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(The second chamber sponsor is Senator Estes.)
HB 1919, if passed, would modify the Parks and Wildlife Code (Section 66.007) by providing an exemption. Currently Texas law provides criminal penalties for actions which enlarge the range of certain aquatic invasive species. HB 1919 grants an exemption from these provisions is such an expansion takes place as a result species moving through water transfer, conveyance, storage, or distribution systems at no fault of the system operators.
We recognize the need for a legal regime surrounding invasive species. We also recognize the motivation behind the exemption which would be provided by HB 1919. We question though why such a bill is necessary, as the criminal penalties listed in current code seem unlikely to be pursued if invasive species expansion occurred without explicit enabling action on the part of water facility operators. Though of questionable necessity, HB 1919 does fit within the code as it stands, and does not negatively affect our principles. As such we are neutral on the bill.