League of Independent Voters of Texas

For Immediate Release                                                                                                               Saturday, May 27, 2017
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Urban and Rural Texans Asked to Boot Senate Bills 533 and 1172
Texas Municipal League and High Ranks of the Republican Party Fail Them

Bastrop, Texas, 6 pm: The non-profit, non-partisan League of Independent Voters of Texas (LIV) is urging urban and rural Texans to call their legislators to help kill two bills that could come to the floor of the House and Senate tomorrow (Sunday). LIV warns that if Senate Bills 1172 and 533 pass, there could be grave impacts on rural and urban Texas, while those who had the power to protect them in the Texas Municipal League and in the highest ranks of the Republican Party failed to act.

Michele Gangnes, a rural Lee County attorney and LIV Board Member said, “The part of Senate Bill 533 we tried to remove would allow  large cities far too much leeway in their bidding practices for projects such as the $3.4 billion Vista Ridge water pipeline project, set to drain rural aquifers in Milam, Lee, Burleson and Bastrop counties. It just so happened that San Antonio Water System was in court on Thursday attempting to achieve the very same thing the legislation will do for Vista Ridge, though this legislation will make a far more loosey-goosey bidding process a statewide option for all large cities. It became clear yesterday that the highest ranks of the Republican Party had spoken on this section of the bill and are pushing ahead.”

Senate Bill 1172, a bill captioned as relating to the regulation of seed by a political subdivision, is really about removing local control over the food and fiber that we Texans raise, so claims LIV.

Judith McGeary, Executive Director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (“FARFA”), is busy working the halls of the legislature to stop SB 1172. “This bill robs local communities of the ability to address a wide range of agricultural activities that can harm neighboring landowners and the whole community. We helped the Texas Municipal League strip out a dangerous provision that pre-empted local control on many other issues as well, and I’m disappointed to see TML declare “victory” without even acknowledging that the bill still pre-empts local control over not only seeds, but also the ‘cultivation of plants.’ That phrase is not defined anywhere in the statute, and could cover just about anything involved with growing plants -- whether in an agricultural, commercial, or residential context.”

Longtime central Texas activist, Linda Curtis, of Independent Texans PAC, said, “I applaud the efforts of FARFA to stop SB 1172 and for attempting to work with the Texas Municipal League (TML) to do so. However, TML is known for throwing rural Texas to the wolves and they did it again by failing to support the amendment put forth by Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) and then crowing about their ‘victory for local control’.”

It is unusual for legislators to reject legislation that has gone through conference committees. But the independents point out that Texans know how to die with their boots on. Not only do they remember the Alamo, they remember what came later when Sam Houston’s army swelled with volunteers. The rest was history.

More Info on SB 1172
More Info on SB 533

For more information:

League of Independent Voters of Texas
PO Box 651 * Bastrop, TX 78602
512-213-4511 * 512-657-2089 cell