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  86R10766 JAM-F
 
  By: Lozano H.B. No. 1868
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the creation of the Texas Rural Water Advisory Council.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Title 3, Agriculture Code, is amended by adding
  Chapter 50D to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 50D. TEXAS RURAL WATER ADVISORY COUNCIL
         Sec. 50D.0101.  DEFINITION. In this chapter, "council"
  means the Texas Rural Water Advisory Council.
         Sec. 50D.0102.  COMPOSITION. (a) The council is composed of
  15 members appointed as follows:
               (1)  the executive director or the executive director's
  designee of the following entities shall appoint a representative
  for that entity:
                     (A)  the Parks and Wildlife Department;
                     (B)  the Texas Commission on Environmental
  Quality;
                     (C)  the Texas Department of Transportation; and
                     (D)  the State Soil and Water Conservation Board;
               (2)  the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture
  shall appoint a representative of that agency from the Office of
  Water;
               (3)  the commissioner of the General Land Office shall
  appoint a representative of that agency;
               (4)  the lieutenant governor shall appoint three
  members with each member to represent one of the following:
                     (A)  a rural county;
                     (B)  an irrigation district; and
                     (C)  a rural water supply corporation;
               (5)  the commissioner shall appoint three members with
  each member representing an interest or issue under consideration
  by the council and with the initial three members each representing
  one of the following:
                     (A)  the interests of pesticide applicators;
                     (B)  the interests of a statewide nonprofit
  organization focused on litter prevention, mitigation, and
  abatement; and
                     (C)  the interests of agricultural landowners;
  and
               (6)  the speaker of the house of representatives shall
  appoint three members with each member to represent one of the
  following:
                     (A)  a rural municipality;
                     (B)  a river authority; and
                     (C)  a drainage district.
         (b)  The council shall elect a presiding officer from among
  its members.
         (c)  Members of the council serve staggered terms of two
  years, with either seven or eight members' terms, as applicable,
  expiring February 1 of each year.
         (d)  Chapter 2110, Government Code, does not apply to the
  size, composition, or duration of the council.
         (e)  Service on the council by a state officer or employee is
  an additional duty of the member's office or employment. Members of
  the board are not entitled to compensation or reimbursement of
  expenses.
         (f)  The council may accept gifts and grants from any source
  to be used to carry out a function of the council.
         Sec. 50D.0103.  DUTIES. On an ongoing basis, the council
  shall assist the department in assessing the existence of,
  effectiveness of, or need for rural water initiatives in this state
  regarding the prevention, mitigation, and abatement of windblown
  and waterborne litter and illegal dumping in rural communities,
  pesticide runoff from agricultural lands, rainwater harvesting,
  rural water use, and other topics as requested by the department by:
               (1)  identifying and evaluating best management
  practices for municipal, commercial, industrial, and agricultural
  properties as they relate to the water initiatives assessed by this
  section, including the feasibility, costs, and benefits of those
  practices; and
               (2)  evaluating:
                     (A)  the feasibility and implementation needs of
  best management practices in different regions of the state;
                     (B)  the jurisdiction and effectiveness of law
  enforcement;
                     (C)  the role of state funding for incentive
  programs; and
                     (D)  the appropriate state oversight and
  community support efforts.
         Sec. 50D.0104.  MEETINGS. The council shall meet at least
  twice each year and may meet at other times considered necessary by
  the commissioner.
         Sec. 50D.0105.  STAFF. The council is administratively
  attached to the Office of Water within the department. The
  department shall provide the council with the staff necessary to
  carry out the council's duties under this chapter.
         Sec. 50D.0106.  ASSISTANCE OF STATE AGENCIES. On request by
  the council, a state agency shall provide assistance to the
  council, including necessary support staff.
         Sec. 50D.0107.  BEST PRACTICES GUIDE AND REPORT TO
  LEGISLATURE. (a) Not later than November 1 of each even-numbered
  year, the council shall:
               (1)  publish a best management practices guide for use
  by state agencies and counties, municipalities, and other political
  subdivisions responsible for initiatives identified and assessed
  by the council, including information on potential funding sources;
  and
               (2)  make a report to the lieutenant governor, the
  speaker of the house of representatives, and the legislative
  committees with primary jurisdiction over the issues described in
  the report.
         (b)  The report under Subsection (a) must include
  recommendations on additional legislative action, if any, that is
  needed to implement the recommended best management practices.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.