AUSTIN – Water is expected to become a major focus at the upcoming 85th Texas legislative session for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA).
The TSCRA will hold its policy conference in Austin, Sept. 28-30, where it will begin preparing for the upcoming legislative session. The conference will provide the opportunity for TSCRA members to discuss policies to be focused on during the session.
“The TSCRA policy conference is when we start planning for the upcoming legislative session,” Laramie Adams, director public affairs at TSCRA told the Southeastern Texas Record. "That will start Jan. 10. We are already working to think what might be coming up and what we need to be looking at as far as what effects land owners and the cattle industry.”
Several speakers and sessions are planned at the conference to highlight the topics of concern for the legislative session. Evan Smith, editor-in-chief and CEO of the Texas Tribune, is the featured speaker for the event and he will provide a forecast on the upcoming legislative session.
“The purpose of the policy conference is to have people come in and tell us from different perspectives what they thing will be coming up for the next session,” Adams said. “TSCRA is a very policy driven organization so what we do is we have committees that meet. We will determine if its really in line to take on some of these issues."
"Do we need to add something to our policy? Is there something that needs updating or needs to go away that isn’t an issue anymore? The purpose of this conference is really so we can plan for the legislative session.”
One of the main topics for 2016-17 water resources, always a sensitive issue for the TSCRA’s land owner and rancher membership as it is an increasingly scarce resource in Texas. While water has been an issue in past legislative sessions it is a top priority for the upcoming session as well.
The legislative session is also expected to focus on eminent domain issues and property rights for land owners.
“Property rights in general and the use of eminent domain - we’re always keeping a close watch on these issues," Adams said. "Water and private property rights are always at the forefront of our minds and our members’ minds.”
The policy conference is one of three conferences held by TSCRA. It also has a convention in April and a summer meeting. In addition, it holds gatherings in smaller towns to get in touch with its members and listen to their concerns. TSCRA also focuses on federal issues that affect its members.