long push from the governor’s office to confirm his longtime aide as secretary of state heated up in the session’s final days. Some Democrats feared retribution for defying the governor. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
Texas Plumbing Board and Laws Abolished After Legislative Strife: The House failed to pass legislation that would have extended the agency’s existence. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
To Pass School Finance and Property Tax Bills, Texas’ Legislative Leaders Had to Choose Cooperation Over Combativeness: In the past, personalities got in the way of policy at the Texas Capitol. This year, state leaders refused to let that happen. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
Eminent Domain Reform Died in the Texas Legislature this Session: Despite hundreds of hours of negotiations between Texas landowners and industry groups, legislation to address concerns over the eminent domain process could not be finalized, with lawmakers pledging to make it a top priority for future sessions. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
TribCast: Bonus Sine Die Edition: On this week’s bonus TribCast, political reporter Patrick Svitek leads a conversation on what happened — and what’s next — now that the 86th session of the Texas Legislature has adjourned. Click here to read the full article and listen to the podcast.
Texas Retailers, Manufacturers Seeing Slowdown Amid Trade concerns: Retail sales have dropped sharply this month and other key sectors of the Texas economy – including manufacturing – have slowed, amid rising concerns about the escalating trade war between the United States and China as well as poor weather in some parts of the state, according to new reports from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Click here to read the full Statesman article.
Speaker Dennis Bonnen: A First-Term Analysis: Bonnen led the Texas House of Representatives through a productive session, passing school finance reform, property tax relief and flood infrastructure legislation. Click here to read the full Houston Public Media article.
Rural Broadband Advocates Upbeat After Session that Saw No Cash: Three of the five bills dealing with expanding broadband in Texas are either waiting on the governor’s desk or are already in effect. The results have proponents optimistic. Click here to read the full Texas Public Radio article.
If Hemp is Legal in Texas, What Will Come of the State’s Medical Cannabis Program?: The Texas Legislature took some of its biggest strides loosening marijuana-related laws this session, passing bills to expand the state’s medical cannabis program and legalize certain hemp-derived products. Click here to read the full Houston Chronicle article.
New Texas Law Allows Oyster Farming: Texas shellfish lovers may get at least one pearl out of Texas’ 86th Legislature: passage of a bill to allow farm-raised oysters. Click here to read the full San Antonio Express News article.
Enterprise to Grow Texas Ethylene Pipeline Network: Houston’s Enterprise Products Partners is extending its ethylene pipeline and logistics network further in South Texas as the region’s petrochemical export boom rolls on. Click here to read the full Houston Chronicle article.
Energy Exports Help Laredo to Become Top U.S. Trade Hub: Booming energy exports and shifting patterns in international commerce have made the Port of Laredo the nation’s top center for trade, supplanting the longtime leader, the Port of Los Angeles. Click here to read the full San Antonio Express News article.
Despite Attempts to Soften Penalties, Texas Legislature Passes Bill to Charge Pipeline Protesters with Felonies: The oil and gas industry-backed bill could blunt environmental groups’ fight against the Jupiter oil pipeline and Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway gas pipeline. Click here to read the full Texas Observer article.
Lawmakers Pass Bills to Better Fund Texas Parks, Historic Sites — if Voters Approve: Advocates have pushed for years to put a constitutional amendment before voters to ensure Texas parks and historic sites get the maximum funding authorized from a sales tax on sporting goods. They have finally succeeded. Click here to read the full Texas Tribune article.
Scientists Say 5G Networks Could Conflict With Weather Forecasting: Scientists are warning that new 5G internet connectivity could interfere with their ability to forecast the weather. Now, they’re bringing their concerns to Congress. Click here to read the full NPR article or listen to the episode.
Texas Lawmakers Pass Bills to Prevent Gas Explosions: Natural gas pipeline operators would be required to remove some of the most dangerous pipes in Texas under a bill headed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk that was spurred by the death of a Dallas 12-year-old last year. Subscribers can click here to read the full Dallas Morning News article.
Science. Technology. Helping Texas farmers make conservation investments for tomorrow’s benefits: Since 2010, the population of Texas has grown by nearly 4 million people. Population growth of that magnitude has many consequences and farmers are meeting this challenge with the help of science and technology in ways that couldn’t have been imagined a generation ago. Click here to read the full TriTalk article.
World Stocks Subdued, Focus on Trade War After US Holiday: World stock markets were subdued on Tuesday as investors in New York and London returned from a long weekend and kept an eye on the U.S.-China trade war. Click here to read the Associated Press article.
Oklahoma Faces Off Against J & J in First Trial of an Opioid Maker: Opening statements in the country’s first trial over whether a pharmaceutical company is liable for the opioid crisis began as a battle between fire and ice. Click here to read the full New York Times article.
Energy Department Says Gas Permit Promotes ‘Molecules of Freedom’: The Energy Department announced the approval of a liquefied natural gas project in Texas, saying it would allow “molecules of U.S. freedom to be exported to the world.” Subscribers can click here to read the full Houston Chronicle article.
First Debate Sparks Democratic Scramble: Candidates still don’t know whom they will be debating against, or even which day they’ll be on the stage. With the first debate in Miami now less than a month away, at least half-dozen major candidates have begun to block out time or lighten their schedules to prepare. Click here to read the full Politico article.
Mark Your Calendars!
Dates to Note:
June 16, 2019: Last Day for Governor to Act on Bills
August 14 - 16, 2019: 46th ALEC Annual Meeting
September 16, 2019 to September 20, 2019: Energy Trade Mission to Israel 2019
September 26 - 28, 2019: The Texas Tribune Festival
October 2, 2019: Stalwart Strategies Capitol Appreciation Party
October 17-18, 2019: Texas House Republican Caucus Fall Golf Tournament
October 17 - 18, 2019: Texas House Republican Caucus Fall Golf Tournament