Texas Land Board Survives Sunset Review With Changes

State board that manages land and mineral rights including oil and gas, solar, wind and thermal geopower income will continue but there will be changes after Sunset report

June 10, 2019

The Texas School Land Board will continue for another 12 years but will need to make some changes in how it operates under new legislation signed by Governor Greg Abbott.

State Senator Kirk Watson‘s SB 608 extends the board’s life and adds members.

The board manages land and mineral rights — including oil and gas, solar, wind and thermal geopower income — for 13 million acres in the state, the money from which goes toward operation of the state Permanent School Fund.

The Sunset Advisory Commission, in its report on the Land Board, said it didn’t see any particular problems with the way the board is run, but it needs better investment processed, needs to strengthen transparency and oversight of those investments and should improve its coordination with the State Board of Education (SBOE).

The Land Board is overseen by the Texas General Land Office.

Under SB 608, the board will add three members, two appointed by the governor (with some collaboration with the SBOE) and with one of those two to be from a county with fewer than 20,000 residents.

The board will also be required to hold at least one joint meeting per year with the SBOE, and board members will be trained in investing for the Land Board.

The board will also be tasked with maintaining a system for quickly acting on complaints filed with the board.