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HB 3163, if passed, would modify the Water Code (Section 36.060) by limiting the liability of certain groundwater conservation district members. Specifically, a groundwater conservation district board member would be immune from suit and immune from liability for official votes and official action.
We do not support legislation that protects government officials from liability for their actions when they act in their personal capacity or when they misuse or abuse their office.
However, this legislation is circumspect and narrowly crafted to allow ground water conservation district board members to act in their official capacity and cast votes on official business at open meetings without fear that those official actions or votes will result in a law suit. No public official would ever be able to vote on anything if their every vote opened them up to a lawsuit.
This legislation supports personal responsibility by allowing groundwater conservation district board members to cast official votes without having to make voting decisions based on whether or not their vote might get them sued.
For this reason we are updating our original position from oppose to support.