January 25th, 2013
In this issue
A Terrific Addition to Senate Natural Resources
Parks Funding Campaign in Full Gear
The 83rd Texas Legislature has convened! Some things are moving at a faster pace than 2011 – preliminary Senate and House budgets have already been released. However, we are still waiting on Committee assignments in the House. This is a daunting task for Speaker Straus, who is dealing with a body made up of 45% first and second-year legislators, representing the highest turnover in the House since 1940.
Here is a look at some early activity at the Capitol…
Every session, the Texas League of Conservation Voters helps organize the Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT), a statewide group of environmental, public health, civic, and faith-based organizations that work together to move a common agenda forward at the Capitol.
Pencil in March 20 on your calendar for ACT’s Lobby Day, and expect more information on this and other events in the near future. [Back to top]
While we anticipate playing a great deal of defense this session—including attacks on access to the courts and clean energy—we are supporting positive green bills which have already been filed. SB198 by Senator Kirk Watson (D-Austin) and HB449 Representative Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) would allow residents of Home Owners Associations to pursue water-conserving landscaping; HB303 by State Representative Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) would expand the state’s renewable energy portfolio for solar energy; and HB105 by State Representative Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) would improve funding for our state park system. [Back to top]
TLCV was thrilled to learn that State Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) was appointed to the Senate Natural Resources Committee. Senator Ellis brings a wealth of experience in natural resource policy to the committee, and is an effective advocate on environmental and other issues at the Capitol. Sen. Ellis has already filed an important bill, SB78, which would require state agencies to develop climate adaptation plans to address climate change. [Back to top]
TLCV-Educational Fund, TLCV’s sister organization, has launched a statewide educational campaign, “Keep Texas Parks Open” focusing on adequate funding for the state park system through use of the Sporting Goods Sales Tax. The campaign has hired a full-time organizer, commissioned a statewide poll on parks, and is organizing town hall meetings across the state. Stay tuned for more information on this effort. [Back to top]