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Executive Director’s Report

published: April 2nd 2021
by: Bill Hyman
source: ICA Of Texas

Once again the Texas Legislature is considering over 5,500 new bills. Many of these bills are repeats that have been proposed several times in past sessions. Some of the bills are unique to a certain locale or a specific local purpose.  There are many that have appeared each session for the past 20 years and have never had a chance of passing. The state finance bill is the most important and always passes after a lot of wrangling around.  
    Independent Cattle-men’s Association of Texas  and our livestock and poultry allies are supporting several bills that deal with truth in labeling for our meat products. The fake meat producers, along with their investors, are opposed to these bills and are spending considerable time and effort to defeat these bills. Our “real meat” coalition is working with our friends in the House and Senate to get the bills voted out of committee and move to the floor for a vote. We believe we will be successful.
    We are also supporting a bill to increase the penalty for trespassing on bio-secure agriculture facilities, such as poultry, dairies and animal feeding facilities. If passed, animal rights protesters will face stiffer penalties when trespassing.
    The crazy aspect of each session is that we spend more time defending our livestock practices and our rural lifestyle than we do trying to pass favorable bills. Our land, our water and our agriculture endeavors are under attack every session and this session is no exception. Local control of underground water is once again under attack by the urban areas. The Texas Water Code, Chapter 36, which is our water rule book, serves as protection from over-development. The urban coalition and greedy developers want to divert water usage from agriculture to urban home sites and industry. As always, they forget where their food comes from. 
    This session, so far, has had visitation to capitol offices severely limited. Some offices are limiting in-person visits to appointment only, while others limit visits to phone or virtual. Even the Texas Ag Council is meeting by “Zoom” every Wednesday. This is the meeting where we hash out the good and the bad bills. It is just not the same as meeting in person. Maybe we will be able to meet face to face before the legislature adjourns.

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