AP NEWS

Fort Bend County Commissioner heads to state capitol

March 26, 2019

Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers wants authority to regulate public parks in the county, a power held by only one other county in Texas.

Meyers spoke to legislators Monday at the state capitol to discuss at least three bills Meyers wants passed into law.

One of the bills would give Fort Bend County officials the authority to enact and enforce rules at county parks and would criminalize acts of vandalism, according to Senate Bill 286, which was authored by Sen. Borris Miles.

Meyers spoke to members at the Intergovernmental Relations committee Monday and addressed his concerns.

“My precinct is the fastest-growing area in the state of Texas,” Meyers told the committee. “It has 90 percent of the 270,000 people living in unincorporated areas. We have a number of parks and we cannot regulate the vandalism, the debris people leave behind, the dogs running on our baseball fields… etc”

The bill would keep children who play on the fields safe, Meyers added.

According to the Senate Research Center, only counties with populations of more than 2.8 million people can criminally cite people for breaking rules at parks or levy fines against rule-breakers to enforce the rules.

If passed, SB 286 will allow Fort Bend County to designate rule violations in county parks as Class C misdemeanors.

Harris County is the only county in Texas with such power, Meyers said.

At a recent Fort Bend County Commissioner’s Court meeting, officials passed a resolution, which added support behind SB 286.

The bill was reported favorably and passed to the full senate, per Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr, chairman of the committee.

Meyers also backed State Sen. Paul Bettencourt’s bill, SB 1303, which addresses concerns by property owners in a city’s extra-territorial jurisdiction who may not receive notice when a municipality proposes annexation.

This bill would add transparency “to the public notices, public maps, and information available to taxpayers who face the situation where cities are attempting to add their property into the city’s extra-territorial jurisdictions,” according to Meyers.

The bill was reported favorably and passed to the full Senate.

The final bill Meyers addressed was house bill 16 - a pro-life bill that would require a doctor to perform life-saving care to a child born alive after an abortion or premature birth.

michelle.iracheta@chron.com