HB 520

Bill Information:
HB 520 (Michelle Beckley) https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=87R&Bill=HB520
Relating to the regulation by the Texas Department of Transportation of right-of-way landscaping installed by utilities.

Summary Timeline:
This is a bill introduced by Rep. Buckley. We were not consulted about this bill until a couple of days before it was set for hearing in the Transportation Committee. While TBA generally supports and encourages the planting of native and pollinator-friendly plants on roadsides, we have not had the opportunity to research and discuss the background and details of the bill.

Why it matters to TBA?
Nutrition is one of the cornerstones for honey bee health. Encouraging the growth of natural and nutritious forage on right-of-way land could be helpful in providing a variety of floral sources for honey bees, native pollinators, and even birds.

We have made some good contacts within TxDot in the past year and plan to meet with them after the end of this legislative session to discuss TBA member concerns expressed in the 2020 Resolutions about “roadside and public land best management practices which permit and encourage the full life cycle of flowering plants” as well as other related matters.

Update as of May 19, 2021:
HB 520 received a hearing in the Transportation Committee in March. It was left pending and will not advance this session.

Additional Resources:
Texas Parks & Wildlife : Texas Monarch and Native Pollinator Conservation Plan 2016 https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_rp_w7000_2070.pdf

TXDOT Roadside Vegetation Manual http://onlinemanuals.txdot.gov/txdotmanuals/veg/guidelines_for_levels_of_vegetation_management.htm