The Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance has released its legislative agenda for the 83rd session of the Texas Legislature, throwing its support behind 38 bills that promote water conservation and water quality, call for better funding of state parks, and improve coordination between various agencies dealing with water.
GEAA Executive Director Annalisa Peace said the broad support from the alliance indicates that legislators are thinking creatively and responsibly about Texas’ water problems.
Businesses in agriculture are paying close attention to the water situation over the next few weeks as warmer temperatures approach, but other businesses with lesser water demands have little to worry about.
The overwhelming approval Wednesday of a bill setting aside state funding for water projects sparked conversation about water restrictions in metro areas. Some lawmakers argued that the money would benefit only rural communities.
The House Budget Committee approved additional funding for public school districts and changed a key component for how schools are funded locally. They voted out a budget bill out of committee late Thursday that will provide school districts $3 billion over the next 2 years.
Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, is the vice-chair of the committee and said that is still below what was cut during the 2011 budget.
Lawmakers at the state capitol are hoping to give colleges and universities the ability to conduct DPS background checks for students living on campus.
Currently many colleges conduct public background checks on students seeking on-campus housing, but some college administrators don't believe they go far enough. Edward Williams, who works in residential life at Kilgore College in East Texas, testified in favor in the bill.
A set of bills in both the Texas House and Senate are there to ensure that the state’s veterans are able to use military training to obtain jobs.
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte authored the bill that ensures training and certifications obtained by veterans and their spouses while serving in the military immediately transfer with them into civilian life.
A bill requiring higher standards for abortion providers has made it out of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services and is now on the senate floor for full review.
The discussion on the matter of requiring abortion providers to have a similar setup as surgical office quickly escalated from a civil conversation to a yelling match between the author of the bill, Sen. Bob Duell, R-Greenville, and Virginia Brawn, who owns a North Texas women's clinic.