FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2001
AUSTIN, TX--Today the full Senate passed the Sunset Bill expanding the Coastal Coordination Council for 12 years.
Sen. Lucio had authored the companion version, Senate Bill 300, which was heard in the Senate Natural Resources Committee but left pending awaiting House Bill 906-- with slight variations-- to come to the Senate. This is a standard procedure of the legislative process.
The Coastal Coordination Council is the state agency that administers the coastal management programs of Texas. Established in 1991, the council is composed of seven state agency heads and four members appointed by the governor to represent agriculture, small businesses, local government and coastal citizens. Last year, the Sunset Commission conducted its review of the council and recommended its extension.
"I can definitely say that this advisory committee has been doing a great job and working hard to fulfill their responsibilities," said Sen. Lucio.
HB 906 keeps the council at 11members but adds a representative from the Sea Grant program of Texas A&M University as a non-voting member. The Sea Grant program is an important link to the educational aspect of coastal management, and its involvement with universities across the state will provide valuable expertise to this body."
"The measure removes the requirement that a member of the advisory committee be a resident of a coastal area," explained Sen. Lucio. "Anybody can have expertise about the coast, not just residents of that area. This would expand the opportunities for more residents of our state to participate in the decision-making process regarding coastal issues."
Three other Sunset recommendations now required in the bill are: meetings that regularly include public comment, consistency reviews (the Council's process of ensuring that proposed state and federal regulations are consistent with the coastal management program's goals and policies) and complaint filing.
Note: Staff member handling legislation is Sara Galvan, legislative intern.