Cattle Raisers Government Affairs Weekly Roundup: Texas Special Session, NAFTA, Transportation Bill
As a function of TSCRA’s commitment to representing ranchers and landowners in Texas and across the Southwest, our governmental and public affairs office is hard at work tackling the issues important to the beef industry. The association’s team of knowledgeable and experienced representatives are out in the field both locally and nationally to defend landowner rights and the ranching way of life. Each week we will keep TSCRA members informed and up-to-date on the activities and issues taking place in Austin, Washington D.C. and around the globe. This week includes monitoring the Texas special session in Austin, NAFTA negotiation news and transportation bill language.
The Texas Legislature began its Special Session on Tuesday. As of Friday morning, 374 bills had been filed for consideration. TSCRA staff are currently monitoring 84 of those bills, primarily regarding municipal annexation reform and property tax issues.
TSCRA has also been monitoring developments with the modernization of NAFTA. As reported earlier in the week, the U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, announced his key objectives for renegotiating the trade deal. View TSCRA’s press release here. The U.S. Congress also began holding hearings on the NAFTA negotiations this week with a House Ways and Means hearing on Tuesday. Video from hearing can be viewed here.
TSCRA also weighed in with members of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee prior to a critical vote on the 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Funding Bill. The measure included language supported by TSCRA to delay the implementation of new electronic logging devices for livestock haulers. The committee voted to approve the bill late Monday night.
TSCRA staff will continue to monitor and engage on municipal annexation and property tax issues during the Texas Legislature’s Special Session now that Gov. Greg Abbott has officially opened the call to address those topics.
TSCRA will also monitor additional developments with the modernization of NAFTA. The House Agriculture Committee announced a hearing on the subject, scheduled for 9 a.m. CDT on Wednesday.