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Commissioners to review relevant bills under consideration at 87th legislative session

Monday, March 29, 2021

The Hays County Commissioners Court will be discussing a variety of proposed bills in the 87th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature; one such bill proposes to create an additional District Court within Hays County. 

The commissioners will consider adopting resolutions regarding the proposed bills. 

House Bill 37 would establish a public routing process for oil and gas pipelines, requiring companies to go through the same process that governmental entities follow for roads and power lines. A public routing process would provide landowners with a greater voice and help ensure that the process is fair for all parties. 

House Bill 176 would give local governments the authority to ban containers if they choose; this bill is particularly interesting to San Marcos where “can bans” to prevent littering on the river have come up in city council and parks board discussions. 

House Bill 242 would require oil and gas companies operating in the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone to submit a water pollution abatement plan. The bill was filed in response to the Kinder Morgan Permian Highway Pipeline.

House Bill 1512 grants authority to the Hays County Commissioners Court, instead of the Texas Department of Transportation, to handle permitting for billboards in unincorporated areas along Farm to Market and Ranch to Market roads. This would allow the county to determine where billboards make sense, protecting rural roads that depend on scenic tourism. 

House Bill 2422 would give the county commissioners courts in fast growing counties the authority to regulate the location of new quarries and other incoming aggregate production operations to give counties more authority where high-impact businesses set up. 

House Bill 186 would provide an ad valorem tax exemption for homeowners who install rainwater or greywater systems to encourage water conservation efforts, as well as for those who install solar panels on their homes. 

House Bill 2350 would incentivize nature-based infrastructure projects through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund by making extra funds available for communities that are seeking loans for wastewater system upgrades. 

House Bill 3223 relates to the use of certain municipalities of municipal hotel occupancy tax revenue for the enhancement and maintenance of public parks. House Bill 3722 relates to training materials for contact tracers and case investigators for public health disasters and other public health emergencies. 

House Bill 3843 relates to the authority of a county to regulate impervious cover around certain floodplains. House Bill 4499 relates to a study of feasibility of establishing a regional connected trails program. 

One house concurrent resolution would establish the City of Kyle as the Pie Capital of Texas, and another would designate the City of San Marcos as the Mermaid Capital of Texas.

In other business, there will be a discussion related to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Commission and an update on recent meetings. The most recent meeting included a draft proposal for a Pretrial Services Department and potentially seeking grant funding for a Public Defender Office. 

The commissioners will also vote on the Fiscal Year 2020 Hays County Comprehensive Annual Financial Report as audited by ABIP, PC Certified Public Accountants and on a preliminary Hays County budget calendar for FY 2022. 

They will vote on accepting a grant award from Texas State University for the Juvenile Detention Center related to the HiSET GED Program and amend the budget accordingly. 

The grant award was to provide funding for GED study guides and supplies related to collaborative programs involving science, technology, engineering and math. The mission of the program is to develop a sustainable model for increasing the number of historically underrepresented and underserved minorities, with special emphasis on high-risk youth, who will attain undergraduate STEM degrees.

Tuesday's  commissioners court meeting will be held at 9 a.m. in the Hays County Courthouse, Room 301 in San Marcos. Anyone wishing to participate in the public comment section can submit a public participation/witness form to the county clerk before the meeting. 

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666