Chapter 131 Communications Plan
TBA held its annual meeting and convention November 3-5, 2016, in Belton, Texas.
TBA president Chris Moore gave a quick overview of where the process of updating Chapter 131 of the Texas Agricultural Code stands. He made the following points:
- 2015 – TBA asked for volunteers to assist in drafting the proposed changes to the existing bee laws. Approximately 60 people at the annual convention responded.
- March 2016 – TBA held a meeting at the Texas A&M Bee Lab in College Station to discuss the proposed changes and their impact, and to gather input. Approximately 45 people responded.
- March-September 2016 – These 45 respondents reviewed the proposed changes and communicated via e-mail and conference call to wordsmith the draft.
- September 2016 – TBA submitted the draft to legislative counsel. Legislative counsel will prepare the final legislation wording; the final wording will then become a bill for the entire Texas legislature to consider during their January to May 2017 legislative session.
- November 2016 – TBA cannot discuss specifics of the proposed changes at this time since the final legislative wording has not been received from legislative counsel.
Chris introduced Roger Farr to discuss how TBA will keep its members informed of final legislative wording and the legislative process. Roger, via a handout to participants (attached), covered the chapter 131 communications plan which had three main points:
- Formation of a team and preparation of draft communication documents while awaiting final legislative counsel wording of the proposed bill.
- A plan to communicate to the TBA member clubs/associations, all TBA members, and the Texas beekeeping community at large. This chapter 131 communications plan includes:
- materials outlining current bee laws and the proposed changes,
- materials outlining the benefits to beekeepers and potential impacts and,
- a PowerPoint presentation for clubs/associations to use to communicate the changes.
- On-going communication and dialogue with beekeepers via two methods:
- an RSS feed on the TBA website which members can subscribe to (by going to texasbeekeeprs.org, clicking on the blog link, and then clicking the subscribe icon to be added to the list to receive updates when they are posted) and,
- a dedicated e-mail for questions – “firstname.lastname@example.org”
Chris Moore finished the presentation by asking for patience as we await the final draft from legislative counsel and for support from all Texas beekeepers to enact the needed changes to Chapter 131 of the Texas Agricultural Code.