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Relating to the continuation and duties of the Red River Boundary Commission.
SB 1289, if passed, would modify the Natural Resources Code (Section 12.056) which affects the Red River Boundary Commission. This Commission acts jointly with the state of Oklahoma to determine the proper boundary between Oklahoma and Texas in the Red River Area. The exact boundary is in question, due to the construction of Lake Texoma by the Army Corps of Engineers.
As the code currently reads, the Red River Boundary Commission is to redraw the boundary between Oklahoma and Texas in the Texoma area in order to negate any effects of the boundary in accordance with the Lake Texoma preconstruction survey, and any other and any other relevant historical documentation.
SB 1289 would amend the code by stating that in addition to these requirements, the new boundary must take into consideration a number of new requirements. SB 1289 lays out three new requirements. The first is that the new boundary must be on real property for which the Army Corps of Engineers was granted an easement, per Article XVI of the Texas Constitution. The second is that the new boundary must not affect any property rights associated with easements. The third is that there must be no net loss of property to either Oklahoma or Texas.
The bill also pushes the due date for the final report and the expiration of the section of code regarding the Commission back from 2015 to 2017.
The purpose and existence of the Red River Boundary Commission is a legitimate function of the state. We are also pleased that this section of code has a set expiration date (which would be extended by the bill). SB 1289 adds a number of additional requirements that the Commission must consider, all of which are also fall under legitimate government purview. Most notable though, is the proposed requirement that promotes private property rights. Though SB 1289 is mostly procedural, we support the bill on the grounds that it sustains property rights.