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The bill would amend the Government Code to require the state climatologist to provide a report to the Legislative Budget Board on projected changes in weather, water availability,and climate variability across the state in a manner and for periods of time required by the bill. The bill would require the Legislative Budget Board to distribute the report to certain state agencies no later than March 1st of each even-numbered year for use in the strategic plans for those agencies.
The bill would require the strategic plans for those specific agencies to include an analysis of expected changes in the services provided by the agency due to projected changes in weather, water availability,and climate variability as determined by the state climatologist's report. The bill would also require strategic plans for those agencies to include a description of the means and strategies for meeting the agency's needs and managing the risks associated with the projected changes as required by the bill.
Based on information provided by the Office of the Governor, the Texas A&M University System Administration,and the Legislative Budget Board, it is assumed that duties and responsibilities associated with implementing the provisions of the bill could be accomplished utilizing existing resources.
HB 2571, if passed, would make two changes to the Government Code regarding the strategic plans adopted by various agencies regarding projected changes in weather (Section 2056). One of the changes (Section 2056.002) would be to significantly increase both the number of agencies required to participate in such planning activities and increase the requirements said agencies would be subject to. The second change (Section 2056.005) would create a whole new reporting requirement, namely that the state climatologist submit a climate report to the Legislative Budget Board, every two years (the details of the report are listed in the bill).
The entire regime surrounding strategic plans and reports on climate variability is problematic and not a legitimate role of the state. Even though HB 2571 has a nominal fiscal impact, it makes the regime all the more problematic by bringing in more state agencies and introducing new requirements. We are concerned about the potential future ramifications of these plans and HB 2571 makes the situation worse. As such we oppose the bill.