Exotic Wildlife Association Legislative Update May 28, 2013

On Monday May 20, EWA supported many Second Amended bills reported below. We also visited with the 15 House Calendars committee to support SB 1395 to exclude owners of wild and dangerous animals accredited with the Zoological Association of America from current law. That bill died in the House. Senator Estes attached SB 1395 to the elk bill, eventually killing them both.


On Wednesday May 22, we participated in the Texas Agriculture Council activities.


On Friday May 24, EWA and The Livestock Marketing Association were able to kill the Senate Amendment to a veterinary bill, HB 3569, that would have resurrected SB 1750. The amendment would have given authority to the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) to statutorily quarantine or hold or vaccinate livestock without due notice to the owner only on base of suspicion that the livestock might have been exposed to disease. Thank You for your phone calls because they were heard and your opposition valued. Although the House was going to concur, it did not because of the pressure and it did strip the Senate amendment aka SB 1750 from the bill.


The 83rd Legislative session ended on Monday May 27, 2013.


The Governor has now 20 days to veto any bill after the session is over. We, therefore, will send the last Legislative report for the 83rd Legislative Session after June 20 where we can tell you with accuracy which bill became law, which bill was vetoed by the Governor, and which language survived the death of their bill by having being added to others.


Here is the current status of most of the bills we followed this session:


Deer and Wildlife Bills


HB 1718, the charity bill that would lower the hunting fees for out of state terminally ill individuals was sent to the Governor. EWA filed and supported the bill.


CSHB 2150, the Elk Bill, recognizing the elk as indigenous, but exempting them from any TPWD regulations or other activities, is dead. EWA had switched neutral on the bill once our needs were met.


SB 820, relating to the management, breeding, and destruction of deer and to procedures regarding certain deer permits (due process), was signed by the Governor and will be effective 9/1/13. EWA supported the bill.


Agriculture and Livestock

HB 1807, relating to erradicating fever ticks, sent to the Governor. EWA supported the bill.


The bill creating “Bison Week,” SCR 20, has been sent to the governor. EWA supported the bill.


HB 2311, which forbids the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) from having rules more stringent than the federal government, was signed by the Governor, effective immediately. EWA supported the bill.


HB 3385 that would limit liability for an agritourism entity involved in agritourism activity, is dead. EWA supported the bill.


Private Property Rights

HB 341, to exclude mineral rights from eminent domain by toll road authorities was sent to the Governor. EWA supported the bill.


HB 3509 moving authority over ESA species from the Comptroller’s office to TPWD, was heard in Senate Natural Resources, and passed; it was amended again, and passed the Senate. The role of TPWD was further reduced by allowing any state agency, as determined by the Governing Board (renamed in lieu of “Response Committee”) to hold a federal permit and forbidding TPWD to veto such actions; Extends the same public notice and input requirements to whichever agency is holding the federal permit; requires to create at least one advisory committee and requires that the make-up of that advisory committee be one-third affected landowners or property owners (not anymore representative of landowners); leaves current law in place, but it makes it expire in two years. The changes, which were also sought by EWA, make it a much better law, but EWA is still registered in opposition. The House has concurred with the changes and the bill is on its to the Governor. EWA is asking the Governor to veto the bill.


HB 1931, relating to compensation of property owners whose property is damaged as a result of a pursuit involving a law enforcement agency, was sent to the governor. EWA supported the bill.


HB 1179, Relating to the payment of restitution for the taking of wildlife resources without the property owner’s consent, was voted out of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs unanimously, but died because it did not make it on the calendar. EWA supported the bill.


HB 912, relating to images captured by unmanned vehicles and unmanned aircraft; providing penalties, was amended in the Senate and the changes were concurred by the House. It is on its way to the Governor. The amendments exclude from prosecution certain images taken for the purpose of wildfire control, military purposes, and law enforcement purposes. However, if the images are taken incidentally by law enforcement, they cannot be used in court. EWA supported the bill.



HB 793, relating to make it an offense to smuggle illegal, is dead. EWA supported the bill.


SB 766 that would prohibit any requirement of licensing of volunteer firefighters is dead, but its language was rolled into HB 3660 on the Senate floor. HB 3660 has passed the Senate and was sent back to the House, which did not concur, and the whole bill is now dead. EWA supported SB 766.


SB 1904 to reduce inefficiencies of the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, which serves to aid in the protection of lives and property of Texas citizens, is dead. EWA supported the bill.


SB 702, relating to minimum insurance requirements and simplifying the code for certified and insured prescribed burn managers, was sent to the Governor. EWA supported the bill.


SB 764, relating to a limitation on liability for prescribed burning conducted on agricultural or conservation land, was signed by the governor, effective immediately. EWA supported the bill.



Second Amendment


HB 48,that would eliminate the continual education course for the renewal of a CHL, but would require licensees to read the new laws when they renew their license, was sent to the Governor. EWA supported the bill.


HB 928, that would forbid certain federal laws from being enforced in Texas, did not make it to the Senate Calendar and it is dead. EWA supported the bill.


SB 299, that would protect against charges from accidentally showing a handgun by a Concealed Handgun Licensee, was signed by the Governor, effective 9/1/13. EWA supported the bill.


SB 864, which would reduce the number of hours from 10-15 to 4-6 to take or renew a CHL, was signed by the Governor, effective 9/1/13. EWA supported the bill.


HB 508, which would have imposed civil fines on state agencies, cities or counties that improperly post 30.06 signs prohibiting Concealed Handgun Licensees from entering the property and that also would have given the Texas Attorney General or local district attorney the ability to sue to collect the civil penalties if the offending agency or political subdivision failed to remove the sign after having been notified of a violation, passed the Senate, but it was amended to include legislators, prosecuting attorneys and others as a defense to prosecution to be able to conceal carry in certain places. The House refused to concur and the bill died. EWA supported the bill.


HCR 89 to create an ad interim study to recruit gun, ammo manufacturers in Texas was sent to the Governor. EWA supported the bill.


HB 1076, to forbid an agency from imposing a federal statute that is not a state law in Texas, died. EWA supported the bill.


SB 1907, relating to transportation and storage of firearms in vehicles on campus, passed the House as amended. The amendment by Kleinschmidt adds that the school may not take any other action against the storage of a firearm by a student holding a CHL including posting notice under section 30.06 of the penal code. The bill was sent to the Governor. EWA supported the bill.


SB 1467 that would give economic incentives for firearms manufacturers, firearms accessory manufacturers, and ammunition manufacturers if they come to Texas, died. EWA supported the bill.


SB 987, giving authority to the attorney general to obtain an injunction against a municipality or county that adopts prohibited regulations regarding firearms, ammunitions, or firearms supplies, was sent to the Governor. EWA supported the bill.


SB 1400, allowing possession of BB guns within city limits, passed the House. The bill was sent to the Governor. EWA supported the bill.




HB 213, relating to the $1 million total revenue exemption for the franchise tax, died.