The fight to preserve the TBPG is alive and well. The past month has been very interesting. Things in Austin change very easily and quickly, without warning or explanation. I have been struggling to be able to explain the events of this past month without boring or confusing people. The solution is to break it up into several parts. The first part is a synopsis of the situation – past, present and future.

Our situation all started when the Governor’s office announced their desire to suspend the TBPG.  The Geoscience Community responded by forming a Task Force to formulate an appropriate rebuttal and proposal. The legislature included the proposed TBPG budget in the proposed State budget, signifying their desire to retain the TBPG and not suspended it. Legislation then was introduced to merge the TBPG with another agency.

After much discussion, the goals set forth by the Task Force were: 1) obtain SDSI Status, 2) Remain as we are, and 3) find a legislative solution that would retain the TBPG as a separate board but perhaps under an overarching agency. We discovered early on that goal #1 had no support in the Legislature. Goal #2 had its own set of perils because it was not what the Governor had requested. Finally Goal #3 seemed to be the only choice left for us since other legislation was drafted that would have affected us adversely.

The events of April have resulted in all potential legislation that might have adversely affected the TBPG no longer being in play. The House has passed the State budget which provides funding for the TBPG and the Senate has now done the same. So, we are now back to where we were at the beginning of the session, with the Governor’s desire to suspend the board. It is clear that the Legislature has no intention of endorsing that plan. Yet the Governor could still line item veto the TBPG’s budget.  However, conventional wisdom suggests that that is unlikely at this point. Discussions have taken place with the Governor’s representative to explain the negative effect that a line-item veto of the TBPG budget would have upon the state budget. Since this is Austin and the political mad season is upon us, this is by no means a guarantee. This means that we must continue to keep an eye on things and reach out and work with the Governor until he signs the State Budget.

The final outcome may be that the TBPG gets to survive another two years. But in the meantime there may be a few interim reports by the Legislature that might recommend actions that might not be so favorable to the TBPG and the profession. Therefore, TAPG will be proactive and look for solutions that will protect the TBPG and at the same time address the concerns of the Governor and any potential Interim Reports from the Legislature.

We need your help.  In order for us to be successful we need your membership and donations to pay for our lobbying efforts.  If you are not a member then please fill out the online application.  IF you know someone who is not a member have them join.  To make a donation you can go to our the TAPG website and make a donation.

Click Here to Donate 

 

 

 

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