TEXAS TECH BILL BRIEFS – 2003

 

78th Regular Session – 05-16-03

 

Bill No.

Sponsor

Caption – SENATE BILLS

 

 

 

SB 1

 

HB 1

Bivins,

Amarillo

Heflin,

Houston

Relating to the appropriations of money for the 2004-2005 biennium.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

General Appropriations Act.

 

 

 

SB 4

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Relating to the establishment and operation of the Texas school fund student loan program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 56.451—56.464.  This bill would establish the Texas school fund loan program to provide no-interest loans to eligible students who attend all public and private or independent institutions of higher education in this state.  The Coordinating Board would administer the program, determine the repayment and other terms of the program and, in consultation with student financial aid officers, adopt any rules necessary to implement the program.  A student would be eligible if the student is a Texas resident who graduated from a public or accredited private high school not earlier than 2002-2003 school year with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0, or who received an associate degree not earlier than May 1, 2005, with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 or be an undergraduate student at an eligible institution with a grade point average of 3.0.  The student must be enrolled in at least three-fourths of a full course load as an undergraduate and be eligible for federal financial aid, except that a person is not required to meet any financial need requirements applicable to a particular federal financial aid program.  The bill establishes the criteria for continuing eligibility, a waiver of course load requirement and loan deferment or forgiveness.  The loan proceeds may be used to pay any usual and customary cost of attendance at an eligible institution including tuition, fees, books, and room and board.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 11

Shapiro,

Addison

Relating to homeland security.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines agency as any governmental entity.  The bill also defines critical infrastructure to include all public or private assets, systems, and functions vital to the security, governance, public health and safety, economy, or moral of the state.  The bill directs the Governor to develop a statewide homeland security strategy that improves the state’s ability to detect and deter threats to the homeland security, respond to homeland security emergencies, and recover from homeland security emergencies.  The bill establishes the Critical Infrastructure Protection Council that consists of twenty appointed or elected officers of state government.  None representing higher education are included.  The council is required to advise the Governor on the development and coordination of a statewide critical infrastructure protection strategy, the implementation of the Governor’s homeland security strategy and other measures relating to the planning, development, coordination, and implementation of initiatives to promote the Governor’s homeland security strategy.  The bill does direct that the Department of Public Safety to provide facilities and administrative support for the Texas Infrastructure Protection Communications Center.  See SB 869, Shapiro and HB 9, Flores.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 12

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Relating to health care liability claims.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends the statutes relating to medical malpractice claims by placing a $250,000 cap on noneconomic losses, allowing consideration of collateral source benefits, structuring payments for future losses, and placing limitations on contingency fees for attorneys.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 19

Ratliff,

Mt. Pleasant

Relating to audit and other related functions of the State Auditor and of certain other state entities.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

 

 

 

 

SB 26

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Relating to the establishment of a pilot program for retention of students in higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Texas Education Code by adding Section 51.9356.  This bill would require the Coordinating Board to develop a pilot program called the “Freshman Success Program” that will focus on retention of high-risk students who are first generation in college, low-income and/or educationally under-prepared by providing proactive intervention modalities to meet the demands of college.  The pilot program study shall identify the potential benefits and advantages of such a program, evaluate and make recommendations concerning this type of program and indicate the impact on the state higher education goals.  The report is due to the legislature before October 1, 2004.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 27

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Relating to the establishment of a no interest college loan program to provide students who maintain a B average and graduate within four years.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Subchapter Q.  This bill would establish the Texas B On-Time Student Loan Program.  This would be a zero percent loan program administered by the Coordinating Board for Texas residents enrolled in undergraduate programs who are graduates of a Texas public or accredited private high schools who graduated not earlier than 2002-2003 school year and who graduated with at least a B cumulative grade point average.  The student may enroll in either a public or a private or independent institution of higher education.  The program would be capped at four years or 150 semester credit hours.  The student would be required to make steady academic progress toward an undergraduate degree or certificate and maintain at least a B cumulative grade point average.  The loan proceeds could be used to cover any usual and customary education-related expense including tuition and fees, books, and room and board.  The amount of the loan for the student would be an amount equal to the tuition and fees, excluding incidental fees, at a public institution of higher education.  For a private or independent institution of higher education, the amount of the loan would be equal to the average tuition and fees, excluding incidental fees, charged to a student.  Beginning with the fall semester, 2003, an eligible student would be required to have graduated from a Texas high school with a diploma designated as college preparatory by the Texas Education Agency.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 28

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Relating to the collection and maintenance of bacterial meningitis immunization records by public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.9192.  This bill would require the Coordinating Board, in consultation with the Texas Department of Health, to prescribe procedures by which each institution of higher education shall request and make reasonable efforts to obtain from each new student information as to whether the student has been immunized against bacterial meningitis, when the student received the immunization, and the name and address of the health care provider that administered the immunization.  If the institution of higher education administers a bacterial meningitis immunization to a student, the institution would be required to maintain a record of the immunization.  In both cases, the institution is also required to request that the student provide written consent to the release of this confidential information.  Each institution shall retain a record of information collected and a copy of the consent form obtained for not less than ten years after the student first enrolled at the institution.  This would apply to each first-time student at an institution of higher education, including a student who transfers to the institution from another institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 29

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Relating to meetings of governing boards of public institutions of higher education held outside this state and to the manner in which certain meetings of those boards may be held.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize the governing board of an institution of higher education to hold an open or closed meeting by videoconference.  The board would be allowed to hold a telephone conference call or videoconference if the governing board determines that, for an academic or other policy reason, it is appropriate for a quorum of the board to meet at a physical location outside the geographical boundaries of the state, including a location in a foreign country.  If a meeting is held outside the boundaries of the state, the meeting notice must specify the physical location where a quorum of the governing board will meet and the reason for which the governing board determined to meet at that location.  For a videoconference meeting, each part of the meeting that is required to be open to the public shall be visible and audible to the public at the location specified in the notice, be recorded in an audiovisual medium that records the meeting substantially as presented, and have two-way audio and video communications with each participant.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 33

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Relating to the right of an employee to time off from work to participate in certain activities of the employee’s child.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill authorizes an employee to use up to ten hours of leave in each twelve month period to meet with the employee’s child’s teacher, counselor, or principal.  Each employee is entitled to one hour in each calendar month.  See HB 50, Turner.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB 55

 

HB 273

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Naishtat,

Austin

Relating to forensic evidence training for students enrolled in certain medical or nursing degree programs.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.310.  This bill requires each institution of higher education that offers a program leading to a doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathy degree or to a degree that satisfies the educational requirement for licensure for a registered nurse to establish a course in forensic evidence collection and require completion of the course as a prerequisite to receiving the degree.  The bill requires the Coordinating Board to establish standards for the course.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 56

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Relating to the creation of rural health centers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill requires the Office of Rural Community Affairs, with cooperation from the Texas Department of Health, the Health and Human Services Commission, the statewide rural healthcare system designated under Chapter 845, Insurance Code, and public health departments in rural counties to establish regional health centers in rural counties to coordinate the delivery of health care to residents of rural counties.  The bill requires each agency to provide services covered by programs of the agency and to contract with health care professionals who are eligible to serve residents that are enrolled in federal and agency programs to work from each regional health center.  The bill requires that at least three or four sites be established before January 1, 2004.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 84

 

HB 1083

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Baxter,

Austin

Relating to the prompt production of public information under the public information law.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would define “promptly” to mean as soon as possible under the circumstances, that is, within a reasonable time, without delay.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 85

 

HB 18

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Corte,

San Antonio

Relating to excepting military discharge records from required public disclosure and limiting the persons to whom the information may be disclosed.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill creates a new exception to the Public Information Act for a military veteran’s Department of Defense Form DD-214 or other military discharge record.  Same bill as HB 165, Uresti.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 86

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to the eligibility of a high school graduate for automatic admission to an institution of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 51.803 and 51.807.  This bill would limit the top ten percent automatic admission statute by requiring that the student complete the recommended or advanced high school program or an equivalent curriculum before being entitled to automatic admission for being in the top ten percent of the student’s high school graduating class.  This requirement would not apply to an applicant who graduated from a public high school that does not offer the recommended or advanced high school curriculum if the school has received a waiver of those curriculum requirements from the Texas Education Agency.  See HB 933, Dutton and HB 2507, Morrison.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 87

 

HB 391

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Pitts,

Waxahachie

Relating to the participation of institutions of higher education in electronic government.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 2055.001 and 2177.0001; repeals Sections 2055.002 and 2177.005.  This bill would eliminate the permissive authority for institutions of higher education to participate in the statewide electronic programs.  The bill would require institutions to participate in the electronic government program and the electronic procurement program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2004.

 

 

 

SB 89

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to compensatory time for persons governing state agencies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would prohibit accrual of compensatory time for the administrative head of a state agency, including an executive director.  State agency is defined to include an institution of higher education.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 95

 

HB 425

West, R.

Dallas

Christian,

Center

Relating to requiring a state agency to consider legislative intent during the process of adopting an agency rule.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require each state agency before giving notice of intention to adopt a rule to determine whether the proposed rule is consistent with the legislature’s intent in enacting or otherwise affecting the law and informing each author and sponsor of the legislation that the rule is being considered.  Each state agency would be required to deliver a copy of the proposed rules to each member of the legislature.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 104

 

HB 6

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Allen,

Grand Prairie

Relating to the regulation and enforcement of the practice of medicine by the State Board of Medical Examiners.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends the sections regarding physician education and assistance programs and the section regarding required suspension or revocation of license.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 111

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to a voting student member on the board of regents of the University of Texas System.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Texas Education Code, Sections 65.11 and 65.12; adds Section 65.111.  This bill would require the Governor to appoint a student regent to the University of Texas System Board of Regents.  Each general academic teaching institution in the UT System will be required to solicit applicants for the position of student regent and each application will have the name of the applicant and of the general academic teaching institution removed prior to consideration by the University of Texas System Student Advisory Council.  The council shall select five applicants that will be forwarded to the chancellor of the system for consideration for recommendation to the Governor.  The Governor may request to review all applicants for the position of student regent.  The Governor is not required to appoint the applicant recommended by the chancellor.  The chancellor shall select two or more applicants as the system’s recommendations for the position.

 

The student regent must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a general academic teaching institution in the system at the time of the appointment.  The student regent shall have the same powers and duties, including voting privileges, as other board members.  The student regent shall serve a term of three years.  See HB 719, Naishtat and HB 2123, Wilson.  Effective date:  October 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 124

 

HB 46

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Turner, S.

Houston

Relating to the continuance of the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board and the limitation on deposits to the telecommunications infrastructure fund.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize the extension of the collection of funding for the TIF until the amount collected is $2 billion.  The bill also authorizes the continuation of the TIF Board until September 1, 2009.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 129

Fraser,

Horseshoe Bay

Jackson,

Pasadena

Relating to the regulation of mold remediation and other mold-related activities.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill adds a chapter to the Occupations Code to be cited as the Texas Mold Remediation Licensing Act.  This chapter would apply to any mold-related activity performed by a third party for compensation and any mold-related activity performed in a facility owned or leased by the state or by a county or a city.

 

 

 

SB 137

 

HB 152

Ellis, R.

Houston

Wilson,

Houston

Relating to certain life insurance policies insuring the life of an employee or other third parties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill prohibits an individual, partnership, association, corporation, or other legal entity who is the employer of an individual who is insured under a life insurance policy from being designated as a beneficiary to receive the proceeds of the policy.  This prohibition does not apply when the employer is a corporation, joint stock association, trust estate, or a partnership.  See HB 978, Dukes.    Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 141

 

HB 2040

Ellis, R.

Houston

Marchant,

Carrollton

Relating to authorizing certain state agencies to share information for investigative purposes.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 555.051.  This new section would apply only to information held by or for the office of attorney general, the Department of Insurance, State Board of Public Accountancy, the Public Utility Commission, or the State Securities Board that relates to a person who is licensed or otherwise regulated by any of those agencies.  This amendment would allow these agencies to share confidential information that is otherwise restricted by law with one or more of the other agencies listed for investigative purposes.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 147

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to the adoption by state agencies of risk management and control strategies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Chapter 2057.  This bill defines state agency to include a university system or an institution of higher education as defined by Section 61.003, Education Code.  This bill defines risk management to mean the identification of significant impediments that may prevent a state agency from achieving its objectives, or the identification of a significant likelihood that an opportunity may be lost for enabling a state agency to achieve its objectives. 

 

Each governing board of a state agency shall be required to adopt risk management and control strategies for the succeeding biennium not later than August 31 of each odd-numbered year.  The risk management and control strategies must specify the operational, strategic, and financial objectives of the state agency; assess the nature and extent of the risk to achieve those objectives; identify any significant risk that may impede the achievement of those objectives; identify measures that may lessen or eliminate significant risks; and analyze the likelihood that the risk may occur and the cost of controlling the risk compared to the benefits of managing the risk.  The governing board will be required to forward a copy of the strategies to the Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House, Comptroller, and the Legislative Budget Board.

 

The agency will be required to report progress to the governing board at least twice each year.  The governing body of each state agency will be required to report not later than October 31 of each even-numbered year on its level of achievement in implementing risk management and control strategies for the current biennium to each of the state offices.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 148

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to requiring state agencies to create subcommittees on strategic planning.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require the governing body of each state agency to appoint from among the members of the body one subcommittee to review audits of the agency, one subcommittee to review the agency’s strategic plan, and one subcommittee to review the agency’s operations.  The subcommittees would be required to meet regularly.  The presiding officer of the governing body may not serve on the audit committee.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 149

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to a leave of absence for certain state employees who are donating an organ, tissue, bone marrow, or blood.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill provides a paid leave of absence to serve as a bone-marrow or organ donor.  Five working days per fiscal year are granted to serve as a bone-marrow donor and thirty working days to serve as an organ donor.  A state agency would also be required to allow an employee sufficient time off without a reduction in salary or accrued leave to donate blood.  This leave cannot exceed four times in a fiscal year.  See HB 89, McClendon.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 152

Lindsay,

Houston

Relating to the application of the open meetings law and the public information law to meetings and information regarding certain response plans of a municipal hospital or hospital district.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 551.090 and Section 552.145.  This bill would authorize the governing board of a municipal hospital or a hospital district to deliberate the details, or specific occasions for implementation, of a plan for responding to a natural, technological, or man-made hazard or to an act of terrorism in a closed meeting.

 

This bill would also authorize the hospital district to except information relating to responding to a natural, technological, or man-made hazard or act of terrorism from public information.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 158

 

HB 579

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Eiland,

Galveston

Relating to limiting liability of physicians and health care providers for charitable care.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would eliminate the liability for damages in civil actions based on medical care or health care provided by a physician or health care provider if the physician or health care provider provided the care in good faith and without willful or wanton negligence, provided the care without expectation of compensation, and the patient or the patient’s parent signs a written statement acknowledging that the care is provided without expectation of compensation and a realization of the limitation on the recovery of damages.  The bill limits the liability of a hospital for care provided under these circumstances to $500,000.  See HB 3, Nixon; HB 709, Nixon; SB 1598, Janek.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 166

Shapiro,

Addison

Relating to sex offender registration requirements imposed on certain higher education workers or students and to immunity for release of public information obtained as a result of those requirements.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Code of Criminal Procedure, Articles 62.01, 62.02, 62.03, 62.05, 62.08 and 62.09; adds Article 62.063.  This bill would require an individual who is required to register as a sex offender to also register, not later than the seventh day after beginning work or attending school, with the authority for campus security for each public or private institution of higher education.  The individual would also be required to notify the authority for campus security of a change in status within seven days of terminating employment or enrollment.

 

Note:  Current federal law (42 U.S.C. 14071) requires a state that requires an individual to register as a sex offender to provide notice as required under state law of each institution of higher education in the state at which the person is employed, carries on a vocation, or is a student, and of each change in enrollment or employment status.  See HB 55, Wise.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 170

 

HB 707

Barrientos,

Austin

Rangel,

Kingsville

Relating to a uniform strategy to ensure that public institutions of higher education employ faculty and staff who reflect the population of Texas.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 61.0865.  This new section requires the Coordinating Board to develop and annually update a uniform strategy to enable institutions of higher education to identify, attract, hire, and retain faculty and staff who reflect the population of this state.  Each institution would be required to implement the uniform strategy and to annually report to the Coordinating Board the manner in which the institution had implemented the uniform strategy.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 178

West,

Dallas

Relating to the disposition of unclaimed prize money by the Texas Lottery Commission.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 466.408, (b).  This bill would eliminate the current allocation of $40 million in unclaimed prize money to UTMB and the requirement that any amount in excess of $40 million be deposited in the tertiary care facility account to be administered by the Texas Department of Health.  This bill would require the unclaimed prize monies in the future be deposited into an account to be administered by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 181

Janek,

Harris

Relating to liability for emergency care.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill rewrites the section regarding no liability for civil damages for individuals who in good faith administer emergency care unless the act is willfully or wantonly negligent.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 182

Janek,

Harris

Relating to joint and several liability in health care liability claims.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill states a physician or health care provider is not jointly liable for damages attributed to any other persons, without regard to whether the percentage of responsibility attributed to the physician or health care provider is greater than fifty percent.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 183

Janek,

Harris

Relating to the liability of certain health care practitioners and veterinarians for prescribing approved drugs or devices.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would eliminate a health care practitioner or veterinarian as a defendant in a civil law suit for damages that were allegedly caused by using a prescription drug or device, including a blood product, that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.  The bill would also exempt health care practitioners and veterinarians from being named as defendants in products liability actions.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 198

Janek,

Harris

Relating to the liability of health care providers at free medical clinics.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would eliminate a health care provider from liability for civil damages for an act performed during the provision of health care if the health care is provided in a medical clinic covered by this new section, the provider provides the health care in good faith, the act is not willfully or wantonly negligent, the health care provider does not receive a fee or other compensation, and the health care does not require the services of a hospital or ambulatory surgical treatment center.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 201

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to the tuition charged certain foreign students attending a public junior college in a county bordering Mexico.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.060 by adding Subsection (b-1).  This bill would allow a governing board of a junior college district that operates a public junior college in a county that borders the United Mexican States to waive the foreign student tuition for a student who is a resident of the United Mexican States, who registers for lower division courses, and who demonstrates a financial need as determined by rules developed by the Coordinating Board.  A foreign student who qualified for this waiver would be required to pay tuition at the rate charged Texas residents who reside outside the junior college district.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 229

Ellis, R.

Houston

Relating to the establishment of an interagency task force to study health literacy.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would create an Interagency Task Force on Health Literacy established by the commissioner of public health.  The task force will examine access to health services, barriers to receiving health care, examine ways to increase the efficiency of health care providers and expenditures, and examine the health care literacy of rising health care costs, complex health treatments, the individual’s age, and cultural and linguistic diversity.  The task force is directed to report by December 15, 2004, on strategies to improve the health literacy of the residents of this state.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 231

Ellis, R.

Houston

Relating to establishing ethics and disclosure requirements for certain persons, including financial consultants and advisors, involved in the management or investment of state funds.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Chapter 2263.  This new chapter would apply to the management or investment of any state funds under the Texas Constitution and any funds invested by a public retirement system, institution of higher education, or another entity that is a part of state government.  Financial advisor or service provider is defined to include a financial advisor, financial consultant, money or investment manager, or broker.  This bill would require the governing body of the state governmental entity to adopt standards of conduct applicable to financial advisors or service providers who are not employees of the governmental entity and who may reasonably be expected to receive, directly or indirectly, more than $10,000 in compensation from the entity during the fiscal year, or render important investment or funds management advice to the entity.  A financial advisor or service provider would be required to disclose any relationship if any party to a transaction with the governmental entity could reasonably be expected to diminish the person’s independence of judgment in the performance of the person’s responsibility to the governmental entity and disclose all direct or indirect pecuniary interests the financial advisor or service provider has in any party to the transaction with the state governmental entity.  The financial advisor or service provider would be required to file annually a statement with the administrative head of the applicable state governmental entity and with the state auditor.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 235

Fraser,

Horseshoe Bay

Relating to the contents of a receipt or other document issued for payment by credit card.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

If a credit card is used to pay for goods or services, this bill would prohibit a seller from issuing a sales receipt or other document evidencing the transaction unless no more than the last five digits of the credit account number or the month and year of the credit card’s expiration date appears on the receipt or document.  See HB 176, McCall and HB 277, Hopson.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 237

Fraser,

Horseshoe Bay

Relating to the regulation of drinking water at certain youth camps.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require inspection of the water supply at a youth camp licensed by the Department of Health.  See HB 2075, Hilderbran.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 238

Fraser,

Horseshoe Bay

Relating to decreasing the maximum amount of the administrative penalty for violations of the Youth Camp Safety and Heath Act.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would reduce the penalties for youth camps from $2,000 a day for each violation to $1,000 a day for each violation.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 239

Fraser,

Horseshoe Bay

Relating to allowing youth camps to correct violations during inspections by the Texas Department of Health.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require the Department of Health to allow a camp to correct a violation while the investigation and inspection is occurring.  A penalty may not be imposed if the violation is corrected during an investigation and inspection.  See HB 2075, Hilderbran.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 253

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to applicability of the Youth Camp Safety and Health Act to facilities or programs operated by or on the campus of an institution of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Health and Safety Code, by adding Section 141.0021.  This bill would exempt facilities or programs operated by or on the campus of an institution of higher education or a private or independent institution of higher education from the requirements regarding the Texas Youth Camp Safety and Health Act.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 258

 

HB 506

West, R.

Dallas

Deshotel,

Port Arthur

Relating to the tuition charged by institutions of higher education for high school students enrolled in college-level courses.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.216.  This new section would allow a governing board of an institution of higher education to waive all or part of the tuition and fees charged by the institution for a high school student enrolled in a course for which the student is entitled to simultaneously receive both high school academic credit and course credit toward a degree offered by the institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 261

 

HB 677

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Dunnam,

Waco

Relating to the continuation and functions of the Council on Purchasing from People with Disabilities.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill contains the Sunset Commission recommendations for the council and would continue its existence through September 1, 2015.  As opposed to the current permissive procedures, the council would be required to establish a formal certification procedure for recognition and approval of community rehabilitation programs.  The amendments give the state auditor the right to audit a state agency for compliance with the laws regarding the council and report to the council a state agency that is not complying.  The council would then be required to assist the agency to get in compliance.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 265

 

HB 909

Lucio,

Brownsville

Gallego,

Alpine

Relating to continuation and functions of the State Board of Educator Certification.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill represents the Sunset Commission’s recommendations regarding SBEC.  This bill would allow the State Board of Education to continue to review and accept or reject the proposed rules for SBEC.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 275

 

HB 1233

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Solomons,

Carrollton

Relating to the abolition of the Department of Economic Development.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill contains the Sunset Commission’s recommendations regarding the Texas Department of Economic Development.  The bill would eliminate the department and transfer its functions to the Governor’s office.  See SB 659, Brimer and HB 3472, Keffer, J.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 277

 

HB 1789

Ellis, R.

Houston

Chisum,

Pampa

Relating to the continuation of the Board of Professional Engineers and to the regulation of the practice of engineering.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Occupations Code, Chapter 1001.  This bill represents the Sunset Commission’s recommendations regarding this board.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 286

 

HB 2419

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Gallego,

Alpine

Relating to the continuation and functions of the Higher Education Coordinating Board.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends numerous sections of Chapter 61, Texas Education Code.  The primary purpose of this bill is to implement the Sunset Commission recommendations regarding the Coordinating Board.  This bill would continue the board until September 1, 2015 and reduces the current membership from eighteen members to fifteen members in order to conform with the Texas Constitution.  The amendments require a board member to complete a statutorily mandated training program prior to participating in any meeting.  New sections would require the board to review and revise the long-range statewide plan (Closing the Gaps); to make and submit to the legislature recommendations regarding the current higher education funding system, including formula funding and any other transfers of legislative appropriations to institutions that supports the implementation of the long-range plan; and to study and make recommendations regarding methods for reducing administrative costs and increasing participation in student financial aid programs.

 

This bill replaces the current Joint Advisory Committee with the P-16 Council.  The new council would be composed of the commissioner of education, the commissioner of higher education, the executive director of the Texas Workforce Commission, and the executive director of the State Board of Educator Certification.  The bill continues the same duties of the present advisory committee and adds one duty regarding the alignment of secondary and postsecondary education including curricula and testing and assessment.

 

One new section of the bill requires the Coordinating Board to adopt a common course numbering system to promote consistency in the designation and identification of courses among institutions of higher education.  The new section further requires that each institution use the common course numbering system adopted by the board.

 

The bill makes minor changes to several of the financial aid programs administered by the Coordinating Board including the physician loan repayment program, the early child-care worker loan repayment program, the loan repayment program for attorneys employed by the Attorney General and the Teach for Texas loan repayment program.

 

The bill includes transition language to eliminate the three board members whose position would no longer exist.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 287

 

HB 2769

Ellis, R.

Houston

Chisum,

Pampa

Relating to changing the composition of certain state agency governing bodies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends numerous sections of various codes including Texas Education Code, Section 61.022.  This bill reduces the number of board members on boards that are currently comprised of an even-number.  This amendment would reduce the Coordinating Board from eighteen members to fifteen members.  This provision is also contained in the Coordinating Board’s Sunset bill.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 309

 

HB 525

Gallegos,

Galena Park

Noriega,

Houston

Relating to providing health care services without regard to a person’s immigration status.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would allow a municipality, a county, public hospital, or a hospital district to use money from state or local sources to provide medical and hospital care to a person without regard to the person’s immigration status.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 311

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to prohibiting certain foreign corporations from participating in state contracts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends Government Code, Chapter 2155, which currently does not apply to institutions of higher education.  The amendments would prohibit a foreign corporation, as defined by this bill, from participating in state contracts, including delegated purchases.  See HB 908, Gallego.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 318

Hinojosa,

McAllen

Relating to a fee to fund women’s athletic programs of the University of Texas System.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, by adding Section 65.48.  This bill would authorize the UT System Board of Regents to impose a fee of $1 to be added to the admission charge for any intercollegiate athletic event held on the campus of or on other property under the control of any component institution of the system.  The money collected from the fee would be used to support women’s athletics at the components.  The institutions would be prohibited from reducing the amount of other money the institution currently spends on women’s intercollegiate athletics.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 330

 

HB 1096

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Capelo,

Corpus Christi

Relating to access to certain private medical information.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill repeals Health and Safety Code, Sections 181.101 and 181.102.  These two sections deal with compliance with federal regulations and information regarding health research.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 334

 

HB 882

Staples,

Palestine

Christian,

Center

Relating to student center fees at Stephen F. Austin State University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.520.  This bill would authorize an increase in the student center fees from $15 per student per semester to an amount not to exceed $100.  It expands the purposes for which the fees may be used to include acquiring, constructing, or renovating the center.  The bill does add the limitation of any increases greater than ten percent will require a vote of the students participating in a general student election called for that purpose.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 337

 

HB 652

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Rangel,

Kingsville

Relating to requiring the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to publish certain performance data provided to the board by general academic teaching institutions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 61.0902.  This bill would require the general academic teaching institutions to provide information to the Coordinating Board in order for the Coordinating Board to prepare a report to be published and posted on the board’s Internet site.  The information would include information regarding the qualifications of the entering freshman class for the previous academic year and information regarding the institution’s efficiencies and student performance.  Each institution would be required to provide a link on the institution’s Internet home page to the board’s site.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 342

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to health care for certain Texans; providing a penalty.

 

 

 

 

 

This bill amends the statutes relating to the immunization registry.

 

This bill provides a preference for vendors that provide health benefits coverage for employees.  A state agency would be required to give a preference in the purchase of goods or services from a vendor that demonstrates that the vendor provides health benefits coverage to the vendor’s employees.  Institutions of higher education are currently exempt from this chapter of the law.

 

The bill also establishes the border health foundation.  The foundation would be governed by a board of five directors appointed by the Texas Board of Health.  The foundation would be required to raise money from other foundations, governmental entities, and other sources to finance health programs in this state in areas adjacent to the border with the United Mexican States.  The bill would authorize an institution of higher education to contract with the foundation to finance these health care programs.

 

Amends Education Code, by adding Sections 61.551—61.554; Section 61.0902—61.0903 and Sections 29.187—29.188.  This bill would establish a Border Health Corps.  Practitioners in medicine, dentistry, and nursing would be eligible to participate in a loan repayment assistance program funded by appropriations and gifts and grants.  The practitioner would be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in loan repayment assistance.  The program would be administered by the Coordinating Board.

 

The bill also requires the Coordinating Board to examine undergraduate programs that require more than four years of undergraduate coursework to prepare students for graduate medical education to determine whether such programs are feasible and effective.  If the board makes such a determination, the board will work with institutions to successfully implement and conduct these programs.  It requires the Coordinating Board to develop a strategy to coordinate recruitment and retention of students from ethnic or racial backgrounds that are underrepresented in institutions of higher education in this state.

 

The bill also requires the Texas Education Agency to periodically assess the adequacy of existing health science technology and college preparatory courses and programs in secondary schools in the Texas-Mexico border region.  TEA would be required to establish a statewide network of summer study science instruction programs for students from racial groups that are underrepresented in the fields of science in medicine.  See HB 1016, Gallego.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 349

Armbrister,

Victoria

Relating to the intellectual property rights of the Department of Information Resources and certain other state agency intellectual property matters.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would allow the Department of Information Resources to establish an intellectual property policy and to contract with persons or entities to distribute the department’s intellectual property.  Money paid to the department would be deposited to the credit of the general revenue fund.  Current law requires each state agency to perform a biennial audit of software licenses for software installed in the agency’s desktop and portable computers.  These amendments would only require an agency to perform the audit once in every four-year period.  See HB 739, Pitts and HB 629, Pitts.  Effective September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 350

 

HB 625

Armbrister,

Victoria

Lewis,

Mauriceville

Relating to equal access to places of public accommodation.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines public accommodation as a business or other entity that offers to the general public food, shelter, recreation, or amusement, or any other goods, service, privilege, facility, or accommodation.  The bill would prohibit a person that owns or operates a public accommodation from restricting an individual’s access or admission to the accommodation from using the accommodations solely because of the race, creed, sex, religion, or national origin of the individual; or because the individual operates a motorcycle, is a member of an organized motorcycle group, or wears clothing that displays the name of the organization or association.  The bill does provide an exemption for private or independent institutions of higher education and for students attending public or private school.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 362

Ellis, R.

Houston

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Houston for recovery from Tropical Storm Allison recovery.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, by adding Section 55.17393.  This bill would authorize the University of Houston System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $25 million to cover related infrastructure damage from Tropical Storm Allison.  Effective date:  Immediately.

 

 

 

SB 364

Janek,

Harris

Relating to the limits on liability for health care liability claims.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would limit the combined total civil liability of a physician or health care provider and the agents or employees of the provider when the recovery of damages is based exclusively on a theory of vicarious liability for the act or omission of the agents or employees.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 388

 

HB 2667

Ellis, R.

Houston

Hochberg,

Houston

Relating to the use and management of certain state-owned real property.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill requires each state agency to include as part of its 2006-2007 legislative appropriations request detailed information regarding real property owned by the agency.  The information would include total acres owned, total building space, location of property, historical or acquisition cost of property, appraised market value, current and expected use, recommendations on the retention or disposition of property owned, and estimated impact, if any, on the capital charge system on the federal direct and indirect cost recovery.  The bill establishes the Texas Agency Infrastructure Commission to investigate the number and function of state agency field offices and to recommend the collocation or closure of state agency field offices, if appropriate.  The commission would be appointed by the Governor, with recommendations from the Lt. Governor and Speaker for one member each, one member appointed by the Land Commissioner, and one member appointed by the Comptroller.  The commission and these new requirements would expire on September 1, 2004.  e-Texas GG14.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 394

 

HB 1293

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Hochberg,

Houston

Relating to the Records Management Interagency Coordinating Council.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would expand the membership of the Records Management Interagency Coordinating Council to include three auxiliary voting members including a faculty member of a public senior college or university who has demonstrated knowledge or records and information management.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 413

Madla,

San Antonio

Relating to the study of educational opportunities for emergency services personnel.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require the Coordinating Board, in conjunction with the Department of Health, and the TIF Board, to study ways to make educational opportunities more available to emergency medical services personnel, focusing specifically on rural areas where training and formal education are difficult to obtain.  The bill requires a report to be filed with the legislature not later than January 15, 2005.  Effective date:  September 1 2003.

 

 

 

SB 426

Lindsay,

Houston

Relating to the state emergency services and trauma care system.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill provides that money, including money available under federal law, may be available to support the state emergency services and trauma care system and entities within the system.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 436

Lindsay,

Houston

Relating to procedures regarding health care liability claims filed against physicians and health care providers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends the procedures regarding health care liability claims by requiring the plaintiff to deposit $5,000 cash in the registry of the court or an expert report on each defendant named in the lawsuit.  An expert witness report would be required regardless of whether the defendant is or is not a physician or a health care provider.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 447

 

HB 634

Williams,

The Woodlands

Campbell,

San Angelo

Relating to the creation of a savings incentive program for state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require a state agency that spends less undedicated general revenue derived from nonfederal sources than is appropriated to the agency for a fiscal year to send notice to the comptroller before October 30th of the savings realized.  The comptroller shall verify the amount.  The affected agency would be allowed to retain one-half of the amount of the savings, not to exceed one percent of the amount of undedicated general revenue derived from nonfederal sources appropriated to the agency for the fiscal year.  e-Texas GG-17.  Same as HB 651, Pitts.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 457

Armbrister,

Victoria

Relating to the creation of a council to help the Department of Public Safety improve the public safety telecommunications capabilities of state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would establish the Public Safety Telecommunications Council which would be composed of eight members named in the statute.  The council would be required to advise the Department of Public Safety on the development and administration of a plan to implement a statewide integrated public safety telecommunications system for state agencies and other state public safety entities.  The system would be financed by a public safety telecommunications fund which would consist of a $12 increase on the issuance or renewal of driver’s licenses.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 462

 

HB 2839

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Chavez,

El Paso

Relating to the establishment of an asthma research center at the Texas Tech University campus in El Paso.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 110.151.  This bill would require the board of regents of the Texas Tech University System to establish the Texas Tech Asthma Research Center.  The center shall operate in collaboration with UTEP and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.  The center would be required to conduct research in asthma and conditions associated with the disease, including health problems associated with industrial pollution and other environmental contamination in this state in the region adjacent to the United Mexican States.  The center would be required to develop a ten year strategic plan to guide and evaluate the center’s progress toward achieving the purposes of the center.  The elements of the strategic plan are set forth in the bill.  The bill does designate an employee of the center as an employee of Texas Tech University System.  The board is directed to select a site for the center at the regional academic health center of TTUHSC in El Paso.  The center must be established by January 1, 2005.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 465

 

HB 1882

Lucio,

Brownsville

Deshotel,

Port Arthur

Relating to incentives for certain high schools and high school students to participate in the Early High School Graduation Scholarship program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 56.202—56.207; 54.213(b) and adds Section 56.2075.  This bill would expand the Early High School Graduation Scholarship Program to provide assistance for tuition and mandatory fees; currently only tuition.  The amendments lengthen the time period from thirty-six consecutive months to forty-one consecutive months for the student to complete his high school curriculum.  If the student has at least thirty hours of college credit, the student may have forty-five months to get his high school diploma.  The amendments also increase the amount of the scholarship.

 

1.        $2,000/36 months in high school and an additional $1,000 if the student graduated with 15 hours of college credits;

2.        $500/36-41 months in high school and an additional $1,000 if the person graduated with at least 30 hours of college credits; or

3.        $1,000/41—45 months in high school with at least 30 hours of college credit.

 

The bill does provide for a one-time credit for public schools for certain students graduating eligible for this scholarship program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 476

 

HB 268

Barrientos,

Austin

Naishtat,

Austin

Relating to application of the hazing statutes to private institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 51.936.  This bill expands the definition of an institution of higher education for purposes of the hazing statutes to include private postsecondary educational institutions as defined by Section 61.302.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 503

Ogden,

College Station

Relating to the provision of certain higher education information to the Higher Education Coordinating Board and to the public.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.968.  Each institution of higher education shall provide to the Coordinating Board and post on the institution’s Internet website in a manner accessible to the public the following information:  (1) a description of any departments, schools, or certificate or degree programs that have a statewide or national reputation for excellence; (2) rates of tuition and fees for resident and nonresident students; student retention and graduation rates; and statistics regarding job placement rates for students awarded certificates or degrees by the institution.  Institutions would be required to start this information by the 2004 Spring semester.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 505

Ellis, R.

Houston

Relating to mentor-protégé programs used by certain state agencies for historically underutilized businesses.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 2161.065.  This bill removes the term contractor and replaces it with mentor in regards to the mentor-protégé program.  The amendment also prohibits the Texas Building and Procurement Commission from requiring a mentor under the mentor-protégé program to be a registered bidder on the commission’s centralized master bidder’s list.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 506

Ellis, R.

Houston

Relating to requiring, as a condition of eligibility to bid on an oil, gas, or other mineral lease on certain state land, a plan for procuring goods and services from or participating with historically underutilized businesses.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Natural Resources Code by adding Section 32.108; amends Education Code by adding Sections 66.665, 85.555, and 109.645.  These new sections would impact oil, gas, or other mineral leases on state land administered by the public School Land Board, the UT System, the Texas A&M System, and the Texas Tech University System.  To be eligible to bid on an oil, gas, sulfur, or other mineral lease with TTUS, a person would be required to submit to the board a plan acceptable to the board specifying how the person will procure goods and services from HUBS, and participate with HUBS in the production of oil, gas, sulfur, or other minerals from the leased land.  The lessee would be required to make good faith efforts to implement the plan.  The board of regents would be required to audit the lessee’s compliance with the plan.  If the board determines that the lessee failed to implement the plan in good faith, the board may bar the lessee from bidding at any future lease sale.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 517

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to the creation of the Texas Border Strategic Investment Commission.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Chapter 489.  This new commission would be composed of the Lt. Governor, the speaker, the comptroller, the commissioner of agriculture, the chair of the senate finance committee, the chair of the house appropriations committee, and the secretary of state.  The new statute would require the commission to identify and recommend funding for strategic economic development initiatives in the six metropolitan statistical areas in the Texas-Mexico border region not later than December 1 of each even-numbered year.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 525

 

HB 1319

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Naishtat,

Austin

 Relating to the creation of employee wellness programs by state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 664.007.  This bill would require each state agency to develop an employee wellness program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 534

 

HB 2239

Carona,

Dallas

Paxton,

Frisco

Relating to the applicability of the rule against perpetuities to trusts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would eliminate the rule against perpetuities or remoteness in vesting as the rule relates to trust.  Effective date:  January 1, 2004.

 

 

 

SB 545

 

HB 1055

Hinojosa,

McAllen

Luna,

Corpus Christi

Relating to an intercollegiate athletics fee at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, by adding Section 54.5391.  This bill authorizes the board of regents of the Texas A&M University System to impose an intercollegiate athletics fee on each student enrolled at Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi.  The fee could not exceed $8 per semester credit hour for each semester or summer session unless the amount is approved by a majority vote of the students participating in a general student election or, if the amount of the increase does not exceed five percent, by a majority of the legislative body of the student government of the university.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 555

 

HB 1576

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Gallego,

Alpine

Relating to the telecommunications planning and oversight council.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would add a representative of the Health and Human Services Commission to the telecommunications planning and oversight council.  The bill would also eliminate any liability of a member of the council in a civil action for an act performed in good faith.  The bill adds to the duties of the Department of Information Resources by directing the department to negotiate rates and executive contracts with telecommunications service providers for services.  The department would be allowed to acquire transmission facilities by purchase, lease, or lease-purchase, and to develop, establish, and maintain carrier systems necessary to the operation of the consolidated telecommunications system.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 558

 

HB 1130

Madla,

San Antonio

Hardcastle,

Vernon

Relating to immigration visa waivers for physicians.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would allow the Department of Health, on receipt of an application from a foreign applicant for the expedited processing of a license, and in accordance with federal law, to request a waiver of the foreign country residence requirement for a qualified alien physician who agrees to practice medicine in a medically underserved area or health professional shortage area as designated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, that has a current shortage of physicians.

 

The bill also directs the State Board of Medical Examiners to adopt rules to expedite the application by a person who is licensed to practice medicine in another state or country and who submits an affidavit with the application stating that the applicant intends to practice in a rural community as determined by the Office of Rural and Community Affairs, or the applicant intends to practice in a medically underserved area or health professional shortage area.  The bill strikes the requirements regarding the applicant’s affiliation with a public university-sponsored graduate medical education program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 561

 

HB 1281

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Gallego,

Alpine

Relating to indemnification by the state of physicians providing certain health care services.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 104.001.  This bill would provide for indemnification for physicians licensed to practice in this state providing health care services to a patient as a part of a medical assistance program or the state child health plan.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 571

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to the authority of the comptroller to conduct performance reviews of general academic teaching institutions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 403.020.  This bill would authorize the comptroller to conduct performance reviews of general academic teaching institutions either on the initiative by the comptroller or by a request from the Coordinating Board or from the institution.  Only the president or the majority of the governing board of the institution may initiate a request from the institution.  Institutions would be required to pay twenty-five percent of the cost incurred in conducting the review just like public school districts.  The review would include a review of fiscal operations, management, student services, and curriculum.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 573

 

HB 2241

Harris, C.

Arlington

Paxton,

Frisco

Relating to adoption of the Uniform Principal and Income Act.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill establishes the Uniform Principal and Income Act regarding trusts.  Effective date:  January 1, 2004.

 

 

 

SB 575

 

HB 2240

Harris, C.

Arlington

Paxton,

Frisco

Relating to adoption of the Uniform Prudent Investor Act.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill establishes the Uniform Prudent Investor Act regarding trusts.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003. 

 

 

 

SB 599

 

HB 1111

West, R.

Dallas

Corte,

San Antonio

Relating to investigation and testing, technical assistance, and certain other matters related to indoor air quality in state buildings.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines a state building to include any building owned or occupied by the state, including buildings or offices leased to the state for state purposes.  The bill transfers the authority of the Building and Procurement Commission to investigate and test indoor air quality in state buildings to the Texas Department of Health.  The bill does allow the commission to contract with a private entity to conduct any air monitoring that is related to asbestos abatement services provided by the commission.

 

The bill also requires the State Office of Risk Management to conduct an annual, one-day educational seminar on indoor air quality.  The bill requires state agency risk managers, representatives of entities with charge and control of state buildings, facility managers, and owners and managers of buildings or offices leased to the state to attend the seminar on an annual basis.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 609

 

HB 1941

 

HB 3351

Ellis, R.

Houston

Woolley,

Houston

Davis, J.

Houston

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston for recovery from Tropical Storm Allison.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.17321.  This bill would authorize the University of Texas System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $34.9 million to cover related infrastructure damage cause by Tropical Storm Allison.  See SB 1420, Janek.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 611

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Relating to printing a social security number on an identification card or other identification device.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Business and Commerce Code by adding Section 35.58.  This bill establishes a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $500 if a person displays an individual’s social security number on a card or other device required to access a product or service provided by the person.  This section would not apply to the collection, use, or release of a social security number required by state or federal law, or the use of a social security number for internal verification or administrative purposes.  Effective date:  January 1, 2004.

 

 

 

SB 620

Armbrister,

Victoria

Relating to the funding of and the making of grants by the Council on Environmental Technology.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Health and Safety Code, Sections 387.002(b) and 387.005 by adding Subsection (f).  This bill would require a member of the council who is an employee or owner of an entity that applies for a grant under this chapter to disclose the fact of the member’s employment or ownership.  The disclosure must be entered in the minutes of the meeting.  The member may not vote or otherwise participate in the awarding of the grant.  See HB 43, Chisum.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 626

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to requirements for considering a financial institution for selection as a depository of public funds.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Finance Code by adding Chapter 278.  This bill defines state agency as any institution, agency, or organ of state government established by the constitution or laws of the state.  Prior to selecting a depository of public funds, a public agency would be allowed to consider a financial institution only if the financial institution submits certain information set forth in the statute.  The financial institution would have to include information regarding deposits, loans for home purchases or improvements, commercial loans, loans for small businesses, evidence that the financial institution has not been assigned a rating below “satisfactory record of meeting community credit needs” under 12 U.S.C. Section 2906, and an itemized report covering the preceding calendar year regarding reinvestment initiatives in the community, the total number and amount of loans to small businesses, the business planning and loan application assistance programs offered to customers, the total number of employees, and the amount of charitable contributions.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 641

 

HB 1106

West, R.

Dallas

Turner,

Houston

Relating to presumption for state land records.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill allows that in a dispute involving littoral boundaries of state-owned land, the documents, including maps and surveys, placed of record in the archives of the General Land Office are presumed to accurately depict the boundaries described in those documents.  The presumption applies only to those surveys conducted by a licensed state land surveyor or county surveyor.  The presumption may be overcome only by a showing of clear and convincing evidence that the boundary is erroneous.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 647

 

HB 1586

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Baxter,

Austin

Relating to excepting from required public disclosure under the public informant law the assessment of a utility’s vulnerability to intentional acts of harm.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 552.141.  The bill defines utility infrastructure or procedures to mean infrastructure or procedures involved in the provision of water, wastewater, electric, telecommunications, gas, or cable service, without regard to whether the provider of the service is a governmental or nongovernmental entity or considered to be a utility.  This bill would provide an exception to the Public Information Act for information prepared or assembled by the governmental body for purposes of assessing the vulnerability of utility infrastructure or procedures.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 648

 

HB 2410

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Solomons,

Carrollton

Relating to the regulation of the practice of professional engineering.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends the statutes relating to the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and the composition of the board.  The bill also amends sections relating to the annual requirements for continuing education and the authority of the board to issue advisory opinions.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 650

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to requiring state investment funds to post certain information on the Internet.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 2054.114.  This bill defines state investment fund to include any investment fund administered by or under a contract with any entity of state government, including a fund established by statute or the Texas Constitution, or administered by or under a contract with a public retirement system, an institution of higher education, or any other entity that is part of state government.  Each entity of state government would be required to post on a generally accessible Internet site on or before the first day of each calendar quarter information regarding all purchases and sales by or for the fund of domestic equity securities and bonds by company, total amount of shares traded, total commission paid, and the ratio of the amount of the commissions to the number of shares; the fund’s investment managers, custodians, consultants, lending agents, and other ancillary consultants by company name, average fund assets under management, fees paid by the fund, and average basis points that fees paid by the fund represent in relation to the average assets of the fund under management; and the dollar amount of fees, commissions, and other amounts paid in connection with the administration of the fund.  This information would be required to be provided by the race, ethnicity, and gender of the controlling ownership of each business, the principal place of business of each business, and the status of each business as a HUB.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 653

 

HB 1587

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Baxter,

Austin

Relating to the charges that may be imposed under the public information law for providing a copy of public information.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 552.261(a), 552.2615(b), and 552.269.  This bill amends the section for requests for information that are for fifty or fewer pages to now include the charge for each page of paper of record to be photocopied.  A request is not considered withdrawn if the requester sends to the Building and Procurement Commission a complaint alleging that the requestor has been overcharged for being provided with a copy of the public information.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 659

Brimer,

Tarrant

Relating to the creation of the economic development coordinator; the abolition of the Texas Department of Economic Development and the transfer of its functions to the economic development coordinator; and to the establishment of economic and business development programs to be administered by the economic development coordinator.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would transfer the functions of the Texas Department of Economic Development to the economic development coordinator.  The position would be established as a position in the office of the Governor, but this position would be subject to the Sunset provisions.  See SB 275, Nelson, HB 1233, Solomons, and HB 3472, Keffer, J.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 665

Ogden,

College Station

Relating to the authority of certain institutions of higher education to charge tuition and student fees.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.0031.  This bill would prohibit a general academic teaching institution from imposing, charging, or collecting tuition or fees authorized in Chapter 54 from any student enrolled at the institution for a term or semester than begins on or after September 1, 2005.  The bill would not apply to fees or charges for programs other than academic programs such as charges for housing or food service or for attendance at athletic or cultural events.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 666

Ogden,

College Station

Relating to the establishment of the matching excellence fund to promote research and develop excellence at certain institutions of higher education and to the abolition of the Texas excellence fund the university research fund.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 51.451—51.457; amends Section 62.025(a) and (c); repeals Sections 62.025(d) and (c); Chapter 62, Subchapters (c) and (d).  This bill would repeal the Texas excellence and the University research funds established in 2001.  The bill would establish a matching excellence fund to provide funding to promote increased research capacity and to develop institutional excellence at general academic teaching institutions.  The bill would apply to all general academic teaching institutions.  The fund would be administered by the Coordinating Board that would be required to distribute money from the matching excellence fund to each general academic teaching institution in an amount equal to the total amount of money received by the institution in the preceding state fiscal year from private or federal sources to support educational or research activities in the institution.  If the funds are insufficient to cover the full amount, the Coordinating Board would be required to prorate the amount.  An institution would be allowed to spend the money only for the support and maintenance of educational general activities, including research and student services, that promote increased research or develop institutional excellence at the institution.  Each institution would be required to file an annual report regarding the expenditures of the funds.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 674

 

HB 1505

Estes,

Wichita Falls

Moreno, P.

El Paso

Relating to compensatory time off for certain persons who are employed by the state as peace officers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would allow a peace officer commissioned by a state officer or a state agency listed under Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedures, to be entitled to compensatory time off when the officer is required to work on a national or state holiday that falls on a Saturday or Sunday.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 684

Janek,

Harris

Relating to an exemption from ad valorem taxation of property owned by the state or a political subdivision.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Current law requires that property owned by a state agency or institution be subject to ad valorem taxation if the property is rented or leased for compensation to a private business enterprise that uses it for a purpose not related to the performance of the duties or functions of the state agency or institution.  This bill would expand this requirement to land owned by a political subdivision.  The bill would also amend the statutes to state that property owned by a state agency or institution or political subdivision that is being used for public purposes, if it is leased to an organization which uses the property in a manner to qualify for an exemption under Section 11.8 or 11.20, then the property shall remain tax exempt.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 691

Madla,

San Antonio

Relating to reimbursement for telemedicine medical services under the Medicaid program and other government-funded programs.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require the Health and Human Services Commission to periodically review the policies regarding reimbursement under the Medicaid program for telemedicine medical services to identify variations between permissible reimbursements under that program and reimbursements available to providers under the Medicare.  The bill requires the commission to modify the rules and procedures applicable to reimbursements under the Medicaid program to provide for a reimbursement system that is comparable to the reimbursement system for services provided under the Medicaid program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 722

 

HB 2977

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Chavez,

El Paso

Relating to a program to provide incentives for certain persons to earn doctorate degrees and enter the faculty and administration of institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 56.091—56.096.  This bill would require the Coordinating Board to establish and administer the doctoral incentive program which would be a loan or loan guarantee program for eligible participants.  To be eligible for the program, a student must be from a group that is underrepresented among the faculty and administration of public and independent institutions of higher education in this state.  An individual must satisfy at least two of the following criteria:  be from a low socioeconomic background, be a first generation student to obtain a baccalaureate degree, attended a high school in an area where a high school drop-out rate is significantly greater than the state average, or have graduated from a high school with a disproportionately low number of high school graduates enrolled in higher education.  The student must have been accepted to a doctoral program approved by the Coordinating Board, be a Texas resident, and be from a group that is underrepresented among the faculty and administration.  The student would apply to the Coordinating Board for the loan guarantee or for the loan.  The loan would either be suspended or forgiven if the recipient is employed as a full-time faculty member or academic administrator at a public or independent institution of higher education.  The Coordinating Board would be allowed to accept appropriations, gifts, or grants from any public or private source to fund this program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 723

 

HB 1890

Williams,

The Woodlands

Morrison,

Victoria

Relating to tuition rebated to certain undergraduate students who graduate from an institution of higher education without excessive semester credit hours.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.0065(a).  Current law counts transfer credits and course credit earned exclusively by examination in the number of hours attempted when determining if a student is eligible for the $1,000 rebate of undergraduate tuition.  This bill would limit the number of hours attempted for course credit earned exclusively by examination to the number of hours in excess of nine semester credit hours.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 728

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to the benefits provided to the survivors of certain public employees killed in the line of duty.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

The current requirement for benefits to be provided to survivors of public employees killed in the line of duty requires proof that the death was a result of exposure to a risk that is inherent in the line of duty or to which the general public is not customarily exposed.  This bill’s new language would only require that the death was as a result of a personal injury sustained in the line of duty.  The bill does provide a definition for line of duty and occupational death.  See HB 959, Allen.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 750

Madla,

San Antonio

Relating to the requirement that governmental public notices be published in Spanish-language newspapers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Chapter 560.  This bill defines public notice as any notice that must be provided to the general public under the Open Meetings Act or the Election Code by a state agency or a political subdivision.  A state agency would be required to publish a public notice in Spanish in a Spanish-language newspaper of general circulation in each county in which the agency is required to publish the public notice, where more than fifty percent of the population is of Hispanic origin, and there is a Spanish-language newspaper of general circulation.  Notice required under this new section is in addition to notice required by other law.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB 754

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to the creation of higher education enhancement districts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Chapter 159.  This bill defines regional university to mean any general academic teaching institution, other than Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin, or a system center of a general academic teaching institution that by statute is authorized to operate as a general academic teaching institution after reaching specified student enrollment goals.  Service territory is defined as a geographical area established by the Coordinating Board.  The purpose of this new chapter is to enable a regional university and the community served by the university, through the creation of higher education enhancement districts, to elect to provide local funding to supplement endowment and scholarship funds at the university and to otherwise enhance the quality of education provided by the university.  The Coordinating Board would be required to establish a service territory for each regional university, hold a public hearing regarding the establishment of a higher education enhancement district and make findings regarding the best interest of the voters of the counties included in the territory as to whether or not they should have an opportunity to authorize the creation of the district and the imposition of a sales and use tax or a property tax.  The requirements for the election to be held to establish the district are set forth in the bill.  Each district would be governed by a board of five supervisors elected at a uniform election date in May of each year and serve staggered terms of two years.

 

If approved by the voters at the election creating the district, the board of supervisors would be allowed to set a sales tax rate not to exceed any of the following:  (1) one-half of one percent of taxable receipts; (2) the rate that, if applied to the total taxable receipts in the territory constituting the district for the most recent four calendar quarters for which information is available, would generate $30 million in taxes for each regional university in the district; or (3) the rate that, if applied to the total taxable receipts for the most recent four calendar quarters for which the information is available, would create $60 in taxes for each semester credit hour used by the LBB for the most recent biennium to establish the base level of appropriations funding for the regional university.

 

If approved by the voters at the election authorizing the creation of the district, the district may impose and collect a property tax.  The board of supervisors would be required to set the rate in an amount not to exceed the rate that would generate the lesser of $30 million in taxes or $60 in taxes for each semester credit hour used by the LBB for the most recent biennium to establish the base level of appropriations for the regional university.

 

Each regional university shall use revenue received from the tax in the following manner:  one-third of the revenue shall be used to provide scholarships to students who reside in the district, one-third of the revenue shall be deposited in one or more of the university’s endowment funds to support educational or research activities of the university, and one-third of the revenue shall be used by the university for the purposes approved by the university’s governing board, other than funding endowments or providing scholarships.

 

The bill does establish the higher education enhancement fund in the treasury to be administered by the Coordinating Board to provide grants to regional universities to cover all or part of the initial costs of creating a higher education enhancement district.  The grant could not exceed $2,500.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 762

 

HB 2243

Lindsay,

Houston

Smith, W.

Baytown

Relating to the application of the open meetings law and the public information law to meetings and information regarding certain security plans of a municipal hospital, a hospital district, or a health department.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, by adding Sections 551.090 and 552.145.  The governing board of a municipal hospital or a hospital district may not be required to conduct an open meeting to deliberate the details, or specific occasions for implementation, of a security plan for the protection of hospital facilities or operations from an act of terrorism.

 

The bill also creates an exception to the Public Information Act for information that relates to a security plan of a municipal hospital, a hospital district, or a municipal or county health department for the protection of health care facilities or operations from an act of terrorism.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 763

Lindsay,

Houston

Relating to the application of open meetings law and the public information law to certain meetings and information regarding plans for responding to an act of terrorism.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Sections 551.090 and 552.021.  This bill would create an exception to the Open Meetings Act and the Public Information act for meetings or information relating to a plan of a municipality or county for responding to an act of terrorism or information regarding emergency management or emergency responses.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 766

 

HB 511

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Castro,

San Antonio

Relating to a pilot program to monitor the postsecondary educational plans of seniors at certain public high schools.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 7.027.  This new section would require the Texas Education Agency to establish a postsecondary education survey pilot program to survey high school seniors on whether they are planning to attend, have been accepted for admission, and the name of the postsecondary educational institution, if applicable.  The agency would be required to compile a comprehensive annual report.  The agency would be required to select five noncharter high schools located in a municipality that has at least ten independent school districts.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 775

 

HB 1627

 

HB 1720

Averitt,

Waco

Keffer, J.

Eastland

Baxter,

Austin

Relating to the use of TexasOnline by state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require state agencies that use TexasOnline to assist in marketing efforts regarding the use of the project and that each state agency that maintains a generally accessible Internet site and uses TexasOnline shall include a link to the TexasOnline on the front pages of the site.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 787

 

HB 2495

Carona,

Dallas

Branch,

Dallas

Relating to the deadline for passing the examination for a license to practice medicine in the state.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would extend the time that an applicant for a license to practice medicine in this state would have to pass the examination.  Current law requires that an applicant passes the exam within seven years and this amendment would expand that time to ten years.

 

Current law requires an applicant who is a graduate of a program designed to lead to both a doctor of philosophy degree and a doctor of medicine degree or doctor of osteopathy degree to complete the exam not later than the second anniversary after the doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathy degree was awarded.  This bill would expand the time to not later than the second anniversary after the date that the applicant completed the graduate medical training required.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 788

Carona,

Dallas

Relating to the eligibility of certain graduates of foreign medical schools for a license to practice medicine.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would add a new class of individuals eligible for a medical license in this state.  The applicant must have graduated from a medical school located outside the United States and Canada and the curriculum must meet the requirements for an unapproved medical school as determined by the Coordinating Board and the applicant must hold a valid certificate issued by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, be fully trained in and practices a subspecialty of medicine under an unrestricted license to practice medicine in the country in which the applicant resides, have successfully completed at least one year of an approved fellowship accredited by the ACGME and passed the Texas medical jurisprudence examination.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 798

 

HB 1442

Brimer,

Tarrant

Goolsby,

Dallas

Relating to the imposition of a surcharge for use of a credit card.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would prohibit a seller from imposing an unposted surcharge on a buyer who uses a credit card.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB 800

Madla,

San Antonio

Relating to the establishment of Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 87.841.  This bill establishes Texas A&M University—San Antonio as a general academic teaching institution. The institution cannot operate as a free-standing institution until the Coordinating Board certifies that the enrollment of the center has reached enrollment equivalent of 2,500 full-time students for one semester.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB  814

Averitt,

Waco

Relating to an exemption for certain military personnel and veterans from the requirement of the Texas Academic Skills Program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 51.306(r).  This bill would exempt individuals who are serving in active duty with the Texas National Guard; students who are currently serving and for at least the last three-year period preceding enrollment, has been a member of the reserve component of the armed forces of the United States; or students who on or after August 1, 1990, were honorably discharged, retired, or released from active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States or the Texas National Guard or service as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States from the requirements regarding the TASP.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 816

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Relating to the payment of retirement benefits to certain retirees of the Teacher Retirement System who are employed as faculty members at a college of education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 824.602(a).  This bill would prohibit the Teacher Retirement System from withholding a monthly benefit payment to a retiree who is employed in a position as a member of the faculty of a college of education within an institution if the retiree has retired without reduction for retirement at an early age.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 817

 

HB 3224

Fraser,

Marble Falls

Moreno,

El Paso

Relating to participation by certain county officers, employees and retired officers and employees and their dependents in the state employees group benefits program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize counties with a population of less than 250,000 for their officers, employees, and retired officers and employees and their dependents to participate in the uniform group insurance program administered by the Employees Retirement System.  The group insurance program would not be required to make the coverage available until September 1, 2004. Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 830

 

HB 529

Deuell,

Greenville

Brown, B.

Terrell

Relating to the ineligibility of a delinquent child support obligor to receive state-funded or state-administered student financial assistance.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

These amendments would prohibit an individual who is a child support obligor who is more than thirty days delinquent in paying child support from receiving a scholarship, a loan associated with an educational loan repayment conditioned on the performance of some service obligation after graduation, or a federally funded educational loan that is administered by the state.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 833

Williams,

The Woodlands

Relating to including alumni associations and related in-campus organizations in the Charitable Immunity and Liability Act.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 84.003(1).  This bill would include alumni associations and related on-campus organizations in the definition of charitable organizations for purposes of the Charitable Immunity and Liability Act.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 839

 

HB 3444

Duncan,

Lubbock

Hughes,

Mineola

Relating to gas transportation service for a state agency.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Utilities Code, Section 104.251.  This bill would prohibit a gas utility from requiring, as a condition for providing transportation services for a state agency, a different level of service, instrumentalities, or facilities than the utility normally provides.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB 847

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to certain state agencies maintaining automated external defibrillators on the premises.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Health and Safety Code by adding Section 779.009.  This bill defines state agency to exclude a university system or institution of higher education.  The bill would require a state agency as defined to make available an automated external defibrillator at each location at which the agency has one hundred or more full-time equivalent employees.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 848

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to the benefits provided to certain firefighters and peace officers or their eligible survivors as a result of a disability or death from certain causes.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

The bill defines peace officer as an individual elected, appointed, or employed to serve as a peace officer for the state or a political subdivision of this state under Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure.  This bill establishes a rebuttable presumption that a firefighter or peace officer who is employed full-time by the state for at least ten years and becomes disabled or dies as a result of hypertension or heart disease did so in the line of duty.  Thus, the officer or his survivor would be eligible for benefits.  The presumption could only be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003

 

 

 

SB 858

Madla,

San Antonio

Relating to creating the rural physician relief program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill authorizes the Office of Rural Community Affairs to establish a rural physician relief program for physicians practicing in counties with a population less than 50,000 or a medically underserved area.  The program would be supported by fees paid by rural physicians to participate in the program and gifts, grants, donations, or contributions.  The program would have an advisory committee that would include a representative from a Texas medical school, a program director from an accredited primary care residency program, a representative from the Coordinating Board, and at least three other physicians practicing in rural counties. The bill has several other amendments that are cleanup amendments moving rural heath care programs to the Office of Rural Community Affairs.  See HB 1877, Hartnett.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 869

Shapiro,

Addison

Relating to homeland security.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines agency as any governmental entity.  The bill also defines critical infrastructure to include all public or private assets, systems, and functions vital to the security, governance, public health and safety, economy, or moral of the state.  The bill directs the Governor to develop a statewide homeland security strategy that improves the state’s ability to detect and deter threats to the homeland security, respond to homeland security emergencies, and recover from homeland security emergencies.  The bill establishes the Critical Infrastructure Protection Council that consists of twenty appointed or elected officers of state government.  None representing higher education are included.  The council is required to advise the Governor on the development and coordination of a statewide critical infrastructure protection strategy, the implementation of the Governor’s homeland security strategy and other measures relating to the planning, development, coordination, and implementation of initiatives to promote the Governor’s homeland security strategy.  See HB 9, Flores.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 872

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to the application of the open meetings law and the public information law to meetings and information regarding certain plans, including emergency prevention or response plans and engineering or architectural plans.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Sections 551.091, 551.092, 552.146, and 552.147.  This bill creates new exceptions to the open meetings law for meetings when the governmental body deliberates tactical, security, or emergency procedures in a plan for preventing or responding to an act of terrorism.  Another exception would allow a closed meeting when the governmental body deliberates an engineering, architectural, or similar plan or drawing that, if released, would jeopardize the health or safety of an individual or the security of a system, a facility, or equipment.

 

The bill creates new exceptions to the Public Information Act for information regarding emergency prevention or response plans and for certain engineering, architectural, or similar plans. The public information exceptions track the open meetings exceptions.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 875

Duncan,

Lubbock

Relating to establishing uniform minimum ethics requirements for persons involved in the management or investment of state funds.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Chapter 2263.  This new chapter would apply to anyone who manages or invests any state funds under the Texas Constitution, and by or for a public retirement system, an institution of higher education, or another entity that is part of state government and that manages or invests state funds.  The governing body of state governmental entity that manages or invests state funds would be required to adopt an ethics policy that would cover the members of the governing body, officers and employees, consultants and advisors, and brokers and money managers who provide financial services for the state governmental entity.  The bill would require each officer and employee of the state governmental entity who exercises significant decision-making or fiduciary authority to file a financial disclosure statement with a person designated by the governing body and with the state auditor.  Members of the governing body and officers or employees would be required to file disclosure statements regarding any relationship that could reasonably be expected to diminish the person’s independence of judgment in the performance of the person’s responsibilities in connection with the management or investment of state funds. The members of the governing body and the officers and employees would be required to file a compliance statement annually with the governing body and the State Auditor regarding compliance with all applicable requirements of this new chapter.  The governing body would be required to adopt rules regarding the standards of conduct applicable to consultants, advisors, money managers, and brokers who advise the state governmental body.  This would apply to those individuals who are reasonably expected to receive more than $10,000 in compensation from the entity during a fiscal year or render important investment or funds management advice to the governing body.  These individuals would also be required to file similar disclosure statements and annual ethics compliance statements with the governing body.  These individuals would also be required to file disclosure statements regarding expenditures of more than $250 made on behalf of a member of the governing body or an officer or employee of the entity by these individuals.

 

The State Auditor would be required to prescribe forms for financial disclosure statements, annual ethics compliance statements, disclosure statements of conflicts of interest, and waivers of the prohibition against involvement in a matter affected by a conflict of interest.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 890

 

HB 3499

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Raymond,

Laredo

Relating to the lease of certain state parking lots and garages.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would only apply to parking lots and garages in the city of Austin managed by the Texas Building and Procurement Commission.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 904

Lindsay,

Houston

Relating to the appointment by the governor of the presiding officers of the governing bodies of state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 651.008.  This bill defines state agency to include a university system or institution of higher education.  This amendment requires the Governor to designate a member of the governing body of each state agency as the presiding officer of the governing body to serve in that capacity at the pleasure of the Governor.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 912

 

HB 2143

Ratliff,

Mt. Pleasant

Naishtat,

Austin

Relating to surplus and salvage computer equipment.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 2175.001(1), 2175.128, and 2175.304(b) and (c); adds Section 2175.306.  This bill expands the definition of assistance organization to include a nonprofit computer bank that solicits, stores, refurbishes, and redistributes used computer equipment public school students and their families.  The amendments authorize state agencies and institutions of higher education to transfer surplus or salvage data processing property to an assistance organization designated by a school district.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 919

Whitmire,

Houston

Relating to the kinds of mail service that may be used under the public information law to send a notice or any other document to a person.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 552.308.  This bill would authorize a governmental entity to use a common or contract carrier to deliver requested public information.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 928

 

HB 1961

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Luna,

Corpus Christi

Relating to the name of Southwest Texas State University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends various sections in the Texas Education Code and renames Southwest Texas State University as the Texas State University at San Marcus.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 932

 

HB 1912

Shapiro,

Addison

Wolens,

Dallas

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.17421.  This bill would authorize the UT System Board of Regents to issue tuition revenue bonds in a principal amount not to exceed $56 million to finance a biomedical research facility at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 933

Shapiro,

Addison

Relating to charter schools, including virtual charter schools, of public colleges and universities.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines a virtual charter school to mean a charter school authorized and operating under the law that uses technology, including the Internet, to deliver a significant portion of the school’s instruction outside of a central campus.  The bill would authorize a public senior college to operate a virtual charter school administered by the college or university to operate from an administrative office in the same county in which the campus of the college or university is located.  The virtual charter school would be required to assess at least once each week during the school year the student’s performance in each core curriculum subject area; provide the parent or legal guardian of each student with a computer and printer, physical copies of any instructional materials related to the student’s curriculum; and reimbursement for any fees related to Internet access.  The virtual charter school would be required to maintain a student-teacher ratio of not less than one teacher for each 60 students in average daily attendance, employ teachers who are certified, and require teachers to meet with parents or guardians four times each academic year.  The virtual charter school would be entitled to receive state funding for each student in average daily attendance at a level equal to an open-enrollment charter school.  Each senior college or university sponsoring a virtual charter school would be required to perform an annual evaluation of the school.  See HB 1554, Grusendorf.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 938

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to enforcement of veteran’s employment preference.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Sections 657.051—657.053.  This bill would authorize a district attorney in the appropriate district and a district court to enforce the veteran’s employment preference law based on the pleadings of an individual who believes he/she is entitled to this benefit.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 950

Shapiro,

Addison

Relating to reimbursement by school districts for developmental courses or programs taken by certain former district students at certain public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 29.910.  This bill would require a school district in which a student attended high school for at least one year and graduated from high school to reimburse an eligible institution of higher education that the student attends for the cost of the institution of a developmental course or program in English language arts or mathematics that the student is required to take.  The eligible institution of higher education would be required to notify TEA of the amount owed to the institution by each school district.  TEA would notify each district of the total amount of reimbursements claimed from the district and the district would be required to pay that amount within ninety days.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 964

 

HB 1210

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Naishtat,

Austin

Relating to matching grants for low to moderate income families participating in the higher education savings or prepaid tuition program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.7085.  This bill would allow the Coordinating Board to match all or part of the contributions to a savings trust account or all or part of the payments under a prepaid tuition contract from money available for that purpose for a beneficiary who resides in Texas and has a family income not greater than the income level established by the board, which may not exceed the statewide medium family income, adjusted for family size, established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The board may solicit gifts, grants, or appropriations to fund this program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 975

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to educator training reading.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 21.044.  This bill would require all educator certification programs to incorporate the appropriate state-developed research-based training and materials in reading required for the implementation in all districts to address the needs of students determined to be at risk for dyslexia or other reading difficulties.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 976

 

HB 2276

Shapiro,

Addison

Morrison,

Victoria

Relating to high school completion and the creation of a middle college education pilot program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 39.131(a) and adds Sections 11.255 and 29.908.  This bill would require the commissioner of public education to establish and administer a middle college education pilot program for students who are at risk of dropping out of school or who wish to accelerate high school completion.  The program must provide for a course of study that enables a student to combine high school courses and college-level courses during grades 11 and 12, allow the student to complete high school and receive at least a high school diploma and associate degree at the time of graduation, include articulation agreements with colleges, universities, and technical schools, and provide a participating student flexibility in class scheduling and academic mentoring.  The student would be entitled to the benefits of the Foundation School Program in proportion to the amount of time the student is in high school courses.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 986

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to alternative dispute resolution of certain contract claims against the state.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 2260.003(a) and (c), 2260.005, 2260.051(d), 2260.052(a), 2260.104(e), 2260.105(a), and 2260.1055(a); repeals Sections 2260.052(b) and 2260.104(f).  This bill amends various sections of the alternative dispute resolution process established for state contracts.  The bill would authorize a contractor to recover for any delay or labor-related expense incurred by the contractor as a result of an action of or a failure to act by the unit of state government.  The bill also authorizes a contractor to recover attorney’s fees.  The bill would reduce the time that a unit of state government has to assert any counter claim from ninety days to thirty days.  The bill shortens the time frame in which hearings must be held.  The bill eliminates the $250,000 cap on damages that a contractor could recover in this process.  See HB 1591, Nixon.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 996

 

HB 1109

Williams,

The Woodlands

King,

Weatherford

Relating to collateral eligible to be pledged with the comptroller to secure state deposits.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would add letters of credit to the permissible list of collateral eligible to be pledged by the comptroller to secure state deposits.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1000

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to a statistical or demographic analysis conducted by the Legislative Council for a state agency and to information collected by the council in the course of performing the analysis.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Sections 323.020 and 2113.108.  This bill would require a state agency who is performing a statistical or demographic analysis of information collected by or for the agency in the course of conducting a required study to contract with the Texas Legislative Council if the council determines that the council resources are available to perform or assist the agency.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB 1005

 

HB 3275

West, R.

Dallas

Gallego,

Alpine

Relating to reporting a state agency that is not complying with the requirement to make a good faith effort to increase the agency’s use of historically underutilized businesses in purchasing and public works contracting.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 2161.123(d).  When the State Auditor performs an analysis of a state agency’s compliance with the HUB purchasing and public works contracting, the State Auditor would be required to report to the Building and Procurement Commission and to report to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Appropriations Committee.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1006

 

HB 3216

West, R.

Dallas

Dukes,

Austin

Relating to requiring state institutions of higher education to develop plans for increasing the use of historically underutilized businesses in purchasing and contracting.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 2161.123(a).  This amendment acknowledges the fact that institutions of higher education are currently exempt from the requirement to prepare a strategic plan under Chapter 2056.  This amendment would require each governing board of a university system or institution of higher education not included in a university system, other than a public junior college, to prepare a written plan for increasing the use of HUBS in purchasing and public works contracting by the system or institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1007

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to student eligibility for a TEXAS grant based on preliminary high school transcripts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 56.3041.  This bill would allow an institution of higher education to award a TEXAS grant to an initial recipient for an academic year prior to receiving the final high school transcript if the applicant’s high school transcript shows that at the time the transcript was prepared the student was on schedule to graduate from high school and to complete the recommended or advanced high school curriculum.  The Coordinating Board or the eligible institution may require the student to forego or repay the amount of an initial TEXAS grant if the student failed to complete the recommended or advanced high school curriculum when the final transcript is issued. That student would only be eligible for a subsequent TEXAS grant if the student completed the associate degree requirement.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1008

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to preferential admission to graduate or professional degree programs at public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.810.  This amendment would require each institution of higher education that offers a graduate or professional degree program to set aside at least thirty percent of the degree program’s enrollment capacity for each entering class for admission of applicants who graduate with a baccalaureate degree and a grade point average in the top ten percent of the applicant’s graduating class and meet any curriculum requirement for admission to the degree program.  If the number of qualified applicants exceed the number of spaces available, the institution would be required to conduct a lottery to award the spaces.  If the student fails to graduate with a grade point average in the top ten percent of the student’s class, the institution would be allowed to withdraw the offer of admission.  This amendment would apply to admissions for the 2004 fall semester.  See HB 484, Wilson.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1009

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to the establishment of an undergraduate medical academy at Prairie View A&M University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, adding Section 87.108.  This bill would establish the Prairie View A&M Undergraduate Medical Academy to prepare students for medical school. The bill sets forth the eligibility requirements for the students and the services to be provided by the academy.  See HB 85, McClendon.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1034

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to the use of certain human cells and tissue.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Health and Safety Code by adding Chapter 168.  Amends Penal Code, Section 48.002(c).  This bill would establish the statutory conditions regarding stem cell research and human cloning.  The bill does allow for research involving the derivation and use of human embryonic stem cells, human embryonic germ cells, and human adult stem cells.  The bill establishes a third degree felony offense for a person who directly or indirectly knowingly engages in or assists in the replication of a human individual by cultivating a cell with the individual’s genetic material.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1039

 

HB 2666

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Puente,

San Antonio

Relating to demonstration and deployment of fuel cells for electric generation.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would establish the fuel cell electric generation demonstration and deployment program to achieve certain generation capacity goals at either an electric utility, electric cooperative, or a municipally owned utility that is located in an nonattainment area.

 

The bill also would require the Council on Environmental Technology to provide coordination and support for the Texas Consortium for Advanced Fuel Cell Research.

 

The bill directs the State Energy Conservation Office to partner with the U.S. Department of Energy and other federal agencies to develop cooperative programs related to research, development and demonstration of fuel cell technology in this state.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1079

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to a study by the University of Texas School of Public Health regarding persons in this state who do not have health insurance coverage.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 73.203.  This bill requires the UTHSC School of Public Health to conduct a study regarding persons in this state who do not have health insurance coverage.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1090

 

HB 656

Carona,

Dallas

Geren,

River Oaks

Relating to inspection, installation, repair, and maintenance of elevators, escalators, chair lifts, people movers, moving sidewalks, platform lifts, and related equipment; providing an administrative penalty.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends numerous statutes relating to the inspection, certification, registration, and licensing of the mechanical devices listed in the caption.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1102

 

HB 261

Fraser,

Marble Falls

Hupp,

Lampasas

Relating to the eligibility of armed forces personnel and their family members to pay tuition and fees at the rate provided to Texas residents.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.058 by adding Subsection (j).  This bill would authorize a member of the armed forces of the United States or the child or spouse of a member who is entitled to pay tuition and fees at the rate provided for Texas residents under another provision of this section while enrolled in a degree or certificate program to be entitled to pay tuition and fees at the rate provided for Texas residents in any subsequent term or semester while the person is continuously enrolled and the person’s eligibility does not terminate because the person is no longer a member of the armed forces.  See HB 405, Miller.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1113

 

HB 2455

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Chisum,

Pampa

Relating to the governmental entities subject to, and the confidentiality of records under, the Sunset review process.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would extend the time for the Sunset review of both the TexasOnline division and the electronic government program management office of the Department of Information Resources from a review currently scheduled for September 1, 2005 to a review scheduled for September 1, 2009.

 

This bill would exempt documents received by the Sunset Commission and working papers used or developed by the commission in the performance of its functions from the Public Information Act.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1121

 

HB 2044

Staples,

Palestine

McReynolds,

Lufkin

Relating to the powers and duties of the General Land Office and the accounting and disposition of state-owned real property.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Natural Resources Code, Chapter 31.  This bill clarifies the powers and duties of the General Land Office and in particular, the asset management division of the General Land Office regarding accounting for and disposition of state-owned real property.  The bill continues the authority of institutions of higher education to maintain the inventory records of the real property owned by each institution.  The bill also appears to continue the exemption for real property of an institution of higher education from the evaluation by the division regarding property that is unused or substantially underused.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1122

 

HB 2249

Staples,

Palestine

Howard,

Sugar Land

Relating to sale and lease of public school land.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill makes several technical changes to the School Land Board authority regarding the public school land.  The amendments primarily involve the appraisal and the definition of market value.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1127

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Relating to the creation of a coaching education program by the San Antonio Life Science Institute.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 75.205.  This bill requires the San Antonio Life Science Institute to establish a coaching education program to be administered by the UT Sport Sciences Institute.  The program would be required to address coaching philosophy, sport psychology, sport pedagogy, sport physiology, sport management, and training.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

HB 1128

Bivins,

Amarillo

Relating to the administration of the Joint Admission Medical Program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 51.821(5), 51.824(a) and (d), 51.826, 51.829(a), 51.830, and 51.831; adds Sections 51.8245 and 51.8246.  The primary amendments of this bill allow the JAMP program to select program alternates and to rank the alternates.  The council would be allowed to admit an alternate to the program if a participating student withdraws or terminates.

 

The bill also creates a confidentiality section for these student education records created in this program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1136

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Relating to access to certain private medical information.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Health and Safety Code, Section 181.001(b) and (3); repeals Sections 181.001(b) and (2) and (5).  This bill clarifies the reference to the federal regulations regarding HIPPA.  The bill repeals the definition of health care operations and protected health information.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1139

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Relating to instructional facilities of a junior college district and to state financial assistance for junior college instructional facilities and outstanding bonds.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 130.301—130.317.  This bill establishes a formula for state support for instructional facilities at community colleges.  The Coordinating Board would be required to administer the amount appropriated to fund the instructional facilities allotment.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1151

 

HB 2411

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Solomons,

Carrollton

Relating to the publication of state agency Internet addresses in telephone directories.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Utilities Code, Section 55.203(a).  This bill would require that a private for-profit publisher of a residential telephone directory include the Internet address of TexasOnline and a statement that Internet sites for state agencies may be assessed through TexasOnline.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1152

 

HB 2412

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Solomons,

Carrollton

Relating to the use of TexasOnline.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

One new section of this bill would require a state agency prior to contracting with a third party to develop an Internet project that duplicates a TexasOnline function to contact DIR regarding the opportunity to bid on the project using TexasOnline.  The state agency would be required to contract with DIR if the department’s bid is lower, unless the program management office approves the award of the project to a third party.

 

Each state agency would be required to advertise TexasOnline and would be required to maintain a link to the TexasOnline front page on the agency’s Internet site.

 

The bill also strengthens the duties of the TexasOnline authority giving the authority approval of services to be provided by the project and the right to oversee contract performance for the project.  See HB 1720, HB 1627, and SB 775.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1154

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to state publications maintained by the State Library and Archives Commission.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 441.101, 441.102, 441.103, 441.104, and 441.106.  This bill directs the State Library and Archives Commission to maintain a system, named the Texas Records and Information Locator or “trail” to allow electronic access to the State Library and other depository libraries to state publications in electronic format to be made available to the public.  Each state agency would be required to make its printed state publications accessible from the state agency’s website in an electronic format.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1155

 

HB 2765

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Dukes,

Austin

Relating to the purchase of certain wireless communications devices by state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 2157.005 by adding Subsection (d).  This bill would remove purchases of wireless communication devices to be used by peace officers, firefighters, and other emergency response personnel from the requirements regarding the technology access clause in the purchasing documents for these devices.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1157

 

HB 2676

Averitt,

Waco

Hughes,

Mineola

Relating to the duties of the attorney general.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 402.003.  This bill eliminates some of the information that the attorney general is required to report to the governor on the first Monday in December of each even-numbered year.  The eliminated information relates to indictments, convictions, dismissals, and summary of the judgments rendered on convictions.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1160

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to the development and implementation of personnel policies and procedures of state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Labor Code, Section 21.452.  This bill requires eight state agencies including TDCJ, Department of Health, Department of Human Services, MHMR, Department of Protective and Regulatory Services, Parks and Wildlife Department, the Rehabilitation Commission, and the Youth Commission to establish personnel selection procedures that incorporate job-related objective criteria for applicants to a particular job or class of jobs.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1162

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to the accountability of administrators in institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.968.  This bill would require that each institution of higher education and each system of higher education provide to the Legislative Budget Board a report including the total number of persons holding a high-ranking administrative position by name, salary, and total value of non-salary benefits.  Each institution would be required to provide comparable salary information for the institution’s faculty members.  The institution would be prohibited from providing average salary increases for all high-ranking administrators in excess of the average faculty salary increases for all faculty members employed by the institution or the component institutions of the system.

 

The Coordinating Board would be required to identify a set of peer institutions for each institution of higher education and a set of comparable systems for each university system.  The present salary of each institution would not be allowed to exceed by more than three percent the average salary for presidents of the institution’s peer institutions.  The chancellor’s salary would not be allowed to exceed by more than three percent the average salary for chancellors of comparable university systems.  See HB 2645, Bailey.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1163

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to the Early High School Graduation Scholarship Program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 56.204.  This bill increases the state tuition credit for early high school graduation from $1,000 to $2,000.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1167

 

HB 2986

 

HB 3126

Janek,

Harris

Capelo,

Corpus Christi

Truitt,

Southlake

Relating to increasing the number of registered nurses and other health care professionals.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.923 and 63.202; adds Sections 56.3075, 56.3575, 61.9235, 61.9236, 61.927, and 61.928; amends Occupations Code, Section 304.013.  This bill amends the existing statute relating to grants administered by the Coordinating Board for professional nursing programs by deleting the language regarding retention of inadequate number of qualified faculty.  The bill then establishes four new grant programs including a faculty grant program, health care worker transition grant program, and two health care profession student grant programs.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1169

Janek,

Harris

Relating to offering health reimbursement arrangements under the Employees Group Benefits Act.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Insurance Code, Chapter 1551.  This bill would replace the Uniform Group Insurance Program with a health reimbursement arrangement program beginning September 1, 2004.  See SB 3359, Delisi.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1172

Janek,

Harris

Relating to the regulation of certain medical expert witnesses.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would amend the statutes to state that an out-of-state medical expert would be considered to be engaged in the practice of medicine for purposes of performing the review or providing the testimony or opinion and is subject to the regulation of the State Board of Medical Examiners.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1200

 

HB 1889

Lucio,

Brownsville

Morrison,

Victoria

Relating to the creation of the TexasNextStep grant program to pay tuition and required fees and textbook costs of certain students enrolled in two-year public institutions of higher education in this state.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 56.451—56.457.  This bill establishes the TexasNextStep grant program to be administered by the Coordinating Board.  In order to be eligible, a person must be a resident of this state, who not later than the sixteenth month after graduating from high school enrolls for at least one-half of a full course load in an associate degree or certificate program at a public junior college, public technical institute, or public state college.  The student must have applied for any available financial aid or assistance and must have met eligibility requirements necessary to receive federal student financial aid, other than requirements regarding financial need.

 

A person may not receive a grant for more than ninety semester credit hours including any developmental coursework.  The student may receive a TexasNextStep grant regardless of whether the person is eligible for a TEXAS grant or a TEXAS grant II.

 

After the initial award and in order to continue receiving the grants, the student must continue to be enrolled in an associate degree or certificate program, for at least one-half of a full course load, making satisfactory academic progress toward the degree or certificate, and continue to meet the eligibility requirements necessary to receive federal student financial aid, other than requirements regarding financial need.

 

The person receiving the grant could use the money to pay any usual and customary costs of attendance at an eligible institution.  The institution may disperse all or part of the proceeds to an eligible person only if the tuition and required fees and textbook costs incurred by the person at the institution have been paid.

 

The Coordinating Board would determine the amount of the TexasNextStep grant by determining the average amount of tuition and required fees and textbook costs for a resident student enrolled full-time in an associate or certificate program for that semester or term.  The Coordinating Board would be required to adopt rules to proportion the amount of the grant to the number of semester credit hours in which a student is enrolled and to require the Coordinating Board to reduce the amount of the grant by the amount of any state or federal gift aid for which the student receiving the grant is eligible if the aid can be applied to the person’s tuition and required fees and textbook costs at the eligible institution.  The institution would not be allowed to charge a person attending the institution who also receives a TexasNextStep grant an amount of tuition and required fees in excess of the amount of the grant, except the institution may charge an additional amount if the person’s residence is outside the junior college district.  The first awards to entering students would be for the 2004-2005 academic year.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1203

Lindsay,

Houston

Relating to the civil liability of certain emergency medical services personnel and providers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Sections 101.001, 101.023(d), and 101.062.  This bill amends the Tort Claims Act by providing an emergency services provider with immunity from civil liability to the same extent that the public agency on behalf of which the emergency services provider acts would be immune under the Tort Claims Act.  The bill defines an emergency services provider to mean a provider licensed under Chapter 773, Health and Safety Code, to the extent that the provider is providing 9-1-1 emergency medical services on behalf of a public agency.  The bill would cap the liability for the emergency services provider at $100,000 for each person and $300,000 for each single occurrence.  See HB 1551, Haggerty.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1207

Duncan,

Lubbock

Relating to state liability for costs and attorney’s fees in certain actions seeking declaratory judgment.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 37.009.  This bill adds a section stating that the state and any state agency are not liable for costs and attorney’s fees associated with an action seeking declaratory judgment regarding construction of a state agency’s powers or duties under the agency’s enabling statute.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1214

 

HB 2004

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Marchant,

Carrollton

Relating to allowing a governmental body to deliberate in a closed meeting regarding the business and financial considerations of a proposed contract.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 551.0725.  This bill would provide a new exception to the Open Meetings Act allowing a governmental body to conduct a closed meeting to deliberate the business and financial considerations relating to a proposed contract if deliberation in an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the position of the governmental body in negotiations with a third party.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1216

 

HB 2759

Janek,

Harris

Wong,

Houston

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for biotechnology research and development facilities.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.17521.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the UT System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $48 million for a biotechnology research and development facility at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1230

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to authorizing an environmental service fee at Southwest Texas State University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.5111.  This bill authorizes the board of regents of the Texas State University System to charge each student enrolled at Southwest Texas State University an environmental service fee in an initial amount not to exceed $1 per semester or summer session.  The purpose of the fee is to be used to provide environmental improvements at the university through services such as recycling, transportation, employment, product purchasing, matching funds for grants, planning and maintenance, and irrigation.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB 1239

 

HB 2967

Barrientos,

Austin

Naishtat,

Austin

Relating to the establishment of a program for the disposition of electronic equipment in a manner that protects the water and other natural resources of the state; providing a criminal penalty.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Health and Safety Code, Chapter 361, by adding Subchapter W.  This bill requires the Commission on Environmental Quality to establish a program for the disposition of electronic equipment.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1242

 

HB 2359

Armbrister,

Victoria

Ritter,

Nederland

Relating to the programs and systems administered by the Employees Retirement System.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill makes various changes in the ERS statutes.  The bill makes provisions for electronic filing of a beneficiary designation.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1243

Armbrister,

Victoria

Relating to systems ands programs administered by the Teacher Retirement System.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would allow a participant in the optional retirement program to make a one-time election to cease active participation in the program and to become a member of the Teacher Retirement System if the person is otherwise eligible to participate at the time of the election.  The retirement system would be required to adopt rules to facilitate the implementation of the election, including rules to prevent the receipt of credit under the retirement system and the optional retirement program for the same service.  This section would take effect only on receipt by the retirement system of a favorable private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service regarding the federal tax consequences of the one-time election.

 

Amends Government Code, Section 824.601.  This bill defines third-party entity to mean an entity retained by a Texas public educational institution to provide personnel to the institution that perform duties or provides services that employees of the institution would otherwise perform or provide.  A retiree would not be entitled to a benefit payment if the retiree is employed by a third-party entity and performs duties or provides services on behalf of or for the benefit of the institution.

 

The bill amends the section regarding the Governor’s appointment of the members of the board of trustees and requires the Governor to appoint one classroom teacher or a retired teacher who is receiving benefits to be a member of the board.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1258

Armbrister,

Victoria

Relating to local supplementation of state contributions to the optional retirement program for institutions of higher education and certain agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 830.201, Subsection (a), and adds Subsection (g).  This bill would authorize an institution of higher education to make a contribution to the optional retirement program in an amount that would equal the difference between the amount that the state is required to contribute (eight and on-half percent) to the benefit of each participant employed by the institution on August 31, 1995 and the amount the state appropriates for that purpose (six percent).  The institution may use local or other sources of money to supplement the state contribution.  This would entitle the employee to the same employer contribution as the employee received during the 1994-1995 biennium and an employer contribution up to eight and one-half percent of the aggregate annual compensation of all participants in the optional retirement program during that year.  See HB 264, F. Brown.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1259

 

Armbrister,

Victoria

Relating to deferred compensation plans for employees of regional education services and certain institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize an institution of higher education to create and administer for its employees a Section 457 IRC plan for deferred compensation.  The plan would determine the number of vendors that may be qualified for the plan at any given time.  Effective date:  January 1, 2004.

 

 

 

SB 1274

 

HB 2650

Armbrister,

Victoria

Kuempel,

Seguin

Relating to the creation of a council and an account in the general revenue fund to help improve statewide public safety wireless communication capabilities and enhance the Texas driver’s license system.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, by adding Sections 411.0105 and 411.0106.  This bill establishes the Public Safety Wireless Communications Council composed of the administrative heads of several state agencies.  The council is required to advise the Department of Public Safety in the development and administration of a strategic plan to implement statewide integrated public safety communications systems for state agencies and other state public safety entities that promotes interoperability and other shared uses of the public safety spectrum between local, state, and federal agencies.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1286

Gallegos,

Galena Park

Relating to collective bargaining by officials of the state or of a political subdivision.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 617.002.  This bill would authorize the governing body of a municipality with a population of 10,000 or more and a labor union to enter into a written agreement to meet and confer regarding peace officers employed by the municipality.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1297

 

HB 2522

Ogden,

College Station

Krusee,

Taylor

Relating to financing a multi-institutional education center in Williamson County for Southwest Texas State University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b) and adds Section 55.1734(e).  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the Texas State University System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $26 million to finance the facilities for the Southwest Texas State University MITC located in Round Rock, Texas.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1319

 

HB 2802

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Giddings,

De Soto

Relating to the establishment of a school of pharmacy at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 105.405.  This bill would authorize the University of North Texas System board of regents to establish a school of pharmacy as a professional school at the health science center.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1321

 

HB 3506

Harris, C.

Arlington

Marchant,

Carrollton

Relating to renumbering or relettering certain provisions of enacted codes.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This is a cleanup bill for previously enacted provisions of the statutes.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1331

Ratliff,

Mt. Pleasant

Relating to procurement procedures for construction-related services for public school districts, institutions of higher education, and the Building and Procurement Commission.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 2166.2532(c) and adds Section 2166.2535; amends Education Code, Sections 44.038(c) and 51.782(c).  Current law prohibits the institution’s engineer, architect, or construction manager-agent for a project from serving, alone or in combination with another, as the construction manager-at-risk.  This bill would provide an exception if the engineer or architect is hired to serve as the construction manager-at-risk under a separate or concurrent procurement conducted in accordance with the law.  This subsection does not prohibit the institution’s engineer or architect from providing customary construction phase services under the engineer’s or architect’s original professional service agreement in accordance with applicable licensing laws.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1332

 

HB 2447

Barrientos,

Austin

Chavez,

El Paso

Relating to the regulation of time, place, and manner of speech in a state institution of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.352(g).  This new subsection states that no regulation of the time, place, and manner of speech and assembly by a governing board shall be more restrictive than necessary to protect normal academic and institutional activities. Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1333

 

HB 2933

Barrientos,

Austin

Flores,

Mission

Relating to the transfer of the Commission on Human Rights to the Attorney General.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Chapter 461.  This bill transfers the Commission on Human Rights to the Office of Attorney General.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1337

 

HB 2995

Hinojosa,

McAllen

Capelo,

Corpus Christi

Relating to the liability of physicians, health care providers, and hospital district management contractors who provide services for certain governmental entities.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends the statutes relating to the eligibility for individuals contracting with local governments and makes provisions for those individuals under the Torts Claims statutes for local governments.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1355

Ellis, R.

Houston

Relating to the Department of Information Resources management of information technology at state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 2054.153—2054.157 and adds Sections 2054.065, 2054.401—2054.405, 2054.451—2054.454, 2054.501—2054.505, 2054.551—2054.556, and 2157.185.  This bill would require DIR to develop, implement, and enforce a standard information technology architecture for all state agencies.  The implementation must identify specific compliance standards for computer hardware and software, telecommunications, and related system components.

 

The department would be required to establish model guidelines for state agencies to use in implementing Capability Maturity Model-Integrated or a comparable program for developing and maintaining information technology system when developing their own internal quality assurance standards and guidelines.  The department by rule could exempt state agency projects from the requirement to implement internal quality assurance procedures for projects that fall below a cost of $1 million and risk thresholds established by the department.

 

The department would be required to develop, modify, and implement a statewide e-mail consolidation plan to merge the state’s agency-specific e-mail services into a unified and centrally managed and supported e-mail system. State agencies would be required to use the e-mail services provided by the department based on a cost-recovery model developed by the department.  The state agency would be prohibited from spending appropriated money for e-mail services that are not provided by the department.

 

The department would be required to develop, modify, and implement a consolidation plan to provide for centralized management of PeopleSoft deployment and operations at each state agency.  The plan would address the use a state data center for PeopleSoft hosting, use of an Internet-based application service provider, a schedule for deployment to state agencies, a schedule for upgrades for existing state agencies, and an approval process by which the department may authorize state agencies to spend money related to PeopleSoft deployment, operations, and maintenance.

 

The department would be required to develop and implement a plan to consolidate information technology at small state agencies which are defined as an agency with not more than one hundred full-time equivalent employees.

 

The department would be required to operate the state data center on the campus of Angelo State University.  The department would be required to develop, modify, and implement a plan to consolidate the state’s agency-specific data centers and ancillary services into a unified and centrally managed and supported data center.  Unless an agency receives a waiver, an agency would be prohibited from spending appropriated money for the services provided by the data center.

 

The department would be required to develop rules and guidelines to administer automated information systems contracts in the state including standard contract terms and conditions for use by all state agencies, and standard scopes of work, where possible.  An AIS contract with the value of $50,000 or more would have to be approved by the department.  This service would be provided on a cost-recovery basis.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1365

 

HB 898

Staples,

Palestine

Hamilton,

Mauriceville

Relating to the use of state travel services by public junior colleges and school districts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would allow an officer or employee of a public junior college or a school district who is engaged in official business to participate in the Texas Building and Procurement Commission’s contracts for travel services.  The bill would restrict reimbursements to only the contract rates negotiated by the commission.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1367

Duncan,

Lubbock

Relating to student union fees at component institutions of the Texas Tech University System.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.5241 and repeals Section 54.524.  This bill would repeal the current university center fee statute for Texas Tech University and would authorize a student union fee for the component institutions of Texas Tech University System.  The bill would remove the current $100 cap for the university center fee and replace it with a fee that would not have a strict dollar amount cap but would be tied to the last fee implemented under the previous section and could not increase by an amount greater than ten percent without a vote of a majority of the students of the institution in a general student election or a majority vote of the legislative body of the student government.  The bill would authorize the board of regents to prorate the fee for the length of the semester or term for which the student enrolls.  Each component would have an advisory board for the institution’s student union to establish the budget and recommend the fee level to the board of regents.  Effective date: September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1368

 

HB 1817

Duncan,

Lubbock

Ritter,

Nederland

Relating to certain fees for students attending institutions in the Texas State University System.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 54.5089, 54.511, 54.523, and 54.538.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the Texas State University System to establish increased caps for the medical services fee, the student center fees, the recreational sports fee, and would authorize a student bus service fee for the components of TSUS.  The medical services fee cap would go from $55 to $100; the student bus service fee would go from $46 to $100; the student center fee cap would go from $70 to $100; and the recreational sports fee cap would go from $50 to $100.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1370

 

HB 3332

Duncan,

Lubbock

Delisi,

Temple

Relating to certain group benefit plans provided to certain governmental officers, employees, and retirees and their dependents.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Insurance Code, Article 3.50-7, Section 3; and Article 3.50-8, Section 2(c); Article 3.50-9, Section 2(c); Education Code, Section 22.004(h); Insurance Code, Sections 1551.105, 1575.003(1), 1575.159, 1575.202(a), 1575.203(a), 1577.101, 1601.004(a), and 1601.600(a); repeals Insurance Code, Sections 1551.101(c), 1575.204, and 1601.201.  This bill amends the section regarding automatic coverage for participants in the employee’s group benefits program.  Currently, employees are entitled to automatic coverage on the date of employment; this bill would establish automatic coverage on the 90th day after the date of employment.  The amendments would require a full-time employee working less than forty hours a week to contribute at least fifty percent of the cost of coverage selected by the employee for the employee and at least seventy-five percent of the cost of coverage selected by the employee for the employee’s dependents.  This bill repeals coverage for board members.

 

The bill amends the state university employees uniform insurance benefits act by reducing the age at which a married child could be covered as a dependent.  Current law would allow coverage until the child is twenty-five years of age and this amendment would reduce it to nineteen years of age.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1371

 

HB 2425

Duncan,

Lubbock

McCall,

Plano

Relating to state fiscal matters; making an appropriation.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

The bill amends the sections regarding energy savings performance contracts for institutions of higher education.  The bill contains language regarding the legislature’s appropriation to an institution for energy, water, and waste water cost to be the sum of the institution’s estimated cost reduced by the net savings for that year for any energy savings performance contract.

 

This bill would authorize the comptroller to conduct performance reviews of general academic teaching institutions either on the initiative of the comptroller or by a request from the Coordinating Board or from the institution.  A majority of the members of the governing board of the institution may initiate a request from the institution.  Institutions would be required to pay twenty-five percent of the cost incurred in conducting the review just like public school districts.  See SB 571, Shapleigh.

 

The bill also incorporates amendments providing for merit salary increases for employees who are on the state classification pay plan.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1375

 

HB 2771

Armbrister,

Victoria

Howard,

Sugar Land

Relating to the acceleration of energy research and development.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 481.460.  This bill would require the Department of Economic Development to provide up to $2.5 million from the economic stabilization fund to be used as matching funds for the purpose of attracting the federal program for ultra-deep and onshore unconventional natural gas research and development at the Texas energy center.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1381

 

HB 3431

Armbrister,

Victoria

Rodriguez,

Austin

Relating to the accelerating the commercialization of the fuel cell industry in Texas, through a statewide demonstration incentive program, a temporary tax exemption, leveraging federal funds, coordination of research and development, and market analysis.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require the Council on Environmental Technology to provide coordination and support for the Texas Consortium for Advanced Fuel Cell Research.  The council is assigned certain duties regarding the development of fuel cell research.  The council would also be required to prepare a report for the legislature and the Railroad Commission regarding any changes to the fuel cell demonstration and deployment incentive program, steps necessary for the state to take to introduce fuel cell vehicles, regarding research and deployment programs at universities and private research centers in the state to advance fuel cell research and deployment and to attract federal and industry funding of fuel cell research.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1397

 

HB 2116

Ogden,

College Station

Brown, F.

Bryan

Relating to the operation of Texas Task Force 1.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 88.301—88.303.  The Texas Task Force 1 would be established as a program of the Texas Engineering Extension Service to provide training and responding to assist in search, rescue, and recovery efforts following natural or man-made disasters.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1401

Fraser,

Marble Falls

Relating to the administration of the telecommunications infrastructure fund, including the abolition of the telecommunications infrastructure fund board and the transfer of the board’s duties.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would transfer the responsibilities for administration of the TIF to the comptroller of published accounts and abolishes the TIF board.  The bill establishes the TIF fund as a trust fund that would allow the comptroller to only appropriate amounts earned by the fund and could not distribute the corpus of the trust fund.  This bill would terminate the deposits to the TIF on the earlier of the date on which the total amount deposited to the fund reaches $1.5 billion, excluding interests and loan repayments or September 1, 2005.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1403

Lucio,

Brownsville

Relating to requiring the Department of Information Resources to establish an electronically searchable central database for all grants that will be awarded by a state agency.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 2054.065.  This bill requires the Department of Information Resources to establish an electronically searchable central database accessible through TexasOnline that would allow a person to use a keyword search to discover all available state agency grant opportunities, to obtain basic information regarding each available state agency grant opportunity, and to electronically link to the portion of the granting agency’s website for more detailed information.  It would require each state agency that will award a grant to inform DIR regarding the grant information.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1420

Janek,

Harris

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston for the replacement of research and academic facilities lost in Tropical Storm Allison.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 17321.  This bill would authorize the University of Texas System board of regents to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $30 million to cover replacement of research and academic facilities lost in Tropical Storm Allison.  See HB 1941, Woolley and SB 609, Ellis.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1440

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to certain electronic and information resources technology projects of the state.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 2054.055(b), 2054.092, 2054.096(a), 2054.126, 2055.001(1), 2055.057(a), and adds Sections 2054.062, 2054.065, 2054.114, 2054.1181(d), 2054.1241, 2054.1251, 2055.060, 2055.107, 2055.154, 2055.201—2055.210, 2157.006, 2157.007, 2157.201—2157.203.  This bill requires DIR to develop, implement, and enforce a single software protocol for all state agencies.

 

The bill would require that each agency audit its information resources technologies to ensure compliance with state standards and rules regarding security.

 

Each state agency would be required to list its website address in appropriate telephone directories

 

This bill would require the program management office of the Department of Information Resources to implement a return on investment program for major information resources projects to quantify, measure, evaluate, and verify technology investment benefits for the government and residents of the state.  Higher education is currently exempt from the program management office.  The qualify assurance team of the LBB shall select projects for the return on investment program.

 

DIR would be required to establish contracting and purchasing standards for computer hardware and software and information technology services, including standards that limit vendor selection for identical products, establish target for agencies to reuse public software, reduce purchase prices, and improve security.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1443

 

HB 1537

Barrientos,

Austin

Dukes,

Austin

Relating to a fee for statues of Barbara Jordan and Cesar Chavez and related scholarships at The University of Texas at Austin.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.5135.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the University of Texas System to charge and collect from students registered at UT Austin a fee of $2 for any semester or summer session until August 31, 2007, to construct a statue of Barbara Jordan and Cesar Chavez.  If additional monies from these fees exist, the bill authorizes the institution to create scholarships in the names of these individuals.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1475

 

HB 3215

West, R.

Dallas

Dukes,

Austin

Relating to historically underutilized businesses.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 466.107, 2161.062, and 2161.231(b); adds Sections 2161.067 and 2161.232; V.T.C.S., Article 179e, Section 6.03(b); repeals Agriculture Code, Section 12.029; Education Code, Section 55.03; Government Code, Sections 465.0081, 493.012, 1231.086, and 1232.104(c); Natural Resources Code, Sections 161.131 and 161.132.  These amendments strike the language that allows the procurement director to serve as the HUB coordinator.  The bill adds language that allows the HUB coordinator and the procurement director to serve under a financial director of the agency only if the financial director is responsible for procurement and general fiscal affairs of the agency.

 

Each state agency that employs a HUB coordinator shall ensure that the positions of coordinator and procurement director are classified to titles in the position classification plan that are in the same salary group.

 

The repealed section in the Education Code would eliminate the annual minority and woman-owned business report.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB 1476

 

HB 2915

West, R.

Dallas

Wise,

Weslaco

Relating to permitting the creation of nonprofit corporation to refund outstanding student loan bonds.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Repeals Education Code, Section 53.47(k).  This bill would repeal the section grandfathering certain higher education authorities that had issued bonds on or after January 1, 1990, and before January 1, 2001, for qualified student loan bonds. Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1478

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to protecting certain public employees who report violations of law.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Current law protects a public employee who reports a violation of law by the employing governmental entity or another public employee if the employee reports it to the appropriate law enforcement authority.  This amendment would add reporting to a person within the employing governmental entity who has authority to act on the violation.  The bill also increases the dollar amount of damages that an employee could recover if the employee is suspended, terminated, or receives an adverse personnel action.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1479

Janek,

Harris

Relating to the sale and assignment of tobacco settlement revenues; authorizing the issuance of bonds.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill authorizes the Legislative Budget Board to issue general obligation bonds payable from the revenue received by the state under the Comprehensive Settlement Agreement and Release filed in the case of the State of Texas vs. the American Tobacco Company.  The proceeds from the sale of the bonds would be deposited in the general revenue fund.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1485

Ogden,

College Station

Relating to tuition and fees charged by institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 51.009(c), 54.005, 54.006(b) and (c), 54.5031, 54.504(a), 54.601, and 56.051; adds Sections 54.001 (1-a), 54.0025, and 54.2015; repeals Sections 54.0513, 54.503, 54.508, 54.509, 54.5132, 54.515, 54.524, and all other sections for specific fees at the various institutions.  This bill would establish a new tiered system for tuition and fees.  Institutions of higher education would only be allowed to collect charges from students at the institution in the following categories:  tuition in the amounts authorized by the statutes, essential student education fees, and discretionary student services fees.  The bill does leave intact what is considered state tuition and board authorized tuition for graduate and professional programs.  The essential student education fees are defined as fees determined by the governing board of an institution necessary to supplement the total tuition collected from all students to support the institution in complying with the institution’s statutory or constitutional mission or to maintain any necessary accreditation.  The total amount of essential student education fees charged to a student could not exceed 150% of the amount of tuition that the student would pay if the student paid full tuition at the rate provided for Texas residents.  This essentially would replace what is considered designated tuition and presently is capped at 100% of the amount of tuition of state tuition.

 

Discretionary student services fees are fees relating to services provided to students of an institution that are not related to maintaining the academic quality or accreditation of the institution.  This would include medical services, student recreation fees, transportation fees, international education fees, student union fees, university center fees, and intercollegiate athletics.  The total amount of discretionary student services fees charged to a student could not exceed the amount of tuition that the student would pay if the student paid full tuition at the rate provided for Texas residents.  The bill would require that any money from these fees spent for intercollegiate athletics be voted on separately by the student body.

 

The bill would require that all tuition and fees be accounted for in the General Appropriations Act as educational and general funds by providing a new definition for educational and general funds.  The bill makes provisions regarding the application of exemptions depending upon the language in each of the exemptions statutes.

 

The bill also would require the governing board to consult with the student services fee advisory committee when establishing incidental fees.  The bill would also limit the amount of an emergency loan that a student could receive to the amount of tuition and required fees which are defined as essential student education fees.  This would mean that students could no longer receive a loan to pay the discretionary student services fees.  This bill would require that fees under these new sections be put in place by January 1, 2004.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1486

Ogden,

College Station

Relating to funding of public institutions of higher education, including tuition rates that may be charged by those institutions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 54.051, 56.054, and 56.054; repeals Education Code, Chapter 56, Subchapter C and Section 61.059(m).  This bill would authorize the governing board of a general academic teaching institution or medical and dental unit to set a tuition rate for a nonresident student at an amount that the board considers necessary for the efficient administration of the institution or unit.  The amount could not be less than the current average of the five most populous states computed by the Coordinating Board.

 

The board of regents would be able to set the nonresident and resident tuition for students enrolled in summer terms or sessions at an amount that the board determines appropriate for the efficient operation of the institution.  This amount would be required to cover the direct and indirect cost to the institution for providing educational services and facilities to the students.  The Coordinating Board would not be authorized to recommend formula funding from any other source for the summer terms or sessions.

 

This bill completely repeals the Texas Public Educational Grant program.

 

The bill also repeals the section that limits the reduced nonresident tuition rate for students living not more than one hundred miles from a state border that limits formula funding for nonresident students if the number of students are in excess of ten percent of the total number of students enrolled at the institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1500

 

HB 1544

Janek,

Harris

Bonnen,

Angleton

Relating to a pilot project to allow select public junior colleges to offer certain baccalaureate degrees.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 130.0012.  This bill directs the Coordinating Board to establish a pilot project allowing five public junior colleges which include Brazos Port College, El Centro College of the Dallas County Community College District, Midland College, North Harris Montgomery Community College District, and South Texas Community College to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of authorizing public junior colleges to offer baccalaureate degree programs in the fields of applied science and applied technology.  The junior colleges would be prohibited from offering more than five baccalaureate degree programs under the project at any time.  The Coordinating Board would be required to recommend that the public junior college receive substantially the same state support for junior-level and senior-level courses offered under the pilot project as that provided to a general academic teaching institution for substantially similar courses.  The Coordinating Board would be required to prepare a progress report on the pilot project by not later than January 1, 2009.  Community colleges would be prohibited from enrolling new students in the pilot project after the 2011 fall semester unless the legislature continues the program.  See HB 1888, Morrison.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1512

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to the issuance of tuition revenue bonds by The University of Texas System for the University of Texas at Austin.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, by adding Section 55.175.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the University of Texas System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $80 million to be used for campus fire and life safety upgrades and the experimental science building at UT Austin.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1514

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to the creation of an academic and research infrastructure fee at The University of Texas at Austin.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.5135.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the UT System to charge each student enrolled at UT Austin an academic and research infrastructure fee not to exceed $40 per semester credit hour to finance, construct, renovate, improve, equip, or maintain academic or research facilities at the university.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB 1515

 

HB 3425

Armbrister,

Victoria

Lewis,

Fort Worth

Relating to an intercollegiate athletics fee for students at Prairie View A&M University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.5392.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of Texas A&M University System to charge students enrolled at the university an intercollegiate fee not to exceed $10 per semester credit hour if approved by a vote of students enrolled at Prairie View A&M University.  Any increase less than five percent would have to be approved by the legislative body of the student government at the university.  Any increase greater than five percent would have to be approved by a majority vote of the student government and a majority vote of the students participating in a general student election.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1516

 

HB 3024

Armbrister,

Victoria

Casteel,

Corpus Christi

Relating to increasing governmental efficiency through the reduction of duplicative reporting and auditing requirements.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 783.010.  This bill would require state agencies that require reports of local governments to review the reporting requirements placed on local governments and determine and eliminate unnecessary, duplicative, or overly burdensome reporting requirements and simplify reporting requirements.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1521

 

HB 2797

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Keel,

Austin

Relating to tuition charged by an institution of public higher education for certain graduate programs.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.008(g).  This bill would authorize the governing board of an institution of higher education to set the tuition for a graduate school of business at the institution at a rate that is at least equal to but not more than three times the state rate for tuition.  This tuition charge could be imposed for the fall semester of 2003.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1523

 

HB 3484

Deuell,

Greenville

Delisi,

Temple

Relating to health care coverage and services and other infrastructures for employed persons with disabilities

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends Government Code by adding Section 531.02443.  The bill establishes a working group to assist the Health and Human Services Commission in identifying, recommending, and developing policy options to improve access to health care coverage and services necessary to support increased employment of persons with disabilities in this state.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1528

 

SB 1771

 

HB 3323

Brimer,

Tarrant

Brimer,

Tarrant

Keffer, J.

Eastland

Relating to the creation of the Texas Enterprise Fund.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 481.078.  This bill would create the Texas Enterprise Fund as an account in the general revenue fund.  The fund would consist of any amount appropriated by the legislature, $390 million appropriated from the Economic Stabilization Fund, and gifts, grants, and other donations to the fund.  The fund could be used for economic development, infrastructure development, community development, job training programs, and business incentives.  See HB 3548, Pitts.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1534

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to the authorization of securities lending for governmental entities.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 2256.011.  This bill amends the Public Funds Investment Act to authorize entities to loan to securities dealers and financial institution securities or investments purchased under this act if the loan is collateralized by cash or securities having a market value of at least 100% of the market value of the securities loaned.  This would apply to those entities that are subject to this act.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB 1535

 

HB 2032

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Hochberg,

Houston

Relating to the confidentiality of e-mail addresses under the public information law.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 552.137.  This bill provides exceptions to the Public Information Act regarding the confidentiality of e-mail addresses.  The exceptions would apply to contractors, vendors, or respondents to a request for bids or proposals with a governmental body.  An e-mail address that is shown on a letterhead, cover sheet, printed document, or other documents that may be made available to the public are not confidential.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1541

 

HB 2861

Shapiro,

Addison

Morrison,

Victoria

Relating to the accountability of, and reporting by, public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, by adding Section 51.4015.  This bill would require each governing board of a university system to adopt standards to measure the performance of each institution of higher education under its jurisdiction.  The standards must include the availability of each institution to potential students and the success of students in meeting the academic requirements of the institution; standards relating to academic excellence; standards relating to service to and support by community; and standards relating to organizational efficiency and productivity.  The governing board would be required to file an annual report with the Coordinating Board not later than February 1 of each academic year.  This performance report would be in addition to the reports required in the General Appropriations Act.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1542

Shapiro,

Addison

Relating to tuition flexibility at institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.0513(b).  This bill would authorize the governing board of an institution of higher education to charge as designated tuition an amount not to exceed three times the amount charged as state tuition.  It would authorize the governing board to set a different tuition rate for each program and at varying times that courses are offered.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1546

Janek,

Harris

Relating to the limitation on a laboratory charge that may be set by a public junior college.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.501(a).  This bill would eliminate the cap of $24 per semester or summer term for the laboratory charge imposed on students enrolled at public junior colleges.  The new language would allow the laboratory charge to only be capped by an amount not to exceed the cost of the actual materials and supplies used by the student.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1554

 

HB 2350

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Dawson,

Pearland

Relating to the amount charged by the Texas Department of Health for a youth camp license.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize the Department of Health to set the fees for a license for a youth camp.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1560

 

HB 258

Madla,

San Antonio

Pickett,

El Paso

Relating to correcting errors in the distribution of benefits by a public retirement system.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill directs the governing body of a public retirement system to correct an error in the records and to adjust future payments so that the actuarial equivalent of benefit is paid to the person entitled.  An overpayment may only be corrected for the two years proceeding the date the governing body of the system discovers the overpayment.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1579

Carona,

Dallas

Relating to software acquisitions by state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill creates a definition for open source software which means software that guarantees that the user, without further cause, has unrestricted use of the software for any purpose, has unrestricted access to the respective source code, exhaustive inspection of the working mechanisms of the software, use of the internal mechanisms and arbitrary portions of the software to adapt them to the needs of the user, freedom to make and distribute copies of the software, and freedom to modify the software and to distribute under the same license as the original software.  The bill defines proprietary software as software that does not fulfill all of the guarantees provided by open source software.  All state agencies would be required to consider acquiring open source software products in addition to proprietary software products, acquire software products primarily on a value-for-money basis, provide justification for proprietary software purchases, and to avoid the acquisition of products that do not comply with open standards, as defined, for interoperability or data storage.  Effective date:  January 1, 2004.

 

 

 

SB 1580

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to bond requirements for privatized maintenance contracts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill applies to transportation contracts.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1586

Lucio,

Brownsville

Relating to establishing a health science center and medical school in the Rio Grande Valley.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Chapter 74.  This bill would establish UTHSC—Rio Grande Valley as a component of the UT System with its main campus and administrative offices located in Harlingen.  This bill deletes all references to the regional academic health center and refers to the component as a health science center.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1588

Whitmire,

Houston

Relating to exempting college savings plan accounts from attachment, execution, and seizure for the satisfaction of debts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would exempt college savings plan accounts from attachment, execution, and seizure for the satisfaction of debts.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1598

Janek,

Harris

Relating to health care liability claims.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends the statutes relating to medical malpractice claims by structuring payments for future losses, allowing consideration of collateral source benefits of the claimant, placing various limitations on the amount of damages a claimant may recover, placing limitations on contingency fees for attorneys, and establishing new qualifications for expert witnesses in suits against health care providers.  See HB 3, Nixon; HB 709, Nixon; SB 158, Nelson; HB 579, Eiland.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1599

 

HB 2947

Armbrister,

Victoria

Casteel,

New Braunfels

Relating to cost control and accountability in the decentralization of state programs and services.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 772.011.  This bill would require state agencies that decentralize programs or services to public entities or nonprofit organizations to use the state geographic planning regions established by the Governor as the geographic area for regional decentralization.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1627

 

HB 3328

Shapiro,

Addison

Grusendorf,

Arlington

Relating to compliance with federal education requirements.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 7.007.  This bill applies to the federal law of No Child Left Behind Act and affects school districts and charter schools.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1628

 

HB 2169

Shapiro,

Addison

Telford,

De Kalb

Relating to third-party entity employment in the public schools.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 824.601.  This bill defines third-party entity to mean an entity retained by a Texas public educational institution to provide personnel to the institution that perform duties or provides services that employees of the institution would otherwise perform or provide.  A retiree would not be entitled to a benefit payment if the retiree is employed by a third-party entity and performs duties or provides services on behalf of or for the benefit of the institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1630

Ratliff,

Mt. Pleasant

Relating to overhead expenses of conducting research at institutions of higher education and the indirect cost reimbursement relating to that research.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 145.001(c).  This amendment would limit the indirect cost reimbursement that is counted in the General Appropriations Act to not more than forty percent of the funds received by a general academic teaching institution for the fiscal year beginning September 1, 2003.  Beginning September 1, 2005, no indirect cost reimbursement shall be accounted for in the General Appropriations Act to reduce general revenue.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1634

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to the limitation on the allocation of office space to state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 2165.056.  These amendments would require the Building and Procurement Commission to notify the Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House, and the chairs of the four major legislative committees regarding waivers granted to state agencies regarding the allocation of office space.  See HB 3045, R. Cook.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1642

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to the establishment of a geriatric education and care research center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 74.604.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the UT System to establish the East Texas Center for Rural Geriatric Studies at the UTHSC at Tyler.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1648

 

HB 1684

Janek,

Harris

Woolley,

Houston

Relating to notice of a right to file a civil action under the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines a notice of intent to file a civil action as a notice issued by the commission or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1652

 

HB 2862

Shapiro,

Addison

Morrison,

Victoria

Relating to institutions of higher education, including the administration, operation, governance, and financing of those institutions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 39.023(c), 51.306, 51.680, 51.964, 54.5011, 65.45, and 153.006; Tax Code, Section 11.11(e); Property Code, Sections 21.042 and 55.004, Government Code, Sections 403.021(a), 404.097(d), 659.018, 2007.002, 2054.003(12), 2054.077, 2054.2011, 2054.251, 2152.064, 2166.101(a), 2166.302, 2254.006, 2254.021, 2254.028, 2254.031, 2254.102 and adds Section 572.0211.  Repeals Government Code, Sections 2054.113(a), 2054.121, and 2166.101(f).  This bill would eliminate the TASP and replace it with individual exams at each institution of higher education.  The amendments would allow the TAKS to replace the TASS as an assessment instrument.  The bill would authorize each institution to select an assessment instrument to evaluate the English language arts and mathematics skills of entering students.  The students would still be required to complete developmental courses and pass the test prior to enrolling in any upper division courses.

 

The amendment to the Tax Code would clarify that institutions of higher education do not lose the tax exemption for property used for public purposes when a portion of the property is used for a private purpose.

 

The bill amends the law regarding consulting services contract now valued at $15,000.  This bill would redefine major consulting services contracts as those exceeding $25,000.  The bill would also exempt institutions of higher education from obtaining a finding of fact from the Governor’s office that the consulting services are necessary if the chief executive of an institution completes a finding that the consulting services are necessary and provides an explanation of the finding.

 

The bill amends the law that currently authorizes institutions of higher education to collect credit card fees.  The changes in law would authorize an institution to collect a fee or charge for a discount, convenience, or service charge for the transaction, or a service charge in connection with a payment transaction that is dishonored or refused for lack of funds or insufficient funds.

 

The bill amends the sections regarding technology transfer to authorize the hiring of outside legal counsel without the attorney general’s approval in legal issues related to technology development.  The bill would also authorize institutions of higher education to hire outside counsel for technology development or transfer matters by entering into contingency fee contracts.

 

One of the amendments to the Property Code would clarify that damages to a party calculated in connection with a condemnation procedure on the party’s real property interest may not include the capitalized value to that party of any property tax exemptions arising due to a contractual or landlord-tenant relationship between the condemning authority and the party whose interest is being condemned. 

 

The other amendment to the Property Code would authorize physicians employed by institutions of higher education to file their own liens on a cause of action to recover the physician’s fees.

 

One of the amendments would allow an institution of higher education to re-hire a retiree after a waiting period of thirty days.  Current law requires one calendar year.  Another amendment would allow an employee to earn compensatory time if the employee is permitted to work at a home office and its participating in a telecommuting program approved by the employee’s supervisor.

 

Some of the amendments to the Government Code would eliminate higher education institutions from DIR oversight.

 

The bill would also exempt institutions of higher education from being required to use the Building and Procurement Commission’s uniform general conditions on construction projects.

 

One of the amendments would exempt institutions of higher education from the Private Real Property Rights Preservation Act which would not require the preparation of takings impact assessments for certain covered actions.

 

The bill also eliminates the Center for Technology Development and Transfer at UT Austin.  These amendments authorize the university to enter into agreements to manage a national laboratory. 

 

The bill authorizes the Board for Lease of the University Lands to hold an open or closed meeting by telephone conference call.

 

The bill would authorize institutions of higher education to meet the reporting requirement for filing of their intellectual property policies with the Coordinating Board by posting the policy on the institution’s website.

 

The bill would eliminate the requirement for institutions of higher education to file the quarterly report of binding encumbrances.

 

The amendments would also exempt a member of a governing board of an institution of higher education from filing the statutorily required financial disclosure statement if the member’s term expires on or before April 1 of that year.

 

Another section of the bill would eliminate the requirement that institutions of higher education report to the LBB twice a year on all purchases awarded to non-resident bidders.

 

The bill would also eliminate the required report annually to the Building and Procurement Commission regarding purchases of recycled, remanufactured, and environmentally sensitive products.  An amendment would eliminate the requirement that institutions of higher education file a report with the Building and Procurement Commission regarding the buildings owned by an institution on a biennial basis, including year of completion, general construction type, size, use, and general condition.

 

The bill would also eliminate the requirements that institutions of higher education report professional services contracts to the LBB if the contract exceeds $14,000.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1654

Ellis, R.

Houston

Relating to state agency utility savings and capital expenditure reductions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 2166.555.  This bill would require an agency to determine if expenditures for capital items could be funded through a contract for energy conservation measures to reduce energy or water consumption or operating costs of governmental facilities that guarantees utility savings.  Each agency would be required to furnish the LBB with justification for any capital expenditures that are not part of a contract for energy conservation measures.  See HB 2897, Swinford.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1673

Carona,

Dallas

Relating to the sanitization processes prior to the sale, transfer, or disposal of computers, computer peripherals, and computer software or other information technology devices.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Sections 2054.401—2054.408.  This bill would require that prior to disposing, transferring, or selling a computer system, all sensitive and/or confidential programs or data files on any storage media must be completely erased or otherwise made unreadable.  The bill establishes criteria for sanitizing the hard drives of computer systems.  Effective date:  January 1, 2004.

 

 

 

SB 1675

 

HB 2909

Fraser,

Marble Falls

Swinford,

Amarillo

Relating to the administration of state-federal relations and federal formula grant programs.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Chapter 751.  This bill would eliminate the state agency status of the Office of State-Federal Relations and make this entity a part of the Office of Governor.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1684

 

HB 3405

Gallegos,

Galena Park

Coleman,

Houston

Relating to reporting of claims information by insurers writing professional liability insurance for physicians and health care providers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require an insurer that writes professional liability insurance for physicians and health care providers to provide the Commission of Insurance and the State Board of Medical Examiners with a list of information regarding claims and payments to claimants during the proceeding year.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1693

Gallegos,

Galena Park

Relating to enforcement of certain provisions in construction contracts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code by adding Chapter 138.  This bill defines construction contract as a contract or agreement made and entered into by an owner, contractor, subcontractor, or supplier concerning the construction, alteration, repair, or maintenance of a building, structure, or other improvement to or on real property.  This bill would prohibit any agreement in the construction contract or other agreement collateral to or affecting a construction contract if it indemnifies, holds harmless, or defends a person, other than a governmental entity, against loss or liability for damage that is caused by or results from the sole or concurrent negligence of the indemnitee, its agent or employee, or an independent contractor, other than the indemnitor, directly responsible to the indemnitee.  This chapter may not be waived by contract or otherwise.  See HB 3201, Deshotel and HB 3076, West.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1694

Shapiro,

Addison

Relating to state agency internal auditing.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 2102.002, 2102.007, 2102.006, and 2102.011.  This bill defines internal auditing as an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations.  The bill defines assurance services to mean an examination of evidence for the purpose of providing an independent assessment on risk management, control, or governments processes for the organization.  The bill defines consulting services as an advisory and related client service activities, the nature and scope of which are agreed upon with the client and are intended to add value and improve an organization’s operations.

 

The bill amends the section regarding internal audit standards.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1701

 

HB 2067

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Pitts,

Waxahachie

Relating to the Department of Information Resources’ management of certain electronic and telecommunications projects.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends various statutes relating to the Department of Information Resources.  The bill statutorily establishes the quality assurance team by using employees of the department, LBB, and the State Auditor’s office.  In the various reviews performed by DIR a new element of review will be return on investment and a cost-benefit analysis.  The bill directs additional information to be furnished in each agency’s strategic plan for information resources and the biennial operating plans.  The bill does repeal the section stating that the division would be funded from projects as directed by the legislature. Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1713

 

HB 1306

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Marchant,

Carrollton

Relating to the confidentiality of certain information relating to real property purchased or sold by certain state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Natural Resources Code, Section 11.084.  Current law protects information relating to the sale of real property by the School Land Board, Veterans’ Land Board, land office, or Land Commissioner until a formal award of a contract for the purchase or sale of the property is executed.  This bill would extend the period of confidentiality until a deed has been executed.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1717

 

 

 

HB 2393

Brimer,

Tarrant

Harris,

Arlington

Goodman,

Arlington

Relating to the governance and operation of The University of Texas at Arlington.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Chapter 112 and amending various sections of the Education Code.  This bill would establish the University of Texas at Arlington as an independent institution and would establish a new board of regents for this institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1718

 

HB 1824

Williams,

The Woodlands

Hamric,

Houston

Relating to adjusting formula funding for institutions of higher education to account for differences between estimated and actual receipts of educational and general funds.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 61.059(c) and adds Section 61.065(c) and (d). This bill would require the Coordinating Board when adopting the basic funding formulas to include a positive or negative adjustment, as appropriate, of the estimated amount of educational and general funds to be received by an institution for the biennium for which the formulas are established to account for the institution’s reconciliation of those funds for the preceding biennium as computed and reported under the new reporting sections.

 

The amendments require the Coordinating Board to adopt a uniform system of financial accounting of all educational and general funds received by an institution including tuition, laboratory fees, student teaching fees, organized activity fees, proceeds from the sale of education and general equipment, and indirect costs recovery fees.  The system must require each institution to reconcile the estimated amount of educational and general funds used to determine state appropriations for the institution for the most recently completed state fiscal biennium to the actual amount of educational and general funds the institution received during the biennium.  Each institution will be required to report its reconciliation to the Coordinating Board, the comptroller, and the Legislative Budget Board at the time required.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1720

 

HB 2397

Williams,

The Woodlands

Corte,

San Antonio

Relating to a vendor’s or subcontractor’s remedy for nonpayment of certain contracts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This amendment authorizes a vendor to suspend performance of a contract with a governmental entity if the governmental entity does not pay the vendor an undisputed amount within the time limits and the vendor gives the governmental entity written notice that the governmental entity has not made payment and stating the intent of the vendor to suspend work.  The bill also authorizes a subcontractor to suspend performance if the vendor has not paid the subcontractor an undisputed amount within the time provided. The subcontractor would be required to furnish the same notice as a contractor to the governmental entity.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1747

 

HB 2641

Lucio,

Brownsville

Bailey,

Houston

Relating to minimum personal leave for faculty members at public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.9615.  This new section would require the governing board of each institution of higher education to adopt a policy permitting faculty members to use at least five sick leave days as personal leave days in an academic year if the faculty member has more than twenty sick leave days accumulated.  The board may not restrict the use of the sick leave days as personal leave days.  The institution may adopt a policy to recover from the faculty member any expense incurred by the institution as a result of the faculty member’s personal leave.  The institution would not have to adopt a policy if it has adopted a comprehensive leave policy for faculty members and other employees under Section 51.961(f).  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.

 

 

 

SB 1752

 

HB 3242

Estes,

Wichita Falls

Pitts,

Waxahachie

Relating to the use of the reverse auction procedure by state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 2155.062(d) and adds Section 2155.085.  Current law exempts institutions of higher education from this chapter.  The Building and Procurement Commission would be required to purchase at least ten percent of the dollar value of goods purchased by the commission using the reverse auction procedure during 2004-2005 biennium, twenty percent during the 2006-2007 biennium, and thirty percent thereafter.  Effective date:  September 1, 2003.