It took a lot of guts for State Senator Wendy Davis of Ft. Worth to stand up to the Governor and use the filibuster to force a special session. Read what Davis has to say about why she thinks this special session should address education funding only.
It’s another water grab folks — no matter where you live, please call the Governor NOW at 512-463-2000 and politely ask him to veto this stinker, SB 341:
Citizens in House District 117 (Helotes, Lackland Air Force Base, Von Ormy, and in both Bexar and Medina counties) are up in arms to stop the “regulation without representation” and local water grab that’s behind SB 341. The San Antonio Water System (SAWS), is behind the passage of SB 341. SB 341 transfers approximately $500 million dollars in equity and water rights from the current water district, Bexar Metropolitan Water District, to SAWS and gives them immunity from all current contracts, vested rights holders, partnerships and investors. It is clearly intended to be a taking of the Bexar Metropolitan Water District’s water rights and the voting rights of their ratepayers. Though BexarMet is far from without its own problems, this is not the solution as it sets a bad precedence against local control. And, oh yeah, competition between utilities is a good thing, so SAWS should back off!
Again, please call the Governor’s office at 512-463-2000 from 8 to 5 p.m. and simply ask that he veto SB 341.
Other legislative news:
o The good news is that even though an informal coalition of groups fighting against the Governor’s “Trans-Texas Water Highway” — was unable to stop the passage of a “vested rights” bill (to further privatization and commodification of precious Texas groundwater), the bill was, pardon the phase, watered down considerably. More importantly, the administration’s move to give the Texas Water Development Board revolving and permanent bonding authority, erroneously called “evergreen authority” (perhaps they mean the green that money is), is DOA! Congratulations to all.
o The natural gas fracking drillers disclosure bill passed, but with major loopholes. The law to make the frackers disclose the chemicals they’re pumping into the ground doesn’t start till 2013. It also allows them not to disclose if they simply deem the chemicals “trade secrets.” Are you getting nauseous yet?
o Can anyone say non-partisan redistricting? No matter how you lean — Democratic, Republican or you’re just a plain ol’ independent who votes for the person not the party — we’re all fed up with watching legislators draw their own districts. Our biggest disappointment this session was Sen. Jeff Wentworth, who in the past championed redistricting reform, waited until late April to start moving his reform billWhen we got the call from Wentworth’s office, our response was, “sorry, it’s too late.”
Join us on our next conference call, next Monday night, JUNE 6TH AT 8 PM. Just hit reply button and give us your name and number or Reply here.
And/or be in Bastrop on Saturday, June 11th, 2-4 pm at the Bastrop Library. Out of towners, think about staying a little later for more strategy.
The full report on the 2011 legislative session with the good, the bad and the ugly from the independent’s perspective is forthcoming, so watch for it.