As this issue of The Cross Section is emailed, the 86th Texas Legislature prepares to adjourn "sine die" May 27.
This session predominately focused on efforts to reform the property tax and school finance systems.
In the water world, the policy concentrated on flood planning and management following Hurricane Harvey.
This left very little time and political capital for groundwater legislation as compared to previous sessions.
Groundwater-related topics discussed this session included:
▪ Aquifer Storage & Recovery: Permitting Process, Financial Incentives, & TWDB Studies.
▪ Brackish Groundwater Permitting.
▪ Creation of an Interregional Planning Council for the Regional Water Planning Groups.
▪ Similar rules within a Groundwater Management Area (GMA).
▪ Attorney’s fees for landowners when a GCD is a party.
▪ Permitting for rural water utility providers.
▪ Efforts under Chapter 36 to ensure GCD rules are science based and effectively protect private property rights.
Governmental topics that affect HPWD included:
▪ Government Transparency: Open Meetings and Fiscal Transparency.
▪ Property Tax: Rollback Rates & Appraisal Process.
Good News: Very few pieces of legislation will pass that directly affect the working of the district.
Bad News: Many groundwater topics of importance to the legislature went unresolved and will likely emerge again next session.
An overview of the 86th Texas Legislative Session will be presented to the HPWD Board of Directors at their June 11 meeting in Lubbock.