I’m pleased to report that at the Sunset Advisory Commission meeting this morning the Chairman of the Commission, Senator Glenn Hegar, who had initially floated the idea of abolishing the state’s Water Conservation Advisory Council, announced after a brief discussion that he was withdrawing his suggestion “for now.” This announcement came after the Chairman and other members of the Commission had received numerous communications in opposition to the proposed elimination and after two members of the Sunset Commission, Rep. Larry Taylor and Sen. Robert Nichols, made supportive arguments at this morning’s meeting in favor of continuing the Water Conservation Advisory Council.
As a result of this morning’s actions the Sunset Advisory Commission report and decisions on the Texas Water Development Board (the primary state agency which the Council advises) will NOT recommend abolition of the Advisory Council. Indeed, ironically the Commission report includes a couple of recommendations which specifically call upon the Water Development Board and/or TCEQ to work with the Advisory Council on specific water conservation activities.
Thus, the Advisory Council is “safe” for the time being. But remember that no person’s “life, liberty or property” or valued Advisory Council is safe while the Legislature is in session. The regular session of the Texas Legislature begins January 11. We will need to carefully monitor the Legislature to be on guard for any attempts during the legislative session to eliminate the Council either through a specific bill introduced for that purpose or – more likely – a last minute amendment to a more general bill. Sen. Hegar indicated in withdrawing his proposal at the Sunset Commission meeting that he is still not convinced of the need for the Council, so he might make an effort to abolish the Council during the legislative session. Stay tuned.
In the meantime though, thanks to everyone who contacted members of the Sunset Advisory Commission on behalf of continuing the Water Conservation Advisory Council. Your support and your quick response is appreciated, especially at this busy time of the year, and it paid off!!
Senator Glen Hegar has proposed the possibility of abolishing the Water Conservation Advisory Council. As your Lone Star Chapter Director, I implore you to please take action to ensure this doesn’t happen.
The possibility of abolishing the Water Conservation Advisory Council is a real travesty.
The Council, on which I serve as the Environmental Representative, is the one state body with the express mission of promoting and facilitating water conservation and measuring progress on achieving water conservation. The money expended for the work of the Council is a drop in the bucket compared to what the state spends to pursue water development projects, despite the fact that the state water plan anticipates that roughly one-fourth of the state’s water demands over the next 50 years need to be met through water conservation (and that figure is likely to rise in the next state water plan).
The Sunset Commission will decide on the proposal to abolish the Water Conservation Advisory Council as part of its decisions on recommendations for the Texas Water Development Board, and those decisions will come at TOMORROW’s (Thursday’s) meeting of the Sunset Commission, perhaps as early as tomorrow MORNING. Please act this afternoon or evening if you want to weigh in on this very important decision.
Hello, my name is ____ and I would like to leave a message for [elected official’s name]. I am calling because I support the continuation of the good work by the Water Conservation Advisory Council. It is a critical group that promotes water conservation. Thank you very much.
Sunset Commission Members and Email Addresses:
Senator Glenn Hegar, Jr. (Chair) – email@example.com – 1-512-463-0118
Senator Juan Hinojosa – firstname.lastname@example.org – 1-512-463-0120
Senator Joan Huffman – email@example.com – 1-512-463-0117
Senator Robert Nichols – firstname.lastname@example.org – 1-512-463-0103
Rep. Dennis Bonnen (Vice-chair) – email@example.com – 1-512-463-0564
Rep. Rafael Anchia – firstname.lastname@example.org – 1-512-463-0746
Rep. Byron Cook – email@example.com – 1-512-463-0730
Rep. Linda Harper-Brown – firstname.lastname@example.org – 1-512-463-0641
Rep. Larry Taylor – email@example.com – 1-512-463-0729