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Legislative NEWS

The 85th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature commenced on January 10, 2017.
TLMA joins a coalition of landowner associations to advocate for eminent domain reform as Texans for Property Rights. Find out more about our efforts and use the forum to share your own stories through the website at
Legislative ALERTS:

ALERT: HB 3198

ALERT: Eminent Domain Reform in the Texas House


Legislation TLMA is following:
HB 119 - Craddick / SB 676 - Seliger - Relating to the listing of separate interests in minerals in place in ad valorem tax appraisal records. Requires chief appraisers to rely on recorded instruments in the county records to determine mineral ownership interests rather than demanding the information from an oil and gas operator.

HB 129 - Craddick - Relating to the manner in which a payor of proceeds derived from the sale of oil or gas production is required to provide information to a royalty interest owner. Establishes that printing required information on a royalty check stub is the default, and companies must let royalty owners opt in to receiving the information online rather than requiring them to login to access the information and opt out of receiving it online.

HB 247 - Anchia / SB 568 - Rodríguez - Relating to the posting by the Railroad Commission of Texas on its Internet website of certain enforcement information. Requires the Railroad Commission to create a searchable database for violations, inspection reports, and enforcement actions of the Commission, and resolutions available to the public.

HB 464 - Anchia - Relating to the acceptance of political contributions by a member of the Railroad Commission of Texas and of political contributions made in connection with the office of railroad commissioner. Sets limits on when Railroad Commissioners may accept political contributions and prohibits them from accepting contributions from parties with contested cases before the Commission.

HB 1597 - Bell - Relating to the recovery of stranded oil, gas, or oil and gas from depleting Cenozoic Era reservoirs. Allows the state to force mineral owners into large units at unfavorable terms for enhanced-recovery operations in Cenozoic Era formations. TLMA opposes this bill as a taking of private property rights.

HB 1818 - Gonzales, Larry | Raymond | Darby | Thompson, Senfronia | Flynn / SB 300 - Taylor, Van - Relating to the continuation and functions of the Railroad Commission of Texas; providing for the imposition of fees. The Railroad Commission sunset bill continues the agency for 12 more years, requires the agency to develop and make public an annual plan for oil and gas monitoring and enforcement resources, creates a pipeline safety fee, and gives the agency authority over interstate pipeline safety.

HB 2621 - Darby - Relating to state and local tax incentives for certain enhanced oil recovery projects. Creates Enhanced Oil Recovery Reinvestment Zones to offer tax incentives for tertiary-recovery operations in Cenozoic Era formations. 

HB 2688 - Bonnen - Relating to the authority of the Railroad Commission of Texas to prevent waste of oil and gas. Allows the Railroad Commission to designate enhanced-recovery units in Cenozoic Era formations, and ties the fieldwide unitization to the Railroad Commission's prevention of "waste."

HB 2715 - Darby - Relating to the composition and use of money in the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund. Itemizes fees and penalties that, when collected, will be deposited into the Cleanup Fund.

HB 2932 - Anchia / SB 567 - Rodríguez  - Relating to the imposition of administrative, civil, and criminal penalties for violating certain statutes under the jurisdiction of, rules or orders adopted by, or licenses, permits, or certificates issued by the Railroad Commission of Texas; increasing criminal penalties. Increases the cap on penalties imposed by the Railroad Commission to more contemporary standards.

HB 3198 - Darby - Relating to liability for the additional tax imposed on land appraised for ad valorem tax purposes as qualified open-space land in the event of a change of use of the land as a result of oil and gas operations. Prohibits county appraisal districts from imposing five-year tax rollbacks, with interest, on land used for oil and gas production should an open-space exemption be removed. 

HB 3334 - Lozano - Relating to a restriction on the types of oil and gas wastes that may be disposed of in a surface pit without a permit issued by the Railroad Commission of Texas. Requires a permit for the surface-pit disposal of oil and gas waste that exceeds certain concentrations of chemicals.

HB 4231 - White - Relating to allocating a portion of oil and gas production tax revenue to the counties from which the oil and gas originated. Sets aside 2.5% of severance tax collected from oil and gas production in a county into a trust fund for the benefit of the county.

SB 177 - Taylor, Van - Relating to unit operations for oil, gas, or oil and gas production from depleting reservoirs or carbon dioxide storage; authorizing a fee. Allows the state to force mineral owners into large units at unfavorable terms for enhanced-recovery operations and for carbon dioxide sequestration. TLMA opposes this bill as a taking of private property rights. 

SB 189 - Uresti - 
Relating to notice of an application for a permit to drill certain injection wells within a certain distance of a groundwater conservation district. Requires notice be sent to a groundwater conservation district of an application to drill an ASR injection well within 10 miles of the GCD's boundary.

SB 555 - Kolkhorst - Relating to the entry of real property under a claim of eminent domain authority; providing a criminal penalty. Creates a state-jail-felony offense for a person who enters or attempts to enter property claiming to have eminent-domain authority when they do not.

SB 569 - Rodríguez - Relating to a review and report by the Railroad Commission of Texas regarding the oversight and enforcement of unpermitted discharges of oil and gas waste or of other substances or materials associated with certain operations or activities regulated by the commission. Directs the Railroad Commission to study its rules regarding the unpermitted discharge of oil and gas waste and the enforcement penalties for such.

SB 1514 - Estes - Relating to the eligibility of land for appraisal for ad valorem tax purposes as qualified open-space land if the land is used for certain oil and gas operations. Establishes that beginning oil and gas operations on open-space land does not disqualify the land for continued open-space tax exemption.

SB 1803 - Miles - Relating to the financial security requirements for operators of oil and gas wells. Updates bond amounts for oil and gas operators for the first time since the bond amounts were set in 1991.

SB 1817 - Burton - Relating to the deposit of the gas utility pipeline tax to the credit of the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund. Requires gas utility taxes collected be deposited into the Cleanup Fund.

SB 2100 - Garcia - Relating to a study of the fees charged by the Railroad Commission of Texas. Directs the Railroad Commission to evaluate its ability to fund its operations using fees.

SB 2120Seliger - Relating to the continuation of the Railroad Commission of Texas. Continues the Railroad Commission for 12 more years with no changes.

SJR 51 - Estes
Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for exceptions to the requirement that open-space land be devoted to certain purposes for ad valorem taxation based on the land's productive capacity. Constitutional amendment that allows for flexibility in open-space land designations.

Texans for Property Rights Eminent Domain Bills Filed:

HB 2684 - Burns - Relating to the acquisition of property by an entity with eminent domain authority; waiving certain sovereign and governmental immunity. Comprehensive eminent-domain reform that includes seven key points of improvement.

HB 2694 - Kacal / SB 742 - Kolkhorst - Relating to requirements for a bona fide offer for the acquisition of property by an entity with eminent domain authority. Requires property-owner protections as a part of bona fide offer.

SB 740 - Kolkhorst - Relating to the acquisition of property by an entity with eminent domain authority. Addresses five major areas of eminent-domain reform to protect landowners.

SB 741 - Kolkhorst  | Birdwell - Relating to compensation to a property owner for property acquired by an entity with eminent domain authority. For valuation purposes in condemnation proceedings, allows the admission of evidence showing prices paid for pipeline or power line rights-of-way that were negotiated, not condemned.

Contacting Legislators:

Click here to find your elected officials using your address.

Texas House Committee on Energy Resources
Chair: Drew Darby
Vice Chair: Charles "Doc" Anderson
Greg Bonnen
Terry Canales
Travis Clardy
Tom Craddick
Bobby Guerra
Jason Isaac
Phil King
Stan Lambert
Brooks Landgraf
Leighton Schubert
Armando Walle
Clerk: Link Browder
Room: EXT E2.162
Phone: (512) 463-0774

Texas Senate Committee on Natural Resources & Economic Development
Chair: Craig Estes
Vice Chair: Judith Zaffirini
Konni Burton
Sylvia R. Garcia
Kelly Hancock
Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa
Don Huffines
Borris L. Miles
José Rodríguez
Kel Seliger
Van Taylor
Clerk: Paige McGhee
Room: Sam Houston Building, 325
Phone: (512) 463-0390

For links to legislative calendars and agenda items, click here.

You can find the homepage for the Texas Legislature here, or use these links for the State House and the State Senate homepages.

Past Legislative Sessions:

Click here to see information about the 2015 Legislative Session, and visit TLMA Legislative Action for a history of TLMA legislative activities since its formation.