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Progress on CCN Compensation Bill | Updates on Bills of Concern
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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! 
Progress on CCN Compensation Bill: Last week, the TRWA Legislative Team participated in a stakeholder meeting to work out a solution to the CCN compensation issue.  The discussion was productive, and the parties agreed in principle to a compromise bill that was heard today by the House Natural Resources Committee.  This session, for the first time since the expedited decertification statute was passed in 2011, key lawmakers, land developers, and builders have been willing to work on a fair deal for compensation to rural utilities upon decertification.  This is due to the hard work of TRWA and its members since 2016.  Earlier today, TRWA Executive Director Lara Zent and Terry Kelley of TRWA member Johnson County Special Utility District testified before the House Natural Resources committee in support of the compromise bill.  While these developments are encouraging, remember that session isn’t over until the final gavel falls on May 27, so we might still need your support going forward.  ​

Updates on Bills of Concern:
  • HB 2998 by Rep. James Talarico (D-Round Rock).  The first draft of this bill would have required utilities to replace lead pipes in schools and child care centers served by the utility, at the utility’s expense.  The legislative team had several productive conversations with Rep. Talarico’s office, and we are pleased to inform our readers that a committee substitute filed with the House Natural Resources Committee this morning removes this onerous requirement for water utilities.  Under the new bill language, responsibility for replacing the pipes falls on the schools and child care facilities themselves.
  • SB 421 by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham).  •    SB 421 by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham).  The original version of this bill created onerous requirements on the use of eminent domain authority by private for-profit entities and water supply corporations (WSCs).  The bill was quickly passed out of the full Senate last week after negotiations with oil and gas industry stakeholders produced several amendments.  After the good work of our members on Rural Water Day and continued discussions initiated by TRWA’s Legislative Team, retail WSCs are no longer the intended target of this bill, and we will be working with the House sponsor and members of the House Committee on Land & Resource Management to exclude them from the final version.  We expect a much more deliberate process in the House, where TRWA will have a seat at the table in stakeholder meetings on the issue.
  • HB 2527 by Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano).  This bill would require any water district operating in three or more counties to make audio and visual recordings of their meetings available on their website, regardless of the district’s size.  The bill is scheduled to be heard by the House County Affairs Committee on Thursday, and we will be there to express our concerns.  If this bill would have a negative impact on your system and you would like to get engaged, please contact the TRWA Legal Department.
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 by forwarding each week’s Capitol Pipeline to your system’s email list and providing your customers with a link to the newsletter on the front page of your website.
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