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84th Texas Legislature

January 13, 2015- June 1, 2015 



Please TAKE ACTION this WEEK – Friday, May 15th


SB 474 will die without your grassroots action!  The bill must be voted from committee on Monday and set on the House Floor for a vote, NEXT WEEK!!!!

SB 474 protects landowners from being offered less than fair market value when their land is being condemned.

The bill requires condemnors to pay the landowner's attorney fees and other costs if the court awards the landowner more than 20% above the final offer made by the condemning entity.  
This bill protects landowners by strengthening their ability to negotiate fair compensation. Some condemners knowingly offer less than fair market value assuming the landowner cannot afford litigation.

SB 474 ensures that condemnors are penalized for not negotiating in good faith with the landowner.

When landowners are forced to go through condemnation, they are never really made whole because of the attorney fees and other costs they must pay to receive fair compensation. 

Landowners deserve better protection of their constitutional right to receive fair compensation.

Please contact your State Representative to encourage members of the House Land and Resource Committee to support SB 474.

Members of the House Land and Resource Committee include:
Representative Joe Deshotel – Chair

Phone: 512.463.0662
Representative Ed Thompson - Vice Chair

Phone: 512.463.0707
Representative Cecil Bell

Phone: 512.463.0650
Representative Matt Krause

Phone: 512.463.0562
Representative Eddie Lucio III

Phone: 512.463.0606
Representative Scott Sanford

Phone: 512.463.0356
Representative John Cyrier

Phone: 512.463.0682


House Land and Resource Committee: 512.463.1623


The Texas Legislature meets in a regular session every two years, convening on the second Tuesday in January of every odd-numbered year. These biennial sessions are limited to 140 days. The governor can also call additional special sessions as necessary, which cannot exceed 30 days. 


Your Rural Legislative Alert has begun on a weekly basis with a Rural Bill Tracking Chart reviewing the relevant rural bills that have been filed in the areas of community/economic development, environmental, water, transportation and workforce. Lt. Governor Patrick has named the Senate Committees and Speaker Strauss has named the House Committees. 

Look for your Rural Legislative Alert on a weekly basis.  If you are not currently receiving your Alert, please contact us at and let us know you would like to receive the Alert!

Follow us now on Twitter   @ARCITexas or if you are not currently on Twitter.


 ARCIT board members met with statewide elected officials in Austin on Thursday, April 30 to discuss issues important our membership and promoting rural Texas.  This picture was taken with Commissioner Sid Miller, Department of Agriculture, following our discussion with him.  

From Left to Right: Lucinda Saxon, Vicky Rudy, City Manager, City of Oak Ridge North, Judge Mike Sutherland of Burleson County, Commissioner Sid Miller, Texas Department of Agriculture, Chandra Spenrath, Executive Director, El Campo City Development Corp., Judge Byron Ryder of Leon County, and Kara Mayfield, Executive Director for ARCIT.  

Texas Department of Agriculture: Statewide Rural Advisory Council

ARCIT's main initiative of a Statewide Rural  Health and Economic Development Advisory Council was passed in the 82nd Special Session of the Texas Legislature.  The Council was placed in the TX Dept of Agriculture.  

Composition of the new Statewide Rural Health & Economic Development Policy Council:

1 Rural County Judge
1 Rural Local Official
1 Higher Public Education Institute with a specialty in rural health and econ devo
1 Rural State Senator  
1 Rural State Representative
4 Public members with expertise in rural health care or economic development


*U.S. and Texas flags flying at the state capitol buildingal photo © Sarah (sarowen) on Flickr - noncommercial use 


Rural Economic Development Committee

Jose E. Martinez
Jennifer Meyer
Kenny Watkins
Rex Klentzman
Dan Redd
Ken Knight
Sunny K. Philip
James Wise
Tony Guidroz
Roger Feagley
Rene Montalvo

Bleyl & Associates*
Bleyl & Associates*
Borger EDC
La Feria
Sweeny EDC
San Saba
Sulphur Springs/Hopkins Co. EDC
UT Pan American*


Community Development Advisory Committee
Kathy Keane
Mirenda White-Harris
Sam Watson
Sunny K. Philip
Tony Guidroz
Frances Jammer
Kerbow & Associates
Kermit City
La Feria
San Saba
Sweeny EDC

New members to the Local Official Advisory Committee to TCEQ  Welcome aboard!!

Jennifer Meyer AEP SWEPCO
Kenny Watkins Bleyl & Associates

Note:  Advisor/Non-Voting Member

If you wish to serve on an advisory committee that meets in Austin at least twice a year with a minimum of one teleconference, email us at and let us know your interest!


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 ARCIT wants to hear what issues are important to your area? 

Contact the ARCIT Office today at!



  Would you like to help sponsor a meeting in your area?  You can contact ARCIT Executive Director Kara Mayer Mayfield at for more information.  Together we are making a difference! 



Grant Works, Inc.
Traylor & Associates, Inc.
BCL of Texas
Bleyl & Associates
Century Link
Kerbow & Associates
Langford Community Management Services
Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP
Oakridge North EDC

Public Management, Inc.
ussell & Rodriguez, LLP
Raymond K. Vann & Associates
Waste Management Inc.

Welcome New Members!

  • Berryville
  • Borger EDC
  • Boyd
  • City of Simonton
  • City of Wallis Development Corporation
  • Cleveland EDC
  • Comanche EDC
  • Crockett City
  • Development Corp. of Needville
  • East Bernard
  • East Mountain
  • Forsan
  • Goldsmith
  • Graham EDC
  • Ingleside
  • Jacksboro EDC
  • Oak Ridge North
  • Pettus MUD
  • Snyder
  • Waskom
  • Woodsboro



Association of Rural Communities in Texas
Kara Mayer Mayfield, Executive Director
1122 Colorado Street, Suite 102
Austin, TX 78701
ph 512.788.1819