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Representative Gutierrez Says Military Bases Must Be Protected If Annexation Bill Passes

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It is likely that the state legislature will pass some type of annexation reform, Representative Roland Gutierrez said.

The Senate passed a bill last week that would allow homeowners to vote on whether land will be annexed. That could be a problem for military installations, which wouldn’t be able to expand as readily.  

Gutierrez said that if that can’t happen, bases could be shut down or reduced in size under BRAC, or Base Realignment and Closure.

“The current legislation being proposed fails to take into account the preservation of our military bases,” Gutierrez said. “It’s threatening hundreds of thousands of jobs in Texas. Our Texas military department accounts for $150 billion in yearly revenue.”

 

Gutierrez said BRAC is looming; he expects the next round to begin in 2020. He expressed hope for a compromise wherein the military can establish buffer zones around its bases while leaving homeowners with a say in local annexation policy.

Carson Frame can be reached carson@tpr.org and on Twitter at @carson_frame
Louisa Jonas is an independent public radio producer, environmental writer, and radio production teacher based in Baltimore. She is thrilled to have been a PRX STEM Story Project recipient for which she produced a piece about periodical cicadas. Her work includes documentaries about spawning horseshoe crabs and migratory shorebirds aired on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. Louisa previously worked as the podcast producer at WYPR 88.1FM in Baltimore. There she created and produced two documentary podcast series: Natural Maryland and Ascending: Baltimore School for the Arts. The Nature Conservancy selected her documentaries for their podcast Nature Stories. She has also produced for the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s Distillations Podcast. Louisa is editor of the book Backyard Carolina: Two Decades of Public Radio Commentary. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her training also includes journalism fellowships from the Science Literacy Project and the Knight Digital Media Center, both in Berkeley, CA. Most recently she received a journalism fellowship through Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where she traveled to Toolik Field Station in Arctic Alaska to study climate change. In addition to her work as an independent producer, she teaches radio production classes at Howard Community College to a great group of budding journalists. She has worked as an environmental educator and canoe instructor but has yet to convince a great blue heron to squawk for her microphone…she remains undeterred.