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Executive Director’s Report

published: April 5th 2019
by: Bill Hyman
source: ICA of Texas
If you were to compare the current Texas Legisla-ture to a tree, you would say it was budding out and starting to form leaves. There have been over 7,000 bills filed, but only a handful of bills have had committee hearings. So far, most of the hearings have been uneventful except for the hearings on the budget bills and the bills concerning education. The Senate education bill was brief and was published in only three pages. The House version was 93 pages. It will be interesting to see how the two legislative bodies work to resolve this dilemma. Most likely the House version will be the final product, but we might have to have a special session to get it passed. 
The appropriations bill will be slow to pass both houses, as lawmakers argue over agency and program monetary requests. Last session these items and the bathroom bill clogged up the entire process and several good bills died without final action. Once again, it looks like progress will be slow and then we will have a breakneck rush to the finish line. The meat labeling bill should go to committee soon and should be a no-brainer for the House and Senate committees. How-ever, you never know what will occur in the hearings. As they say in sports, never assume anything until the fat lady sings. So far there hasn’t been any negative feedback. Hopefully, both bills will reach the respective houses without amendments. 
The ag committee will be hearing the hemp bills this week and there is a lot of support from farmers. The conservative right has been silent so far regarding hemp, but you never know what might happen. Ano-ther bill that will soon be debated in committee is Central Filing. This would set up a statewide data base displaying all liens on livestock. Auction barns would be required to consult the data base each sale day before writing checks to make sure the cattle being sold did not have a lien placed on them. Upon finding a lien in place the barns would be required to make the checks jointly payable to the seller and the lien holder. Besides slowing down the disbursement of checks, the auction managers would have to make a determination of the validity of the lien on these particular lots of cattle. ICA will oppose these bills.
As always, if you have a question or comment please call the office (512-620-0162) or my cell (830-857-3500) and let us know your feelings.

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