AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) – Governor Abbott signed the William Thomas Heath Power Line Safety Act into law Friday afternoon, June 14, 2019.
ORIGINAL: The William Thomas Heath Power Line Safety Act has been passed by both chambers of the Texas Legislature and is now headed to the governor’s desk for his signature.
House Bill 4150 was filed in March by State Representative Chris Paddie from Marshall. The Senate companion bill was filed by State Senator Bryan Hughes of Mineola on the same day.
Nearly two years ago, three Hallsville boy scouts, Will Brannon, Thomas Larry and Heath Faucheux were electrocuted while sailing on Lake O’ the Pines.
Their sailboat’s mast came in contact with a low-hanging power line that crossed over the lake.
The legislation strengthens power line inspection requirements by the utilities that operate them and increases transparency through reporting non-compliance issues to the state.
In an emotional display of solidarity, the Texas House unanimously passed HB 4150 nearly three weeks ago.
Because the Senate did make some amendments during passage, HB 4150 will go back to the Texas House for another vote before Governor Greg Abbott can sign it into law.
The boys’ parents tell KETK, this legislation honors their sons, whose legacy will be to save lives.