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As luck would have it, our friend, Judith McGeary of Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, gives us all one more reason to be in Austin this Tuesday at the LIV 2019 Lobby Day this Tuesday, March 5th!
HB 1066 and HB 726 help usher the California Water Model (Gridzilla) -- mass movement of groundwater for real estate development -- and they're up for an early hearing this Tuesday. Hearing notice here.
On Tuesday, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on a bill, HB 1066, that would allow Vista Ridge (for our readers, aka the "San Antone Hose" -- see 17" video here) to apply for a 10-year extension to its transport permit immediately – before any pumping even begins – and to get the extension without any public hearing. The same provision is included in a larger groundwater regulation bill, HB 726, that is being heard the same day.
PLEASE TAKE ACTION:
Call your State Representative and Senator. Find them here.
Ask them to protect Texas groundwater -- no California Water Model -- and to oppose HB 1600 and SB 800 (the companion bill in the Senate). and HB 726. Then, tell them you're asking them to do something positive for groundwater, the aquifers and landowners -- ask them all to sponsor the Sustainable Groundwater Development Act and legislation to keep LCRA out of groundwater.
When you call in, ask to speak with a staffer that deals with water issues. If you get their attention, LIV will send a representative to meet with legislator's staffers on any of the above. Report back to us -- come to our Lobby Day!
Special note for the Simsboro counties! For Milam County, that’s Rep. Terry Wilson (512-463-0309) and Senator Charles Schwertner (512-463-0105). For Burleson County, that’s Rep. Ben Leman (512-463- 0600) and Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (512-463-0118). For Bastrop County, that's Rep. John Cyrier (512-463--0682) and Sen. Kirk Watson (512-463-0114. For Lee County, that's Rep. Cyrier and Sen. Kolkhorst.
The call can be very short, just a couple of minutes. Introduce yourself, mention that you are a constituent, let them know the House bills are up for a hearing on Tuesday, and ask them to oppose the bill. It can be that simple. If you want to add your reasons, focus on:
It doesn’t make sense to extend permits before pumping has even begun, since we don’t really know the impacts on the desired future conditions.
The bills block public participation – which is why the Governor vetoed this approach last session.
MORE DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS:
Come to the Capitol on Tuesday morning and register in opposition to the bill. This is much easier than it sounds and really has an impact! The hearing starts at 10:30 am “or upon adjournment”. In practical terms, that means you could come register to testify anytime between 9:30 am and noon (and possibly later, but that gets iffy).
You just come to the Capitol, park, and enter the building. If you have an Ipad, you can register on that once you are connected to the Capitol’s public wireless network. Otherwise, take the elevators down to floor E1. Go down the main hall, and then turn down one of the side halls on your left. Where there used to be pay phones, you’ll see little kiosks. Just follow the instructions to register. Make sure the kiosk says it’s for House Witness Registration (not the Senate, which is in the hallways on the other side).
Committee: Natural Resources
Bill: HB 1066 by Ashby (go back through the process to also register against HB 726 by Larson)
You can see more instructions and a video on how to register at https://mytxlegis.capitol.texas.gov//hwrspublic/about.aspx
You can choose whether or not you want to testify. If you want to stay and speak, great – plan what you want to say in 2-3 minutes. If not, you can simply register your opposition. Your name and opposition will be listed in the official record, and we promise you, legislators truly do look at that list when they are considering how to vote on a bill.
Then, come on over to our Lobby Day at the Reagan Building -- go outside and look just to the north of the Capitol. We're in Room 140.
Got questions? Give us a call or reply to this message.
League of Independent Voters of Texas
PO Box 651 * Bastrop, TX 78602
512-213-4511 * 512-657-2089 cell