TSCRA Govt. Affairs Roundup: Private property rights, fever ticks, farm bill and return of WOTUS
This week TSCRA testified before the Texas Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations. The committee is researching an interim charge related to how cities impose regulations within their Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) and its effect on private property rights. Inclusion in an ETJ can be problematic, as zoning and other regulations imposed by municipalities can prevent ranchers and landowners from using their property as they see fit.
On Wednesday, TSCRA staff hosted a lunch and learn session for staff of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs. Though a number of topics were addressed, the main discussion centered around the Fever Tick Eradication Program. Senate staff had the opportunity to learn how the program came about, its importance to the cattle industry and the current status.
TSCRA also participated in a conference call this week with Congressman Jodey Arrington. Arrington is one of the conferees charged with hammering out differences between the House and Senate versions of the 2018 Farm Bill. The call provided an opportunity for industry representatives to discuss their priorities for the upcoming negotiations.
Finally, late Thursday, a South Carolina District Court issued an injunction that allows the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule to take effect immediately in 26 states, including Texas and Oklahoma. In response to the ruling, TSCRA President Robert McKnight, Jr. issued a press statement saying, “Today’s court ruling is a tremendous blow for ranchers and landowners who hoped the ill-conceived 2015 WOTUS rule had finally gone by the wayside. Cattle raisers in Texas, Oklahoma and 24 other states are again threatened by an Obama-era land grab that has the potential to regulate them out of business. In the three years since the rule change was proposed, ranchers and private property rights advocates nationwide have fought to maintain their rights in the face of this blatant federal overreach. We will continue the fight to protect the men and women who provide our country with a safe and abundant food supply and look forward to working with the current administration to finalize the repeal of the 2015 WOTUS rule.”