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Hearings on TRWA Priority Issues | Hearings on Other Bills of Concern
Rural Water Advisory Council Clears House Committee
Capitol Pipeline will be in your inbox every Tuesday with links to the bills being tracked by TRWA, updates on the progress of key pieces of legislation, and calls to action on legislation that directly impacts rural water systems across Texas. Click here to learn more! 
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Engage Your Board and Customers in our Legislative Efforts

TRWA members provide quality water service to almost 3 million Texans, and lawmakers need to hear from them on our legislative priorities and bills of concern.  You can help us mobilize your customer base in support of rural water in the following ways: 
  • Forward each week’s Capitol Pipeline to your system’s email list and provide your customers with a link to the newsletter on the front page of your website.
  • Link to on your system’s website to help educate your customers on our issues and encourage them to contact their legislators.
  • Ask your board members and customers to let us know if they are a member of Farm Bureau, a major opponent of rural water on groundwater permitting issues. We would like to work cooperatively with them for the benefit of Rural Texans! For more information, direct customers to our blog post. 
  • Disseminate TRWA’s legislator contact guides (linked below) to provide your customers with sample talking points for phone calls, sample email language, and contact information for key legislators.
Hearings on TRWA Priority Issues:
  • Call to Action on Opposition Groundwater Permitting Bill:  Monday, the Senate Water & Rural Affairs Committee heard S.B. 2026 by Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock).  This bill would repeal the provision in current law that allows groundwater districts to issue permits based on a utility’s service needs.  The effect of this bill would be that water utilities in some GCDs will have to purchase additional land or water rights to obtain the water their customers need, resulting in higher rates for customers.  TRWA Executive Director Lara Zent, TRWA lobbyist Russell Johnson and Randel Kirk of Mountain Peak SUD testified against the bill.  While the hearing was yesterday, it’s not too late to let the committee know you oppose this bill!  Please call or email the members of the Senate Water & Rural Affairs Committee and let your customers know that their rates will go up if this bill passes!  We have also developed this quick form your customers can fill out to voice their opposition to this bill and how it will effectively raise their water rates.
GCD Contact Guide - Click Here to Download and Share
  • Continued Progress on CCN Compensation Bill: Also on Monday, the Senate Water & Rural Affairs Committee heard the committee substitute for S.B. 2272 by Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville).  This is the Senate version of legislation that the House Natural Resources Committee heard last week, which is a compromise on the compensation issue negotiated between TRWA’s legislative team and stakeholders on the other side of the issue.  TRWA Executive Director Lara Zent testified in support of the bill before the Senate committee.  As with last week’s update, the progress we’re seeing on this legislation is encouraging, but we might still need your help to get it across the finish line.  Stay tuned to future editions of the Capitol Pipeline for future calls to action as the bill moves from the committees to the House and Senate floors.
Hearings on Other Bills of Concern
  •  Audiovisual Recording of Meetings by Water Districts: On Friday, the House County Affairs Committee heard H.B. 2527 by Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano), which would require all water districts serving in three or more counties to make audiovisual recordings of their meetings available to the public online.  Mark Gardenhire of Fort Griffin SUD and Kyle Eppler of Wickson Creek SUD testified in opposition to the bill, citing the technical and administrative burdens this bill would place on rural water districts. TRWA requested that the bill limit applicability to districts serving three or more counties and a population of 50,000 or more. The bill’s sponsors heard our concerns, as the Senate committee substitute version of the bill, S.B. 1732 by Sen. Angela Paxton (R-McKinney) was amended to apply only to districts serving more than 50,000 customers when it was heard earlier today, although they dropped the "three or more counties" bracket. This change would make the recording requirement apply to water districts that are similar in size to the school districts, cities and counties that are currently subject to this requirement.
  • Impact Fees Charged by WSCs to School Districts: The House Natural Resources Committee is scheduled today to hear  H.B. 4031 by Rep. Andrew Murr (R-Junction), which would prohibit water supply corporations (WSCs) from charging school districts capital fees for new development or fees to acquire water rights unless the district contractually agrees. Bruce Alexander of East Medina County SUD, Sherilyn Dahlberg of Sharyland WSC and Brian Macmanus of East Rio Hondo WSC made the trip to Austin to testify against the bill.
Rural Water Advisory Council Clears House Committee: H.B. 1868 by Rep. J.M. Lozano (R-Kingsville) was reported favorably out of the House Agriculture & Livestock Committee on Monday. The bill was supported by TRWA, which will have one of 15 seats on a proposed statewide council that would advise the Department of Agriculture in assessing rural water initiatives relating to the prevention, mitigation, and abatement of source water contamination issues in rural communities.  
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