**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.**
It was a busy week for ag law news. Here are a few of the stories making headlines this week.
* This week Governor Perry announced his three appointees to the Texas Water Development Board. The make-up of the Board changed after the passing of House Bill 4, which modified the board from 6 volunteer members to 3 members employed by the state. Each member will be paid $150,000 per year. Governor Perry’s appointees are Chairman Carols Rubinstein, Mary Ann Williamson, and Bech Bruun. Rubinstein was previously appointed by Perry in 2009 as a Texas Commission on Environment Quality Commissioner. Williamson previously served in the Texas Lottery Commission. Bruun currently works as Governor Perry’s Director of Governmental Appointments. To read more about the appointees, click here.
* An interesting bipartisan bill was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate that would require the Department of Agriculture to review any proposed rule or regulation from the EPA if the proposed regulation would affect agriculture. The Review EPA’s Language on Agriculture and Thoroughly Engage bill (“RELATE with the Farm Act of 2013”) was introduced by senators from Illinois and West Virginia, would allow the USDA to seek input and recommendations from farmers on proposed EPA regulations. According to Illinois Senator Mark Kirk, “Farmers know better than the EPA how regulations affect them, but all too often the EPA fails to consider the impact its rules will have on rural America.” If passed, the bill would require the Secretary of Agriculture to review and proposed regulations that might have a significant impact on a substantial number of agricultural entities and to do an economic impact statement, hold a review panel to make findings and then publish the comments. Read the text of the bill here. A similar bill has also been introduced in the house and passed by voice vote, and can be viewed here.
* At a recent Rio Grande Valley Citizens Forum, tensions ran high when the topic turned to the battle for water between the United States and Mexico. I have previously blogged about the ongoing dispute between the countries as it relates to water in South Texas. To read a report of the comments made at the Forum, click here.
* Several news outlets have reported on the AQHA cloning decision that you previously read about on this blog. Click here to read an article from Fox News that includes quotes and arguments from both sides of the lawsuit and here to read an article from ESPN on how the decision could potentially impact thoroughbred racing.
* Another battle for water between states may be headed to the United States Supreme Court. Last week, Florida Governor, Rick Scott, announced that Florida will file a lawsuit in the Supreme Court against Georgia asking the Court to allocate water between Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Read Governor Scott’s press release here. The Supreme Court has previously been reluctant to get involved in these type of cases, and has only actually apportioned water between states in three cases, the last occurring in 1945.
* Lastly, here is a little humor for the end of you work week. I loved this blog called “How to spend 10 years married to a farmer.” My bet is that any of you who are married to one will find yourself agreeing with more than one of these! Have a great weekend.