SENATOR-ELECT VAN TAYLOR AND REPRESENTATIVE LEACH FILE SIGNIFICANT WATER ACCESS LEGISLATION AS FIRST BILL FOR 84TH LEGISLATURE
On the first day to pre-file legislation, current State Representative and Senator-elect Van Taylor and Representative Jeff Leach pre-filed the "Opening Access to Water Act" as their first pieces of legislation for the 84th Legislative Session. This bill expedites the processing of water rights permits by cutting the bureaucratic red tape that currently prevents North Texas from obtaining additional water reservoirs. Taylor filed the bill in the Senate as SB 109 and Leach in the House as HB 201.
“In a state as diverse as Texas, access to water is an important and challenging issue,” said Taylor. “Here in North Texas, our biggest challenge with water is the long, cumbersome, and bureaucratic permitting process. With no time limit to issue permits, projects have been stalled over a decade waiting on bureaucratic approval. This lengthy process adds significant expense and uncertainty in our efforts to provide long-term water solutions. The Opening Access to Water Act is a commonsense piece of legislation that cuts unnecessary bureaucratic red tape to allow us to access the water we need to grow.”
Stated Leach, “Though great strides were made last session with respect to addressing our growing water infrastructure needs, one of the greatest challenges that still remains is the bureaucratic permitting process that hinders our ability to build reservoirs in an efficient and timely manner. While our water needs vary greatly across the state, the "Opening Access to Water Act" will have a direct, positive impact on our scarce water supply here in North Texas by expediting much needed projects through a more timely, reasonable and efficient system."
Both Taylor and Leach have championed access to water and streamlining the permitting process during their time in the Legislature. During the 83rd Legislature, both strongly supported legislation creating definitive timelines as well as easing the compliance for securing water reservoir permits and inter-basin water transfer permits.
A 7th generation Texan, local small businessman, and decorated Marine Officer, Taylor was first elected to serve West Plano in the House of Representatives in 2011 where he was widely recognized as a conservative leader. Van and his wife, Anne, married after his return from Iraq and are the proud parents of three young girls. Van and his family reside in Plano near the land his great-grandfather farmed during the Great Depression. In the Texas Senate, Taylor will represent the majority of Collin County and a portion of Dallas County.
Born and raised in Plano, Representative Leach graduated from Plano Senior High before attending Baylor University and went on to earn his law degree from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law. Jeff practices at the law firm of Gray Reed & McGraw, P.C and Dallas. He and his wife Becky, a small business owner, are the proud parents of three young children and are active members of Prestonwood Baptist Church. Leach represents portions of Plano, Allen, Richardson and Dallas in Collin County.
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