Thursday, April 28, 2005

SB 3 Overboard

On April 3, Lite Guv David Dewhurst along with Senate Natural Resources Chairman Ken Armbrister announced a comprehensive water management bill. The bill was the product of long negotiations with everybody from water marketers to environmentalists. Dewhurst made a point of saying that this legislation was of great importance to him and that his designation of it with the low number of Senate Bill 3, showed that it was a priority.
Despite all the fanfare, it seems like the bill is going nowhere fast. Although it has passed out of Armbrister's committee it has yet to be heard on the Senate floor. Furthermore, the House has been, ahem, throwing cold water on the effort.
Asked about its fate today, Rep. Robert Puente (D-San Antonio) who is chairman of the House Natural Resources committee was less than optimistic. "It was filed late," noted Puente. "It was late to come out of committee. It's a very controversial bill with the fees."
Does he think it can be passed this session?
"It's very late, we have a lot of work to do."
To our ears, that's Legislative Speak for "not likely."