In the midst of all the chaos, Texans managed to stop the petty-"Larson-y' (as in Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio) of "Gridzilla" the $2 million study on moving masses of Texas water to the triangle (DFW, Austin and San Antonio , smacked down the anti-petition bill, and even passed a good water bill. But eminent domain reform went down...along with lots of other good bills.
We provide you this report with some humorous relief. As they say, "truth is stranger than fiction." This is all true...including that it's now game on for Vista Ridge San Antonio $3.4 billion water grab some 142-miles away in Burleson County. More soon...
So...during this legislative session did you feel like:
Your chance of getting a bill passed was about as likely as this woman’s chance of getting hit by a meteor? We actually managed to pass one -- HB 3163 -- thanks to freshman Rep. John Cyrier (R-Lockhart) and his capable staff -- to protect water conservation district board members from being sued individually or held liable when performing their duties in good faith.
That you looked like melted dummies from the Madam Tussauds Wax Museum to members of the ________ Committee (fill in the blank) when you testified? But didn't the 11th-hour (Sunday, May 31st at 9 pm), failed amendment for the Vista Ridge 142-mile water pipeline project make you feel better? Watch the Senate give it the stomp!
You might just be beating your head against a wall in the face of a herd of corporate lobbyists who waltzed right in and took their time making scurrilous claims legislators never asked them to prove? "The lobby" killed SB 474, a modest eminent domain reform bill. Watch the the carnage in this video here (starting at about 2 minutes.)
You were just a tad weirded out by the gun-obsessed in this session, while your local control was under serious fire? A cross-partisan populist coalition thankfully laid waste to HB 2595, protecting 103 years of Texans' right to petition in home-rule cities. Watch these powerful testimonies, especially the three mad-dog attorneys!
On the very same night as the floods in central Texas, May 25th, another storm blew in the Texas House as Rep. David Simpson rode hard on Gridzilla, the Trans-Texas Water Highway and the attacks on the rights of regions to have an equal seat at the water planning table before their water is ripped out from underneath them by other regions. Check out the list of 58 other reps who stood with Simpson! (Forgive the bad singing, "These Independent Boots are Gonna Walk All Over You!") click here to watch the House ride 'em high!
Our very serious fight -- to protect our land, our water and our political rights -- has only just begun.
There's more coming, but we wanted to get these out to you today.
PS Additional and special thanks to Steve Box (Environmental Stewardship), Judith McGeary (Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, Ken Kramer (Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter), Brian Rodgers (ChangeAustin.org), Brent Golemon, Eleanor Bravo (Food and Water Watch), an anonymous professional lobbyist for all your free advice and LIV board members Michele Gangnes and Calvin Tillman for all your help in the 2015 legislative session!