Stop HB70 in Committee

HB70 remains in the House Urban Affairs Committee after Tuesday’s hearing. It’s time to let the committee members hear from their constituents. Contact everyone you know who resides in their districts. We make it easy for you. Go to the HB70 page. You will find the committee members contact information and a map of their district. Be sure to contact members Gary W. Elkins & Jason Isaac.

By | 2017-07-28T05:18:32+00:00 July 27th, 2017|bill update|0 Comments

Who’s really for and against SB14?

It would seem that the very individuals SB14 (and other anti-tree legislation) purport to serve think they’re better off without the bill. In a hearing of the Business and Commerce Committee July 22, 176 of the scheduled witnesses said they were against the bill. How many were for it? That would be 16.

Of the 176, 82 percent were individuals speaking for themselves. Of the 16, 7 represented organizations, including real estate, construction and apartment interests.

And yet, the bill cleared committee on a 6-3 vote. Individual rights, eh?

Witness List & Analysis

By | 2017-07-28T04:41:12+00:00 July 27th, 2017|bill update|0 Comments

Now, who’d you say this Senate Bill 14 serves?

SB 14 (and companion legislation) has been touted as “a blow for individual rights” by the governor and the legislators who are carrying his water. You sure couldn’t tell it from testimony July 22 before the Business and Commerce Committee. Of 192 participants, 176 said they were against the bill, which prohibits local governments from practicing good environmental stewardship by outlawing efficient management of the Texas’ urban tree canopy.

For the bill? 16.

Of those 16 almost half represented organizations, including real estate, construction and apartment management organizations. Of those against, 82% were representing themselves.

Despite this overwhelming, opposition the bill cleared committee on a 6-3 vote.

So, If this legislation is designed to bolster individual rights, why are the vast majority of those who bothered to address the committee individuals … who apparently feel their personal rights are better served without SB14?

And what prompted the six members who voted to push the bill forward?

By | 2017-07-28T04:29:03+00:00 July 27th, 2017|property rights|0 Comments

SB14 Passed by the Senate

Senate Bill 14 was passed by the Senate Wednesday July 26, 2017. It is important to now focus on stopping its companion HB70 which is still in committee. A full breakdown of the Senate vote will be available on this page as soon as the state publishes the result.

By | 2017-07-28T04:01:45+00:00 July 26th, 2017|bill update|0 Comments

HB70 Committee Hearing Tuesday July 25

House Urban Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on HB70 Tuesday July25, 2017 at 10:30AM. HB70 removes local control over neighborhoods and prohibits local governments from practicing good environmental stewardship by outlawing efficient management of the Texas’ urban tree canopy. ACT NOW. What can you do?

  • Come to the committee meeting and testify.
  • Contact the committee members and tell them to vote no on HB70.

You can find a listing of all members and their contact information on the HB70 page.

By | 2017-07-24T15:50:47+00:00 July 24th, 2017|bill update|0 Comments

SB14 Passed in Committee

SB14 was approved in Business & Commerce Committee Sunday July 23, 2017.  The bill was amended and we are waiting the new version to be posted.  We will update the SB14 page when it is available.  The newer version of the bill still removes local control over neighborhoods and prohibits local governments from practicing good environmental stewardship by outlawing efficient management of the Texas’ urban tree canopy. The current tally of where Senators stand on this bill can be found on this page. The 6-3 vote breaks down as follows:

Against (For the Trees): Larry Taylor Dist11, John Whitmire Dist15 and Judith Zaffirini Dist21.

For (Against the Trees): Donna Campbell Dist25, Brandon Creighton Dist4, Craig L. Estes Dist30, Kelly Hancock Dist9, Robert Nichols Dist3, Charles Schwertner Dist5.

By | 2017-07-24T19:09:29+00:00 July 24th, 2017|bill update|0 Comments

SB14 Committee Hearing Saturday July 22

Senate Business and Commerce Committee will hold a public hearing on SB14 Saturday July22, 2017.  SB14 removes local control over neighborhoods and prohibits local governments from practicing good environmental stewardship by outlawing efficient management of the Texas’ urban tree canopy.  ACT NOW.  Contact the committee members and tell them to vote no on SB14.  You can find a listing of all members and their contact information on the SB14 page.

By | 2017-07-20T19:13:23+00:00 July 20th, 2017|bill update|0 Comments

The magic properties of our urban forest

Urban forest. It seems a complete contradiction — like jumbo shrimp or bureaucratic efficiency. But a recent study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests that almost 80 percent of U.S citizens live in urban ”forests,” which the agency defines as “all publicly and privately owned trees within an urban area.”

Those trees aren’t just sitting there looking pretty. They’re providing tangible benefits in improved air, water soil and even commerce to the entire community, according to studies referenced by the USDA.  Among them:

  • Two mature trees provide enough oxygen for one person to breathe over the course of a year.
  • The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.
  • For every 30 meters of trees, noise pollution is reduced by up to 50 percent.
  • Forests improve public health by keeping pollutants out of our lungs by trapping and removing dust, ash, pollen and smoke.
  • People shop more often and longer in well-landscaped business districts and are willing to pay more for parking and up to 12 percent more for goods and services.

 

By | 2017-07-17T14:54:53+00:00 July 16th, 2017|tree facts|0 Comments