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Relating to procedures for the management, sale, or lease of certain state-owned real property and the management or collection of related funds, including disputed oil and gas royalties owed to the state.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 903 amends multiple sections of the Natural Resources Code (NRC). The chapters affected by this legislation are Chapter 31 for the General Land Office; Chapter 32 for the School Land Board; Chapter 33 for the management of Coastal Public Land; Chapter 51 for land, timber, and surface resources; and Chapter 52 for oil and gas. Across these five different chapters, this legislation makes procedural changes for managing, selling, or leasing state property. Additionally this bill addresses disputes arising from oil and gas royalties.
SB 903 does not make any significant changes to current law. The author’s statement of intent says that this legislation makes clarifications and technical corrections. We concur with this assessment.
It is of note that this bill would remove the requirement for the commissioner of the General Land Office (GLO) to publicize news of an approved coastal boundary survey (CBS) in a local newspaper. However, this information is usually not relevant to the public at large, and the commissioner by law must already notify by other means the people a CBS does concern. Moreover, if the public is interested in obtaining information on a CBS, then they may obtain it from the GLO’s website. Considering these factors, this provision of the bill would result in no loss of government transparency.
Ultimately this is a clarification and cleanup bill which neither infringes nor affirms our liberty principles. We stand neutral on SB 903.