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Reflections on the 83rd Legislative Session

Reflections on the 83rd Legislative Session

By Billy Howe

State Legislative Director

Monday, May 27, 2013 marked the end of my 10th session of the Texas Legislature, the seventh with the Texas Farm Bureau. Sometimes it is hard to believe it has been almost 20 years since a kid from Itasca, Texas moved to Austin to work in the Texas House.

Every session has had its own personality depending on the issues and the players. This session may be a historic one for the state if voters approve the creation of a dedicated fund to implement the State Water Plan in November.

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HB 2748 is bad news for eminent domain in Texas

HB 2748 is bad news for eminent domain in Texas

By Steve Pringle

TFB Legislative Director

For years, Texas claimed to be a property rights state. Our politicians waxed eloquent on the stump about the sanctity of private property in Texas. Sometimes you get the idea that Davy Crockett died at the Alamo strictly because of Mexico’s eminent domain policy. It was, however, a sham. Texas, until the legislative session of 2011, had one of the nation’s worst eminent domain laws.

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Water: Local control, state control or both: What is the right answer?

Water: Local control, state control or both: What is the right answer?

By Billy Howe
TFB State Legislative Director

Every session of the Texas Legislature, bills are filed to provide more state oversight of groundwater management. This session is no exception.

Water marketers and water supply entities come to Austin and tell their stories of how they have been mistreated by local districts, or how the policies of the district don’t recognize the realities of building multi-million dollar water projects.

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Who cares about water in Texas?

Who cares about water in Texas?

By Mike Barnett

So who cares about water in Texas? Farmers and ranchers, obviously. The rest of the state? Not so much.

At least that’s the conclusion faculty members at the University of Texas made after examining public opinion polls of issues that matter most to Texans.

The economy, immigration and education are top of mind for most. Yet water—that life-giving resource—registers as a top issue with only 4 percent.

That’s a real concern.

Rural Texans understand burn bans, dry wells and short pastures. Drought is not a word. It is a reality they live with every day.

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Texas Farm Bureau will be tested by Texas legislature’s budget burden

Texas Farm Bureau will be tested by Texas legislature's budget burdenBy Kenneth Dierschke

 Texas Farm Bureau has long been an advocate of limited government and fiscal responsibility. It’s who we are. It’s what we stand for. Our mettle is about to be tested as the Texas Legislature scrambles for dollars to meet our state’s needs.

Texas’ fiscal house is in disorder.  Estimates put the budget shortfall as high as $27 billion. The Texas Legislature will make hard choices in the coming months. Budget cuts will ravage education, state agencies and programs. Everything is on the table. Agriculture will not be immune.

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