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This is an accelerated appeal from an order denying the City of Aspermont’s plea to the jurisdiction. Rolling Plains Groundwater Conservation District filed suit against Aspermont after Aspermont failed to file monthly reports and refused to pay export fees for the water that it transported out of the district. Rolling Plains sought to recover monetary damages from Aspermont for overdue transportation/export fees, late fees, penalties of $10,000 per day per violation, attorney’s fees, and various costs. Rolling Plains also requested that the trial court construe the applicable legislation; declare that Aspermont is subject to and must comply with the water conservation rules and regulations; and enforce the rules requiring that Aspermont pay the requested fees, penalties, and costs. Aspermont filed a plea to the jurisdiction in which it asserted sovereign immunity, urging that it was immune from the suit filed by Rolling Plains and that immunity had not been waived. We affirm in part and reverse and render in part.

In the sole issue on appeal, Aspermont argues that the trial court erred in denying its plea to the jurisdiction. Sovereign immunity, encompassing both immunity from suit and immunity from liability, protects the state and its political subdivisions, including cities, from lawsuits for money damages. Reata Constr. Corp. v. City of Dallas, 197 S.W.3d 371, 374 (Tex. 2006). Sovereign immunity from suit bars a suit against the state or its political subdivisions unless immunity has been waived or the legislature has expressly consented to the suit, which it may do by statute or resolution. Id.; Tex. Natural Res. Conservation Comm’n v. IT-Davy, 74 S.W.3d 849, 853-54 (Tex. 2002). As a general rule, courts in Texas have deferred to the legislature to waive sovereign immunity. City of Galveston v. State, 217 S.W.3d 466, 469 (Tex. 2007); Reata, 197 S.W.3d at 375; IT-Davy, 74 S.W.3d at 857. Courts may not construe a statute as constituting a waiver of sovereign immunity “unless the waiver is effected by clear and unambiguous language.” TEX. GOV’T CODE ANN. § 311.034 (Vernon Supp. 2007). Because immunity from suit deprives a trial court of subject-matter jurisdiction, it can be raised for the first time on appeal and is reviewed de novo by an appellate court. Reata, 197 S.W.3d at 374; IT-Davy, 74 S.W.3d at 855.

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