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In 2014 the United States Congress adopted the Water Resources Reform and Development Act. Of 2014. Section 7001 (1) of this act authorizes the Sabine-Neches Waterway Improvement Project to enlarge the Sabine-Neches Waterway. House Bill 2819, if passed, would provide the Sabine-Neches Navigation District with clarity regarding its authority. The motivation behind the bill is to facilitate cooperation between the federal government and Texas as the project moves forward.
Specifically, House Bill 2819 would allow the Sabine-Neches Navigation District to enter an Agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers, issue time warrants to fulfill its obligations, enter into project-related contracts without the approval of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
House Bill 2819 is an identical companion to SB 1137, which has already passed both chambers and was sent to the Office of the Governor on May 5, 2015.
The second chamber sponsor is Senator Creighton.
Despite the complications which could potentially arise with the improvement of the Sabine-Neches Navigation District, the substantive effect of House Bill 2819 would be to allow a local government to more efficiently carry out its role in the improvement project. We see no real connection to our liberty principles that would lead us to support or oppose this bill and, as such, we are neutral regarding House Bill 2819.
We would like to point out though that the identical companion to House Bill 2819, Senate Bill 1137, has already passed both chambers and was sent to the Governor. It seems like a waste of the Legislature's time to put a bill on a calendar whose identical companion has already been sent to the Governor.