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Archive for January 28th, 2011

State Rep. Lon Burnam filed legislation (House Bill 977) that would have state agencies develop plans to address the implications their policies might have on climate change.

Burnam’s bill is similar to a measure he offered last session. The bill would have 12 entities in the state each publish a plan assessing that entity’s role with respect to climate change.  For example, the Department of Agriculture would “conduct a vulnerability assessment” of the state’s farmland and the Water Development Board would “devise a plan outlining its role in managing the changing water resources.”

All good ideas, we’ll see how far this makes it in this political climate.

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Municipally owned utility companies could lose their exemption to parts of the Texas Open Meetings Act under a bill filed by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Steve OgdenThe bill was filed in response to a dispute between the City of Bryan and its publicly operated electric company.

Last year City of Byran officials asked Bryan Texas Utilities to provide them with the compensation packages for 13 top executives as part of their budget preparations. The utility refused, citing a provision in the 1999 electric market restructuring law that allows them to withhold some information if it would put publicly owned companies at a competitive disadvantage.

Senate Bill 366 would strip that exemption from the government code.  Ogden filed the bill  just days after the utility relented and agreed to release part of the information that city officials were requesting. The Bryan-College Station Eagle also filed numerous open records requests for the information.

We’ll be watching this bill with some interest.

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