Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Bid Farewell to the “Dead Bills”

Matt Stamey Staff photographer, Gainesville Sun /Landov

Only a small fraction of bills filed at the state legislature are ever passed into law.

For the past six months, StateImpact Texas covered dozens of bills as they moved through the Texas legislature. In that time, we’ve seen a lot of measures fall by the wayside.  Remember reading up on a bill here, and wondering where it ended up? Well, we’ve compiled a list of the so-called “dead bills” covered in the past by StateImpact Texas.


HB 55, by Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, would have ended tax exemptions to natural gas drillers in the state. Burnam filed a similar bill last legislative session that fared the same fate as this one.

Rep. Van Taylor, R-Plano, filed HB 100, which he said would reduce Co2 emissions by making carbon gasses more valuable to drillers looking to extract more oil and gas from unitized fields. It, along with HB 1496, which Taylor said would change the state’s eminent domain rules, was left pending in committee in March.

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, had filed a bill, SB 941, that would require drillers to use “protective measures” to prevent road damage. It never made it out of the Senate Natural Resources Committee. A similar bill, SB 300, which would fix roads with money coming from the state’s Rainy Day Fund, also died.

HB 379, by Rep. Lon Burnham, D-Fort Worth, would have assessed a fee on barrels of waste put into commercial injection wells.  SB 1249 by Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, would have sped up the process for fixing abandoned or faulty wells that might have caused environmental or property damage. It was left pending in the Senate Natural Resources Committee.


Both the House and Senate versions of a bill that would provide cash incentives for recycling many beverage containers as a way to reduce pollution have died.

HB 3119, which would stop private lawyers who help counties sue polluters, was left pending in the House Committee on Environmental Regulation back in April.

HB 791,  by Rep. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, had a slew of new rules regarding the disposal of radioactive waste. None of those will be made into law after this legislative session. The measure never made it out of committee.

HB 1652, introduced by Rep. Borris L. Miles, D-Houston, would protect landowners of community gardens from liability against accidents on the garden. The bill was left pending in a house Committee.

Correction: and earlier version of this piece said that HB 55 would have created tax exemptions for drillers. In fact, it would have ended existing exceptions.

Olivia Gordon is a reporting intern with StateImpact Texas.


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