TEXAS TECH BILL BRIEFS – 2005

 

79th Regular Session – April 8, 2005

 

 

 Bill No.

Sponsor

Caption – HOUSE BILLS

 

 

 

HB 1

 

SB 1

Pitts,

Waxahachie

Ogden,

College Station

Relating to the General Appropriations Bill.

 

 

 

HB 3

Keffer,

Eastland

Relating to property tax relief and protection of taxpayers, taxes and fees, and other matters relating to the financing of public schools.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

 

 

 

 

HB 7

 

SB 400

Solomons,

Carrollton

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Relating to the continuation and operation of the workers’ compensation system of this state and to the abolition of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission, the establishment of the office of employee assistance, and the transfer of the powers and duties of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission to the Texas Department of Insurance, the Texas Workforce Commission, and the office of employee assistance; providing administrative violations.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

 

 

 

 

HB 10

 

SB 1607

Pitts,

Waxahachie

Ogden,

College Station

Relating to making supplemental appropriations and reductions in appropriations.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill contains the supplemental appropriations and reductions in appropriations for fiscal years 2004 and 2005.  The bill includes an additional appropriation in the amount of $31.8 million to the Department of Criminal Justice for correctional managed health care.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 19

Brown, F.

Bryan

Relating to tuition and fee rebates for timely completion of degree programs offered by general academic teaching institutions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.0061.  This new section would entitle a student to a rebate of the amount of undergraduate tuition and compulsory fees, as defined, if the student enrolls as a first-time freshman in the first fall semester following the student’s graduation from high school, remains continuously enrolled, is entitled to pay resident tuition and fees, and is awarded a baccalaureate degree from the institution and completes the degree within four years of the date the student first enrolled for four-year degree programs or within the time period established by the institution for the degree program.  The amount of the rebate would be the difference between the total amount of tuition and compulsory fees actually paid by the student while enrolled and the total amount the student would have paid during the period if the student paid tuition at the rate and compulsory fees in the total amount in effect for the first full semester the student was enrolled at the institution.  The institution is directed to pay the rebates from local funds.  The legislature is directed to account for the rebates in the General Appropriations Act by increasing the amount of general revenue funds appropriated to the institution that pays the rebate.  A student would also be eligible to receive the $1,000 rebate if the student qualifies.  Transfer students would be eligible for this new rebate if they provide sufficient evidence to the institution to verify the student’s eligibility.

 

The institution is directed to apply the rebate to any outstanding loan that the student owes at the time of graduation.  The Coordinating Board is required to adopt rules to administer this section and to make provisions for hardship or other good cause regarding the requirement for continuous enrollment.

 

This section would not apply to a student who enters a general academic teaching institution for the first time before the 2005 summer session.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 20

Brown, F.

Bryan

Relating to a pilot program to provide for reduced undergraduate tuition during a summer term or session at Texas A&M University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.0516.  This will would require Texas A&M University to reduce state tuition to one-half of the amount required by statute and would limit the amount of designated tuition to an amount equal to one-half of  state tuition for the summer terms of 2006 and 2007.  This section expires January 1, 2008.

 

This section would only apply if the legislature specifically appropriates money to Texas A&M University for the state fiscal biennium to cover the tuition revenue lost to the institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 22

Brown, F.

Bryan

Relating to the disposition of state agency surplus or salvage property.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 2175.001(1), 2175.241, 2175.242(a), and 2175.304.  This bill expands the definition of assistance organization to include a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing.  The bill would authorize a state agency to dispose of surplus or salvage property that cannot otherwise be sold or disposed by giving it to an assistance organization.

 

The amendment also authorizes a university system or institution or agency of higher education to donate to an assistance organization any surplus or salvage property that is not donated to a public school or school district and has no resale value.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 26

Delisi,

Temple

Relating to an electronic database of major state contracts and related documents.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 2177.0001 and 2177.001 and adds Section 2177.052.  This new section would require each state agency, excluding university systems and institutions of higher education, to furnish to the Building and Procurement Commission specified information regarding major contracts, which is defined as those exceeding $5 million in value.  The information required would include a copy of each major contract and each request for proposal, invitation to bid, or comparable solicitation related to the major contract.  The Department of Information Resources would be required to post the information on the electronic commerce network.  This information would be available to Texas governmental entities, including legislative entities.  Certain portions of the information would be available to the general public.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 37

Eiland,

Galveston

Relating to the automatic admission of undergraduate students to a general academic teaching institution that is a component institution of a university system.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 51.803.  This amendment would authorize the governing board of a university system to adopt an admission policy regarding admission of students qualifying for the top 10% automatic admission.  A student would be able to apply to one or more of the system component general academic teaching institutions and the eligible applicant could list in order the preference of the general academic teaching institutions in the system to which the applicant prefers to be admitted.  The system would be required to make reasonable effort to offer an applicant admission to the applicant’s highest preference possible consistent with the enrollment needs of the system.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 40

Eiland,

Galveston

Relating to tuition assistance granted to certain members of state military forces attending public or private institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 431.090(d) and (f); Education Code, Section 54.2155(a).  These amendments would authorize the adjutant general to give priority for tuition assistance to members of the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, or the Texas State Guard, who have been called to federal active duty during a national emergency, as defined by rule of the adjutant general.  The amendments require that eligible persons receive priority for the full amount of the award available for that semester.  The amendment limits the amount of tuition assistance for a period equal to one academic year for each calendar year or part of a calendar year of the person’s service in the state military forces, except that a person may not receive tuition assistance for more than fifteen semester credit hours in any semester or more than five academic years or ten semesters.  Currently, there is a limit for twelve semester credit hours per semester.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 45

 

SB 219

Grusendorf,

Arlington

Carona,

Dallas

Relating to notaries public.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require that an individual complete an educational course and pass a test prior to qualifying for appointment or reappointment as a notary.  The bill increases the fees that a notary is authorized to charge for certain acts and prohibits a notary from charging fees for certain individuals.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 64

McClendon,

San Antonio

Relating to the automatic admission to public institutions of higher education of certain undergraduate transfer students.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 51.801 and adds Section 51.8065.  This new section would require a general academic teaching institution to admit an applicant to the institution as an undergraduate transfer student if in the year preceding the academic year for which the student in applying the applicant received a degree or certificate from a public junior college or public technical institute in a program requiring at least forty-two semester credit hours in the core curriculum and completed with a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.0 on a four-point scale or the equivalent.  The amendment authorizes the institution to determine whether an applicant requires additional preparation for college-level work.  Admission to a specific general academic teaching institution is contingent on the availability of space within the institution and admission to a particular program or school is based solely on the requirements of the institution.

 

This section would not apply to a public upper-level institution or an institution who has admitted at least fifty percent of the spaces available under the top 10% rule.  This would apply to admissions for the 2006 fall semester.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 97

 

SB 1302

West, B.

Odessa

Seliger,

Amarillo

Relating to the Ector County Hospital District.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize a director of the hospital district to purchase an appropriate insurance policy that names the district as its sole beneficiary instead of purchasing a fiduciary bond.  The bill also amends the section requiring competitive bidding for construction projects.  The bill also adds a new section clearly stating that nothing in the act may be construed to waive sovereign or governmental immunity.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 120

Dawson,

Pearland

Relating to the creation of a donor education, awareness, and registry program and the establishment of an organ donor and tissue council.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

These amendments would authorize an individual to designate on the individual’s driver’s license or personal identification certificate the intention of the individual to be a donor with respect to an organ, tissue, or eye donation.  The bill requires the Department of Public Safety to establish the Donor Education, Awareness, and Registry Program of Texas.  The department is directed to enter into an agreement with the Living Bank International or other organization selected by the public service director under a competitive proposal process for the establishment and maintenance of a statewide Internet-based registry of organ, tissue, and eye donors.  The department is also directed to establish the Texas Organ, Tissue, and Eye Donor Council.  The council would be comprised of the executive commissioner of the Health and Services Commission, a representative of DPS, a representative of the Texas Department of Transportation, and eight members appointed by the Governor.  The duties of the council are to advise the public safety director of the need for and efforts to increase the number of resident donors, increase the number of transplants performed, and decrease the difference between the number of donors and the number of candidates on the waiting list.  The council shall also establish and prioritize the initiatives to implement the donor education, awareness, and registry program.  See SB 24, Zaffirini and HB 292, McClendon.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 123

Naishtat,

Austin

Relating to a feasibility study regarding required forensic medical examination instruction for students enrolled in certain medical or nursing degree programs.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 61.0814.  This bill requires the Coordinating Board to conduct a study to evaluate the feasibility of requiring an 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 as a registered nurse to require a student to complete basic instruction regarding medical examination practices and issues regarding sexual assault.  The study must be completed and delivered to the legislature on or before December 31, 2006.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 130

 

SB 111

Smith, T.

Bedford

Shapleigh,

EL Paso

Relating to undergraduate course credit granted by certain public institutions of higher education for completion of the international baccalaureate diploma program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.968.  This bill would require the governing board of each institution of higher education to adopt a policy to grant undergraduate course credit to entering freshman students who have successfully completed the international baccalaureate diploma program.  Each institution would be required to grant at least 24 semester credit hours or the equivalent in appropriate subject areas to an entering freshman student.  The institution would be allowed to grant fewer than 24 semester credit hours if the student received a score of less than four on an examination administered as part of the diploma program.  The governing board would be required to report to the Coordinating Board the policy adopted and to make the policy available on the institution’s Internet site.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 133

Brown, F.

Bryan

Relating to the award of academic credit to a student at an institution of higher education for the completion of certain military training.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.3041.  This bill requires an institution of higher education to review a student’s completion of certain military training to determine whether to award a student course credit toward a degree if the course satisfies the substance of the course for which the student seeks credit as described in the institution’s course catalog.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 138

Hopson,

Jacksonville

Relating to the amount of hazardous duty pay for certain state employees.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 659.305(a)-(c).  This bill increases the amount of hazardous duty pay for particular state employees.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 143

Farrar,

Houston

Relating to the prohibition of employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Labor Code by adding Chapter 23.  This bill would prohibit an employer from subjecting an individual to different standards or treatment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or the sexual orientation or gender identity of persons with whom the individual is believed to associate or to have associated.  The bill prohibits retaliation or coercion.  The bill prohibits quotas and preferential treatment to an individual on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  For the state or a political subdivision of the state that is liable for a violation under this new chapter, sovereign immunity is waived and abolished to the extent of liability under this chapter.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 153

Brown, F.

Bryan

Relating to certain requirements for construction contracts with governmental entities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Labor Code, Section 406.096.  This bill would authorize a contractor with a governmental entity to provide either workers’ compensation insurance coverage or other coverage with benefits for personal injuries or death in the amount specified in this section.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 154

Brown, F.

Bryan

Relating to requiring institutions of higher education to report potential savings through contracting with local governments.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.953.  This bill would require the governing board of an institution of higher education to submit a report to the Legislative Budget Board that identifies support services and functions, including physical plant operation and maintenance, that the institution performs using its own staff and resources and that could be performed by the municipality, county, or other local government in which the institution is located; comparing the cost to the institution and the cost the institution would incur by contracting with the local government; and identifies those local governments willing to consider contracting to provide those services or functions for the institution.  This bill requires the Coordinating Board to adopt rules for the administration of this new section.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 180

Escobar, Juan

Kingsville

Relating to appropriations to the Texas A&M University System and to Texas A&M University-Kingsville in connection with the Irma Rangel School of Pharmacy.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize an appropriation to the Texas A&M University System in the amount of $3 million out of the general revenue fund for the fiscal biennium ending August 31, 2005 to reimburse the system for the start-up cost of the Irma Rangel School of Pharmacy.  The bill would authorize the appropriation of $6,535,500 out of the general revenue fund for the state fiscal year ending August 31, 2006, and the amount of $6,520,625 out of the general revenue fund to Texas A&M University—Kingsville for the operational, instructional, and infrastructure support cost for the school.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 210

Solomons,

Carrollton

Relating to the regulation of certain telemarketing calls.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

These amendments impact who the Public Utility Commission may contract with for the maintenance of the Texas no-call list.  The amendments add Texas residents on the national do-not-call registry to the Texas no-call list.  The amendments also expand the exception to the Public Information Act to provide protection to information on the national do-not-call registry received in Texas.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 212

Guillen,

Rio Grande City

Relating to health care practitioner information provided to a health care facility.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

These amendments would require a health care practitioner, as defined, to provide to a health care facility that employs the practitioner authorization of the state health care regulatory agency that issued the practitioner’s license, certificate, or registration to release information and the practitioner’s previous employer to release information to the new employing health care facility.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 223

 

SB 121

Gattis,

Georgetown

Duncan,

Lubbock

Relating to a requestor’s right of access to investment information.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 552.030.  This amendment establishes thirteen categories of information relating to a governmental body’s investments held by that would become public information.  The information includes the name of any fund or investment entity, the dates for investments, the amount of dollars the governmental body committed to any fund or investment entity, the internal rate of return realized, the names of principals of any fund or investment entity, the fees, expenses, charges, and other compensation assessed or paid by the governmental body to any fund or investment entity, recusals filed by members of the governing board of the governmental body regarding any investments, a description of the types of business engaged in by the companies that the governmental body is or has invested in, and minutes or tape recordings of open meetings pertaining investments.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 235

Van Arsdale,

Houston

Relating to the computation of certain benefits under the Teacher Retirement System.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 824.203 and 824.806.  This bill would change the method of computation of the standard service retirement annuity calculation for a member of the Teacher Retirement System who, during any month of the member’s service, received compensation of $5,000 or more.  Currently, all members’ standard service retirement annuity is calculated on the basis of the member’s average annual compensation in the best three years times 2.3% for each year of service credit.  With these amendments, the calculation would be computed as the member’s median monthly compensation for the 60 months of service in which the member received the highest monthly compensation times 2.3% for each year of service credit.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 241

Goolsby,

Dallas

Relating to professional liability insurance for certain retired physicians acting as volunteer health care providers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize a professional liability insurance provider to make available professional liability insurance covering a retired physician to cover acts or omissions in the course and scope of the physician’s duties as a volunteer health care provider.  The provision of coverage for the retired physician would not affect the liability of the retired physician as provided by current law.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 242

Goolsby,

Dallas

Relating to medical liability insurance for certain retired physicians acting as volunteer health care providers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize a joint underwriting association to make available professional liability insurance covering a retired physician to cover acts or omissions in the course and scope of the physician’s duties as a volunteer health care provider.  The provision of coverage for the retired physician would not affect the liability of the retired physician as provided by current law.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 256

Hopson,

Jacksonville

Relating to investments in certificate of deposit by certain governmental entities.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 2256.010.  For those state entities subject to the Public Funds Investment Act, this bill would expand the types of certificates of deposit that are considered authorized investments under the act.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 257

 

SB 1483

Pena,

Edinburg

Williams,

The Woodlands

Relating to exempting textbooks for university and college courses from the sales tax.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Tax Code by adding Section 151.3211.  This new section would exempt textbooks sold to full-time or part-time students enrolled at public or private institutions of higher education if the textbook is used for educational or instructional purposes and is required for a course at the institution.  Effective date:  October 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 258

 

SB 527

Pena,

Edinburg

Hinojosa,

McAllen

Relating to authorizing a sports recreation and wellness facility fee at the University of Texas-Pan American.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.5421.  This new section would authorize the UT System board of regents to charge students enrolled at UT-Pan American a sports recreation and wellness facility fee in an amount not to exceed $75 for each semester of the regular term or for each summer session.  In order to implement the fee or to increase the fee, a majority of the students voting in a general student election called for that purpose would have to approve the implementation or the increase.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 279

Pickett,

El Paso

Relating to compensatory time off for certain state employees.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 662.005(b).  Institutions of higher education are not considered a state agency in Chapter 662.  For those state agencies who are subject to this chapter, these amendments would impact the amount of compensatory time earned by peace officers employed by those state agencies or the Department of Public Safety.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 292

 

SB 24

McClendon,

San Antonio

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Relating to the creation of a donor education, awareness, and registry program and the establishment of an organ donor and tissue council.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

These amendments would authorize an individual to designate on the individual’s driver’s license or personal identification certificate the intention of the individual to be a donor with respect to an organ, tissue, or eye donation.  The bill requires the Department of Public Safety to establish the Donor Education, Awareness, and Registry Program of Texas.  The department is directed to enter into an agreement with the Living Bank International or other organization selected by the public service director under a competitive proposal process for the establishment and maintenance of a statewide Internet-based registry of organ, tissue, and eye donors.  The department is also directed to establish the Texas Organ, Tissue, and Eye Donor Council.  The council would be comprised of the executive commissioner of the Health and Services Commission, a representative of DPS, a representative of the Texas Department of Transportation, and eight members appointed by the Governor.  The duties of the council are to advise the public safety director of the need for and efforts to increase the number of resident donors, increase the number of transplants performed, and decrease the difference between the number of donors and the number of candidates on the waiting list.  The council shall also establish and prioritize the initiatives to implement the donor education, awareness, and registry program.  See HB 120, Dawson.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 298

 

SB 39

McClendon,

San Antonio

Zaffirini,

Laredo

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.310.  Each institution of higher education that offers a degree program leading to a doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathy degree or to a degree that satisfies the educational requirement for licensure as a registered nurse would be required to establish a course in forensic evidence collection and require completion of the course as a prerequisite to receiving the degree.  The institution could determine to accept a substantially similar course successfully completed at another public or accredited private institution.  The Coordinating Board shall establish standards for the course.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 299

 

SB 41

McClendon,

San Antonio

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 defines employee as a person other than an independent contractor who, for compensation, performs services for an employer.  Employer is defined as a person who employs ten or more employees at the same workplace, including a public employer.  The bill entitles employees to unpaid time off, up to one hour in each calendar month, to meet with a teacher of the employee’s child or with a caregiver of the child or to participate in a facility or school activity of the child.  The employee is required to provide documentation of the actual participation in the activity on the employer’s request.  Notice of an employee’s right to this time off must be posted in a prominent location in the workplace.  Retaliation is prohibited.

 

Currently, state employees are authorized to use up to eight hours of sick leave each calendar year to attend parent-teacher conference sessions for the employee’s children (Government Code, Section 661.206).  (See HB 426 and HB 430).  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 303

 

SB 101

McClendon,

San Antonio

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Relating to electronically monitoring certain veterans’ and dependents tuition exemption.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.203(h) and Government Code by adding Section 434.107.  This bill would require the governing board of each institution of higher education to electronically report to the Texas Veterans Commission information on veterans and their dependents who receive an exemption from tuition and fees each semester and summer session.  The institution would be required to report the name of the institution, the name of the individual, the number of semester credit hours for which the individual received an exemption, the total cumulative number of credit hours for which the individual has received an exemption at the institution, and any other information required by the commission.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 305

Goodman,

Arlington

Relating to the prohibition against members of a governmental body meeting in numbers less than a quorum.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 551.143I.  This amendment would authorize a group of members of a governmental body to meet if the group is less than a quorum to discuss public business or public policy among themselves or with an officer or employee of the governmental body.  The amendment would prohibit the taking of any action by the members present and would prohibit the discussion of the content of the meeting with any member of the governmental body not present before the information is shared or discussed with a quorum of the governmental body in an open meeting.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 310

McReynolds,

Lufkin

Relating to faculty compensation policies at institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.9081.  This bill would require the governing board of each institution of higher education to determine the average compensation of tenured and tenure-track faculty at the institution and make a comparison to the average compensation for similar faculty at public institutions of higher education in the ten most populous states.  The comparison should be between similar institutions of higher education.  If the governing board determines that the average compensation of faculty at a particular rank at the institution is less than average compensation for faculty at that rank provided by the other states, the governing board would be required to adopt a program to reallocate available resources in a manner that will reduce the percentage difference by one-fourth in the current state fiscal biennium and in the next three biennium by and additional one-fourth.  Effective date:  January 1, 2006.

 

 

 

HB 314

Dukes,

Austin

Relating to the performance of a private commercial contractor that provides a service of a state agency.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 2162.103 and adds Section 2162.106.  These amendments require the State Council on Competitive Government to conduct a cost-benefit analysis that compare the costs and benefits of contracting out services to private contractors.  These amendments specify what must be considered in the analysis.  A state agency would be allowed to submit a proposal to the council describing a reorganized service delivery method to compete directly with the performance of a private commercial contractor.

 

Each contract with a private commercial contractor would be required to include periodic audits conducted by the state auditor for compliance with the contract.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 320

 

SB 157

Hupp,

Lampasas

Fraser,

Marble Falls

Relating to the student enrollment required for the operation of Texas A&M University-Central Texas as an independent general academic teaching institution.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 87.861(d).  This bill would reduce the number of full-time students required to be enrolled at Texas A&M University-Central Texas from 2,500 FTSE to 1,000 FTSE in order for the institution to operate as a general academic teaching institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 321

 

SB 156

Hupp,

Lampasas

Fraser,

Marble Falls

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for Texas A&M University-Central Texas.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.1751.  This bill authorizes the board of regents of the Texas A&M University System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $45 million for educational facilities for the Tarleton State University System Center—Central Texas.  The bill does authorize the board of regents to transfer funds among component institutions of the system if funds are not available for the board to meet its obligations to ensure the most equitable and efficient allocation of available resources for each institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 327

Goolsby,

Dallas

Relating to the identification information required of applicants for a driver’s license or for certain public benefits, public services, or governmental employment.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Transportation Code by adding Section 521.142(i) and Government Code by adding Chapter 2057.  These amendments would prohibit a state agency from accepting an identity document issued to an applicant or recipient for employment or state benefits by a consular office or consular official of another country, including a matricula consular issued by a consular office of the United Mexican States as the primary, secondary, or supporting evidence of the applicant’s or recipient’s identity.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 328

Dukes,

Austin

Relating to promoting the importance of higher education in public schools.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 29.913.  This bill would require each middle school, junior high school, and high school to designate one week each school year as “Education.  Go Get It” Week.  During this designated week, the schools must provide comprehensive grade-appropriate information regarding the pursuit of higher education, including higher education options, admission requirements, and financial aid.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 329

Raymond,

Laredo

Relating to civil actions against persons who file complaints with governmental agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code by adding Chapter 140.  This bill establishes a civil cause of action against a complainant who provides written or oral statements, reports, or other communications to a governmental agency or quasi-governmental entity.  The cause of action may be filed by or on behalf of a person who may be adversely affected by the filing of the complaint and alleges that the contents of the complaint constitute libel or slander, or by or on behalf of a complainant alleging harassing conduct giving rise to liability.  This chapter does not create a cause of action against a governmental unit which is defined to include the state, any institution, agency, or political subdivision of the state.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 334

Burnam,

Fort Worth

Relating to the minimum working wage.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would replace the federal minimum wage as the minimum wage in Texas with a minimum wage of $6.15.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 337

 

SB 783

Smithee,

Amarillo

Seliger,

Amarillo

Relating to a landowner’s liability for injuries incurred during certain recreational activities.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 75.001(3).  This bill expands the definition of recreation to include off-road motorcycling and the use of all-terrain vehicles.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 346

Escobar,

Kingsville

Relating to the amounts to be appropriated for the state contribution to the teacher retirement program for fiscal years 2006 and 2007.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would make additional appropriations out of the general revenue fund to the Teacher Retirement System in fiscal year 2006 and fiscal year 2007 in order to maintain the actuarial soundness of the system.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HB 373

 

SB 161

Swinford,

Amarillo

Jackson, M.

Pasadena

Relating to the food and fibers research grant program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Agriculture Code, Chapter 42.  This bill would eliminate the Texas Food and Fibers Commission and replace it with the Food and Fibers Research grant program at the Texas Department of Agriculture.  This bill would eliminate the commission which currently includes the president of Texas Tech University and would establish the food and fiber research council composed of the commissioner of agriculture and twelve other members of the agricultural industry.  The primary areas of research would continue to be cotton, wool, mohair, and other textile products.  The commission would be abolished on January 1, 2006.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 376

 

SB 201

Coleman,

Houston

Gallegos,

Galena Park

Relating to a prohibition of discriminate by public educational institutions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 1.0021.  This bill defines sexual preference to mean only a preference for heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.  A public educational institution or employee of the institution is prohibited from discriminating against a student enrolled in the institution on account of the ethnicity, color, gender, gender identity, sexual preference, disability, religion, or national origin of the student or the student’s parent.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 381

Kolkhorst,

Brenham

Relating to the service area of the Blinn County College District.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 130.168.  This bill expands the service area of the Blinn College District to include all of Austin County except for that portion of the county in the service area of the Wharton County Junior College District.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 397

Bonnen,

Angleton

Relating to providing for a student who qualifies for automatic admission to an institution of higher education to maintain that status for transferring between institutions in certain circumstances.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.8035.  This new section would require a general academic teaching institution to admit an applicant for admission to the institution as a transfer undergraduate student if the student:

 

(1)     graduated from high school within the last four years and qualified for automatic admission to a general academic teaching institution under the top 10% rule,

(2)     first enrolled in an institution of higher education not earlier than the second academic year before the academic year for which the applicant seeks admission,

(3)     completed the core curriculum at an institution with a cumulative grade points average of at least 3.25 on a four-point scale; and

(4)     submits a timely application as a transfer student.

 

This would apply to admissions beginning the 2006 spring semester.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 406

Villarreal,

San Antonio

Relating to teacher certification in early childhood education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 21.050.  This amendment would require the State Board of Educator Certification to propose rules requiring that any certification in early childhood education include a minimum number of semester credit hours of education courses and internships emphasizing early childhood development.  The rules must allow comparable work experience with a child-care facility or federal Head Start to satisfy the internship requirement.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 417

Delisi,

Temple

Relating to a supplemental health coverage program under the Texas Employees Group Benefits Act for certain persons.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Insurance Code, Section 1551.319 by adding Subsection (f) and adding Section 1551.221.  This bill would authorize the board of trustees of ERS to allow an individual who is eligible to participate in the group benefits program and who is eligible for benefits under the TRICARE Military Health System to elect to receive primary coverage under the TRICARE system.  This would allow the individual to participate in the group benefits program as supplemental health coverage.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 423

Delisi,

Temple

Relating to the online available of certain state publications.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 441.1035.  This amendment would require that if a state agency mails a state publication the state agency would be required to make the publication accessible in an electronic format from the agency’s Internet site.  The agency would be required to notify recipients of the availability of the publication on the web site.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 426

Dutton,

Houston

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines employee as a person other than an independent contractor who, for compensation, performs services for an employer.  Employer is defined as a person who employs ten or more employees at the same work place, including a public employer.  The bill entitles employees to paid leave for up to two hours in each semester for the employee to meet with the teacher of the employee’s child or participate in a school activity of the employee’s child.  The employee is required to furnish documentation to the employer of the employee’s participation in a particular school activity on the employer’s request.  Retaliation is prohibited.  Notice of the employee’s right to this time off must be posted in a prominent location in the employer’s work place.  See SB 41, Zaffirini, HB 299, McClendon, and HB 430, Dutton.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 430

Dutton,

Houston

Relating to the right of an employee to time off from work to meet with certain persons affecting the education of the employee’s child.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines employee as a person other than an independent contractor who, for compensation, performs services for an employer.  This bill entitles an employee to up to ten hours of leave in each 12-month period to meet with the child’s teacher, school counselor or principal.  This would be unpaid leave unless the employee chooses to use existing vacation leave time, personal leave time, compensatory leave time or other appropriate paid leave.  The employer is required to post notice of this right to employees in a prominent location at the work place.  Retaliation is prohibited.  See SB 41, Zaffirini, HB 299, McCLendon, and HB 426, Dutton.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 457

Dutton,

Houston

Relating to access to certain law enforcement and prosecutorial records under the public information law.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 552.108 and adds Section 411.048(j).  This bill would authorize law enforcement and prosecutorial information to be withheld from the public if the release of the information will unduly interfere with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of a crime.  The bill reaffirms the exception to the Public Information Act for information relating to a threat against a peace officer.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 464

Dutton,

Houston

Relating to governmental liability.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 101.021.  This bill would expand the liability of governmental units under the Tort Claims Act to include instances when the operation or use of a motor-driven vehicle or motor-driven equipment furnishes the condition that makes property damage, personal injury, or death possible.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HB 479

 

SB 646

Keel,

Austin

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to the concurrent jurisdiction of campus peace officers commissioned by the University of Texas at Austin and law enforcement agencies of the state and political subdivisions of the state.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 67.03.  The bill restates that campus peace officers commissioned by the University of Texas at Austin have the same jurisdiction, powers, privileges, and immunities as set forth in Section 51.203, Education Code.  The bill goes on to state that this jurisdiction does not limit or reduce the jurisdiction of a law enforcement agency of the state or a political subdivision of the state, including the city of Austin Police Department, with territorial jurisdiction that includes all or part of the university campus.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 485

Chavez,

El Paso

Relating to restrictions on the use of state funds to provide jobs for foreign workers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Chapter 2264.  This new chapter defines public agency to mean the state or an agency, instrumentality or political subdivision of the state, including a county, a municipality, a public school district, or a special-purpose district or authority.  The bill defines a contract to be a contract primarily for services and for which any part of the contract price will be paid with money derived from the state treasury.  The bill prohibits a public agency from awarding a contract if the contractor or any of its subcontractors propose to perform work under the contract in a country other than the United States.  The bill also prohibits a public agency from providing development assistance to an entity that proposes to use the assistance to create employment in a country other than the United States.  A contractor violating this section would be barred from contracting with another public agency for five years.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 487

Chavez,

El Paso

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education, Section 51.352, by adding Subsection (g).  This new section states that the regulation by the governing board of an institution of higher education of the time, place, and manner of speech and assembly may not be more restrictive than necessary to protect normal academic and institutional activities.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 490

Driver,

Garland

Relating to the enforcement of certain provisions in construction contracts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code by adding Chapter 501.  This bill defines construction contract and states that the new chapter does not apply to a construction contract entered into by a municipality, county, or school district.  The bill prohibits an agreement to indemnify a contractor under a construction contract.  See SB 445, Carona.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 493

 

SB 544

Naishtat,

Austin

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to the creation of a commission to study capital punishment in Texas.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill creates the Texas Capital Punishment Commission to study capital punishment in this state.  The commission would be composed of eleven members including one member appointed by the dean of the law school at the University of Texas at Austin and one member appointed by the dean of the law school at Texas Tech University.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 495

 

SB 157

 

HB 320

Miller,

Stephenville

Fraser,

Marble Falls

Hupp,

Lampasas

Relating to the student enrollment required for the operation of Texas A&M UniversityCentral Texas as an independent general academic teaching institution.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 87.861(d).  This bill would reduce the number of full-time students required to be enrolled at Texas A&M University-Central Texas from 2,500 FTSE to 1,000 FTSE in order for the institution to operate as a general academic teaching institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 503

Guillen,

Rio Grande City

Relating to tuition and fee exemptions for certain military personnel and certain children of those personnel.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.203(a).  This bill expands the eligibility for a waiver from tuition and certain fees by adding veterans who were honorably discharged from active duty after serving in the military during the national emergency that existed by reason of certain terrorist attacks that began on September 11, 2001.  This would apply to tuition and fee for the 2005 fall semester.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 528

Bohac,

Houston

Relating to exemptions from the sales tax for school supplies and other instructional material.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Tax Code by adding Section 151.327.  This bill would exempt school supplies, textbooks, books, and other instructional materials used or consumed by a student in a class in a public or private elementary or secondary school from sales tax.  Effective date:  October 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 530

Howard,

Sugar Land

Relating to prohibiting discrimination in awarding state scholarships or other financial aid for higher education based on a person’s high school attendance or achievement.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 56.304(a) and adds Section 56.005.  This bill would prohibit an institution of higher education or a state agency that awards financial aid from requiring that a student attend a public high school or an accredited private high school to be eligible for any form of financial aid.  It would require that persons graduating from unaccredited private high schools or successfully completing a secondary school program in a home school setting be treated the same as a person who graduate from a public high school.  An institution or state agency would be prohibited from awarding a scholarship or financial aid based upon a person’s high school grade point average, but would be allowed to award financial aid based upon the person’s score on the SAT or ACT, or a separately scored portion of one of those tests.

 

The bill would change the initial eligibility for individuals for a TEXAS grant by eliminating the requirement that a student complete the recommended or advanced high school curriculum and would allow students graduating from unaccredited private high schools, including a home school, to be eligible for a grant.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 533

Howard,

Sugar Land

Relating to the automatic renewal of contracts for services or subscriptions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines consumer as a person to whom a service is provided or a subscription is sold.  The bill would authorize a consumer to cancel an automatic extension or renewal of a subscription or service at any time during the term of the contract.  It would require a seller to notify the consumer not earlier than the 45th day and not later than the 30th day before the term of the contract expires of the automatic renewal clause.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 547

 

SB 315

Bailey,

Houston

Lucio,

Brownsville

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.9615.  This bill would require a governing board of an institution of higher education to adopt a policy permitting faculty members to use five sick leave days as personal leave in an academic year so long as the total number of sick leave days available to the faculty member does not fall below twenty days.  The bill specifies that the institution and the faculty member will make every reasonable effort to provide this leave without additional expense to the institution for comparable instruction for any classes that the faculty member may miss.

 

If an institution has adopted a comprehensive leave policy for faculty members and other employees under Section 51.961, this new section would not apply.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 566

 

SB 1687

Brown, F.

Bryan

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to eligibility for group benefits coverage for certain government employees and retirees.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Insurance Code, Section 1551.1055(a) and (b); 1551.111(b); and 1601.1045(a) and (b); repeals Insurance Code, Section 1551.1055(c) and (d) and 1601.1045(c) and (d).  This bill would eliminate the 90 day waiting period for eligibility for participation in the uniform group insurance program.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 567

 

SB 424

Branch,

Dallas

Carona,

Dallas

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Occupations Code, Section 155.051.  These amendments would allow an applicant for a license to practice medicine in this state to have ten years as opposed to seven years to complete certain portions of the required examination.  The amendments would also authorize a graduate of a program leading to both a doctor of philosophy degree and a doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathy degree to have two years after the applicant has completed the graduate medical training to pass certain portions of the required examination.  Currently, an applicant has only two years after being awarded a doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathy degree.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 570

Talton,

Pasadena

Relating to the application of arbitration agreements to certain other agreements.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill excludes agreements for the acquisition of single-family dwellings and acquisition of personal property for less than $100,000.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005

 

 

 

HB 589

Brown, F.

Bryan

Relating to prohibiting state agencies from collecting or storing racial information.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Chapter 2059.  The bill defines state agency to include a university system and its components and an institution of higher education as defined by Section 61.003, Education Code.  This new chapter would prohibit a state agency from collecting or storing information relating to an individual’s race, ethnicity, color, or national origin except when it is necessary for law enforcement and criminal justice, to comply with federal law, or if ordered in a consent decree or court order that is in force on September 1, 2005.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 591

Brown, F.

Bryan

Relating to the privatization of waste removal service operations at certain public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.949.  This bill applies to a general academic teaching institution as defined by Section 61.003.  The new section would prohibit a general academic teaching institution from employing persons whose primary duties include providing waste removal services or maintaining equipment used for these purposes.  A general academic teaching institution would be required to contract with a local government or private business entity to provide waste removal services for the institution.

 

If the governing board of the institution finds that no local government or private business entity provides adequate waste removal services or is willing to contract with the institution to provide those services, this section would not apply.  The exception would be effective for ten years after the governing board makes the required finding.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 598

 

SB 283

Blake,

Nacogdoches

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to a recreational sports fee at Stephen F. Austin State University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.5201.  This amendment would authorize the board of regents of Stephen F. Austin State University to charge each student enrolled at the university a recreational sports fee not to exceed $120 per semester or $60 per summer session.  The fee cannot be increased more than 10% from one academic year to the next without an election by the students.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 604

Hopson,

Jacksonville

Relating to participation as an annuitant under the Texas Employees Group Benefits Act.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize individuals initially employed on or after September 1, 2001, by a school district that operates schools and facilities of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to participate as annuitants under the Texas employee’s group benefits act.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 605

 

SB 276

Berman,

Tyler

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to authorizing the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler to offer courses and degree programs in allied health and related fields.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 74.602.  This bill would authorize the UT Health Science Center at Tyler to offer courses and degree programs in allied health and related health sciences fields.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 606

 

SB 275

Berman,

Tyler

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to authorizing the University of Texas at Tyler to offer doctoral degree programs in nursing and human resources development.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 76.02.  This bill would authorize the University of Texas at Tyler to offer doctoral degree programs in nursing and doctoral degree programs in human resource development.  These programs could be offered jointly or in collaboration with another institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 609

Giddings,

De Soto

Relating to tuition rebate incentives for persons who complete certain degree and certificate programs without excessive credit hours.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.0065.  This bill would expand the current tuition rebate program to include tuition rebates for qualified students at public junior colleges, public technical institutes, or general academic teaching institutions that offer only freshman-level and sophomore-level courses.  For those students awarded an associate degree or certificate in a program that requires at least sixty semester hours, the tuition rebate would be valued at $500.  The bill does make provision to reimburse the public junior college or institute for the amount of rebates paid by the college.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 613

Castro, San Antonio

Relating to a survey to monitor the postsecondary education plans of seniors at public high schools.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 7.031.  This bill requires the Texas Education Agency to develop a postsecondary education survey to survey public high school seniors regarding their plans to apply and attend a postsecondary educational institution.  The agency is required to notify each school district that is located in a municipality with a population of at least one million of the availability of the survey not later than January 1, 2006.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 616

Callegari,

Houston

Relating to liability of the state, a municipality, or a county for certain recreational activities.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 75.002.  This bill expands the definition for recreation to include bicycling and soap box derby racing.  Currently, recreation is defined to include hockey, skating, roller-blading, and skateboarding.  This area of the code limits the state’s and municipalities and counties liability for damages.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 634

 

SB 286

Baxter,

Austin

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to requiring public officials to receive training in the requirements of the open meetings and public information laws.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Sections 551.005 and 552.012.  This bill would require each elected or appointed public official who is a member of a governmental body to complete a training course regarding the responsibilities of the governmental body and its members relating to the open meetings and public information laws.  The official would be required to complete the course within thirty days of taking the oath of office or otherwise assuming responsibilities as a member of the governmental body.  Members would be required to complete at least one training course every two years.  The public official may designate a public information coordinator to satisfy the training requirements regarding the public information laws if the public information coordinator is the person primarily responsible for administering the responsibilities of the public official or governmental body for public information.

 

The bill designates the areas of the law that should be included in the training and authorizes the attorney general to implement the training.  Effective date:  January 1, 2006.

 

 

 

HB 646

 

SB 1633

Otto,

Dayton

Seliger,

Amarillo

Relating to the provision of certain reports and records requested by the attorney general.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Code of Criminal Procedures, Article 2.23.  This bill amends the sections relating to a state court producing information in court records that relate to criminal matters when requested in writing by the attorney general.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 647

Krusee,

Taylor

Relating to the issuance of obligations for public improvements.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 1371.001.  This bill amends the chapter regarding authority for state or local governments to issue bonded indebtedness.  It amends the definitions to add projects for counties that are funded by ad valorem taxes.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 656

Goolsby,

Dallas

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 28.025(g), 28.026, 51.803 and 51.807.  This bill would continue the top 10% automatic admission for students graduating from high school before the 2009-2010 school year with a completion of the recommended or advanced high school program.   For students graduating after the 2009-2010 school year, the student would be required to complete the recommended or advanced high school curriculum and graduate in the top 5% of the student’s high school graduating class.

 

If the student was unable to complete the recommended or advanced high school program because of course scheduling, lack of enrollment capacity, or another cause not within the student’s control, the high school would be required to reflect that on the student’s transcript.

 

The bill requires the Coordinating Board and the Texas Education Agency to establish standards for determining whether a private high school is accredited by a generally recognized accrediting organization and whether a person completed a high school curriculum that is equivalent to the curriculum established for public high schools in the recommended or advanced high school programs.

 

Each school district would be required to notify a student at the time the student first registers for one or more classes required for high school graduation with a written notification regarding the automatic admissions requirements.  See HB 1113, Goolsby.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 660

Chavez,

El Paso

Relating to training in gerontology for certain healthcare practitioners.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Occupation Code by adding Chapter 111.  This bill defines health care practitioner as an individual who is licensed in this state to provide health care services, including physicians, registered nurses, psychologists, licensed professional counselors and any other license holder that provides health care services.  Each state regulatory agency that license health care practitioners would be required to adopt rules to approve training in gerontology as acceptable for continuing education for health care professionals.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 684

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 board of regents of the University of North Texas System to establish and maintain a school of pharmacy as a professional school of the health science center.

 

The Coordinating Board would be required to prepare an impact statement regarding the creation of the school of pharmacy and would be required to deliver the statement to the board of regents of the UNT System and to the chair of each legislative standing committee or subcommittee with primary jurisdiction over higher education.  See SB 136, Nelson.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 686

Rose,

Dripping Springs

Relating to the use of certain factors in determining premiums charged to professional liability insurance for physicians and health care providers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This amendment would prohibit an insurer from considering a lawsuit filed against a physician or health care provider for the purpose of setting premiums for the provider’s professional liability insurance if the lawsuit was dismissed by the claimant or non-suited.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 698

McCall,

Plano

Relating to the disposal of certain business records that contain personal identifying information.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

The bill does provide a definition for personal identifying information.  The bill creates a civil penalty of $1,000 for any business that disposes of a business record that contains personal identifying information of a customer of the business that was not modified, by shredding, erasing, or other means the personal identifying information to make it unreadable or undecipherable.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 701

Kuempel,

Seguin

Relating to a prohibition of certain employment discrimination regarding an employee who is a volunteer member of an emergency service organization.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill prohibits an employer from terminating or suspending the employment of or, in any other manner discriminating against an employee who is a volunteer member of an emergency service organization and is absent or late for employment because the employee was responding to an emergency in the employee’s capacity as a volunteer member.  The bill requires the volunteer member employee to make reasonable effort to notify the employer.  The employer is authorized to reduce wages for time off or to allow the employee to use existing vacation leave time, personal leave time, or compensatory leave time or an absence.  The bill does authorize a civil action against an employer who violates this new section.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 730

 

SB 238

Nixon,

Houston

Janek,

Harris

Relating to training for members of the governing board of public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 61.084(a).  Currently, appointed members of governing boards of institutions of higher education are required to attend a training program provided by the Coordinating Board within the member’s first two years of service.  This bill would remove the permissive attendance for elected members of a governing board and would require that they attend the training program within the first two years of service.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 750

 

SB 320

Woolley,

Houston

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to admission to certain public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 33.007(b), 51.805, 51.806 and 51.842(a); repeals Sections 28.026, 51.803, 51.804, and 51.8045.  This bill repeals any existing statutes relating to automatic admission to an institution of higher education based upon class rank.  The bill eliminates all sections relating to the top 10% and the top 25%.  These amendments would apply to admissions to a general academic teaching institution beginning with the 2006-2007 academic year.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 762

Nixon,

Houston

Relating to the solicitation by state officers and employees for contributions to charitable organizations.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 572.060.  This bill would authorize a state officer or state employee to solicit from any person a contribution to an organization that is exempt from income taxation under the Internal Revenue Code.  Such monetary contributions must be made payable to the charitable organization by the person making the contribution.  Such contribution is not considered a political contribution or political expenditure on behalf of the state officer or state employee; is not an expenditure made to influence legislation or administrative action; and is not a benefit to the state officer or employee for purposes of the Penal Code.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 776

 

SB 1042

Howard,

Sugar Land

Janek,

Houston

Relating to the Wharton County Junior College District service area.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 130.211.  This bill expands the service area for the Wharton County Junior College District to include the incorporated area and extraterritorial jurisdiction of the city of Sugar Land located in Fort Bend County.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 789

King, P.

Weatherford

Relating to telecommunications.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This is the bill to restructure telecommunications in Texas.  The bill retains Utilities Code, Chapter 57, which creates the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund.  The TIF board is continued until its sunset review and would be abolished if not continued on September 1, 2010.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 797

Krusee,

Taylor

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for Texas State UniversitySan Marcos for the Round Rock Higher Education Center in Williamson County.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 55.1744, 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b); adds Section 55.1754.  This amendment authorizes the board of regents of the Texas State University System to issue $40 million in tuition revenue bonds for the Round Rock Higher Education Center.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 815

Burnam,

Fort Worth

Relating to a prohibition on the investment of state funds in private business entities doing business in Sudan.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Chapter 2264.  This new chapter would prohibit any state agency, including an institution of higher education, from investing state funds in equities or obligations of a private corporation or other private business entity doing business in the Democratic Republic of Sudan.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 816

Burnam,

Fort Worth

Relating to the minimum wage.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends the minimum wage statute in Texas and states that the minimum wage is $6.15 an hour or the federal minimum wage as established by the Fair Labor Standards Act, whichever is greater.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 817

Davis, Y.

Dallas

Relating to restrictions on the use of state funds to benefit private entities that outsource jobs to foreign counties.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Chapter 2264.  This bill would prohibit a state agency, including an institution of higher education, who manages or invests state funds from investing in or purchasing obligations of a domestic private entity that, at any time during the previous two years, created employment suitable for performance in the United States in a country other than the United States, and as a result, eliminated or failed to create similar employment in the United States.

 

The bill also prohibits state agencies, not including institutions of higher education, that grant credits, exemptions, or discounts from granting the same to an entity that created employment outside the United States.

 

These prohibitions apply to investments after September 1, 2006.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 827

Branch,

Dallas

Relating to the designation of research centers to evaluate state or federally funded education programs and the sharing of student data.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 1.005.  This bill would authorize any state agency that is involved in providing elementary, secondary, or other higher education services in this state to designate one or more research centers for the purpose of evaluating any elementary, secondary, or higher education institution or school district that is supportive in whole or in part by state or federal funds.  The bill would further allow any state agency to share identifiable individual student data with any other state agency and any research center designated by the agency.  The agency would not be required to obtain the consent of each individual educational institution or school district to share the data if the agency retains jurisdiction over all confidential data relating to the student records and from which the research will be conducted.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 863

Kolkhorst,

Brenham

Relating to procedures adopted by a state entity to ensure an employment preference for veterans.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Sections 657.0081; 657.051—657.053.  These amendments would require a public entity to prepare and make available for public inspection a statement of any measures taken by the entity to ensure that veterans receive the employment preference required and any remedies available through the entity for an individual entitled to the hiring preference if the individual is not hired or appointed for a position with the entity.

 

A district court would be required to order a speedy hearing if an individual files a motion, petition, or other appropriate pleading to require a public official to grant a benefit to a veteran entitled to a preference under this chapter.  The amendments also authorize a district attorney or county attorney to represent an individual entitled to a preference or benefit under this chapter.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 865

Goolsby,

Dallas

Relating to benefits for survivors of certain members of the United States armed forces.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 466.408(b), 481.078, 615.003 and adds Sections 615.151—615.155.  This bill establishes a new priority for the use of the unclaimed lottery prize money.  The top priority would be to pay a beneficiary of a deceased Texas veteran who died in the line of duty in Afghanistan or Iraq after September 11, 2001, an amount of $50,000.  This new benefit would take priority over the $20 million that is currently deposited to the benefit of UTMB and the amount deposited in the general revenue fund and appropriated to the Department of State Health Services for the provision of indigent health care services.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 868

Ritter,

Nederland

Relating to the establishment of a Center for Excellence in Deaf Education and Communication Disorders at Lamar University in Beaumont.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 96.708.  This bill would authorize the board of regents to the Texas State University System to establish the Center for Excellence in Deaf Education and Communication Disorders.  The center is established to advance deaf education programs in Texas by collaborating with the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services and the Texas School for the Deaf to assess deaf education needs in this state and strategies to address those needs; studying bilingual education programs for the deaf; studying improved teacher training; and studying the incorporation of technology into deaf education.  The board is authorized to use any available funds including legislative appropriations, federal funds, or gifts or grants to establish or operate the center.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 876

Burnam,

Fort Worth

Relating to the use in food of genetically engineered non-food materials.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would prohibit a person from genetically engineering crops or livestock that are used as food or animal feed so that crops or livestock contain or produce drugs, industrial chemicals, or other non-food materials.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 880

Delisi,

Temple

Relating to attorney general review of certain contracts for health care purposes.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Sections 531.018, 811.009, and 821.009.  This bill would require a representative of the office of the attorney general to review the form and terms of any contract with a contract amount of $50 million or more that provides goods or services in connection with the provision of medical or health care services, coverage, or benefits.  This would apply to contracts entered into by the Health and Human Services Commission, a health and human services agency or any other agency under the jurisdiction of the commission; contracts entered into by the Teacher Retirement System; and contracts entered into by the Employee’s Retirement System.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 903

Castro,

San Antonio

Relating to notice to certain public school high school seniors and their parents or guardians of automatic college admission.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 28.026.  This bill would amend the current notice to certain public high school seniors eligible for automatic admission under the top 10% rule.  The public school district would be required to give notice to eligible senior students not later than the 14th day after the last day of classes for the fall semester.  The Texas Education Agency is required to adopt the form to provide the notice and the school district is required to use the form adopted.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 905

Delisi,

Temple

Relating to the powers and duties of the state auditor in connection with state contracts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 2262.002 and 2262.003.  This bill would require each state agency, including an institution of higher education and the Texas Department of Transportation to include in its contracts a term that provides that the state auditor may conduct an audit or investigation of any entity receiving or accepting funds directly under the contract or indirectly through a subcontract and any such entity would be required to furnish to the state auditor any information the state auditor considers relevant through evaluating the entity’s performance, determining the state’s rights or remedies, or evaluating whether the entity has acted in the best interest of the state under the contract.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 906

Strama,

Austin

Relating to the making, authorization, and acceptance of political contributions in certain state buildings.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Election Code, Section 253.039.  This bill expands the current prohibition against making or authorizing a political contribution while in the Texas Capitol to now include a prohibition in any state building.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 908

Turner,

Houston

Relating to a pilot program on the use of the reverse auction procedures by the Building and Procurement Commission.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 2155.062(d) and adds Section 2155.085.  This bill would require that the Building and Procurement Commission to purchase at least 30% of the dollar value of goods purchased by the commission using the reverse auction procedure.  The commission must report to the Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker, and chair of the senate finance committee and the house appropriations committee on the effectiveness of using the reverse auction procedure to purchase goods on or before December 1, 2006.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 912

Isett,

Lubbock

Relating to the maximum cost of certain awards presented to state agency employees for professional achievement or outstanding service.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 2113.201(b).  This bill would increase the maximum amount of the cost of an award presented to a state agency employee from $50 to $100.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 916

Woolley,

Houston

Relating to creating the Governor’s Health Care Coordinating Council.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Health and Safety Code by adding Chapter 113.  This bill establishes the Governor’s Health Care Coordinating Council.  The council is composed of the administrative head or that person’s designee from the Health and Human Services Commission; the Department of State Health Services; the Department of Aging and Disability Services; the Texas Workforce Commission; the Higher Education Coordinating Board; the Department of Insurance; the Employees Retirement System; the Teacher Retirement System; each health care related licensing agency identified by the Governor; and any other state agency identified by the Governor that purchases health care services.  The council is required to meet at least once each year and to identify gaps, flaws, inefficiencies, or problems in the health care system that creates systemic or substantial negative impacts on the participants in the health care system, study problems and identify possible solutions.  The council is required to report to the Speaker and Lt. Governor prior to each regular session of the legislature.  The council is required to facilitate and promote use of technology including telemedicine and telehealth to decrease administrative cost and to increase and improve the quality of health care.  See HB 1064, Delisi and HB 2479, Delisi.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 925

Chavez,

El Paso

Relating to creating an interagency work group on border issues.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 772.011.  This bill establishes an interagency work group to work together on issues that face the border communities; to discuss and coordinate programs and services; develop regulatory and legislative recommendations to eliminate duplication and the combined program services.  The work group is composed of fifteen state entities including the Higher Education Coordinating Board.  The work group is required to meet at least once each year.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 930

 

SB 230

Branch,

Dallas

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to regional funding of indigent health care services.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require that each county that provides health care assistance to set aside annually an amount equal to not less than 8% of its general revenue levy to pay for health care assistance.  The bill would expand the minimum eligibility standards for indigent health care services to include those individuals with a net income eligibility level of 200% of the federal poverty level as opposed to the current 21%.  The bill amends the sections regarding the notice that a provider must provide to the patient’s county or residence for reimbursement.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 933

Taylor,

Friendswood

Relating to certain insurance for officers of state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 612.002(b).  This section authorizes a state agency to insure its employees against liability arising out of the operation of motor vehicles, power equipment, aircrafts, or motor boats.  Current law requires that liability insurance purchased under this section must be provided on policy form approved by the State Board of Insurance as to form and by the attorney general as to liability coverage.  This bill would eliminate the involvement of the Board of Insurance and the attorney general.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

HB 948

 

SB 354

Miller,

Stephenville

Fraser,

Marble Falls

Relating to the issuance of revenue bonds for Tarleton State University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.17512.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the Texas A&M University System to issue $48 million in tuition revenue bonds for infrastructure needs at Tarleton State University.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 952

 

SB 633

Delisi,

Temple

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to a pilot program to provide health services to state employees in state office complexes.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Health and Safety Code by adding Section 12.151.  This bill requires the Department of State Health Services to develop and implement a pilot program to employ a licensed advanced practice nurse to provide authorized on-site health services to state employees at a selected location.  The pilot program must employ the advanced practice nurse and a licensed physician to supervise the advanced practice nurse; provide appropriate office space and professional liability insurance; and report to the Employee’s Retirement System.  The pilot program will begin not later than January 1, 2006 at the headquarters of the Commission on Environmental Quality in Austin.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 954

 

SB 358

Chavez,

El Paso

Gallegos,

Galena Park

Relating to the collection and reporting of employment information regarding beneficiaries of certain health care services.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission to adopt rules requiring a person applying for public health care assistance to identify the employer or employers of the proposed beneficiary of the assistance or of the person who is legally liable for the proposed beneficiary’s support.  Each hospital providing charitable hospital care or services would be required to identify the same employer or employers.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 957

 

SB 459

Pickett,

El Paso

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to the valuation of state-owned real property.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Natural Resources Code, Section 31.156(d).  This bill amends the requirements of when the asset management division of the General Land Office must furnish the market value of real property and current market conditions.  The division would only be required to furnish this information to the commissioner if the division is recommending a real estate transaction.  If the division is not recommending a real estate transaction, evidence of the real property’s value in a form determined to be appropriate by the commissioner would be permissible.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 974

Madden,

Plano

Relating to resolution of disputes arising under certain construction contracts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code by adding Chapter 160.  This bill defines a construction contract as any contract between a real property owner, including a state agency, and a contractor for the improvement of real property greater than $1 million.  This new chapter would authorize a dispute arising under a construction contract to be submitted to a dispute board if the contract includes language that reflects the intent of the parties to use the process.  Each construction contract entered into by a state agency or political subdivision that does not provide for submission of disputes arising under the contract to a dispute board under this chapter must contain a provision stating the use of the dispute resolution was actively considered and rejected.  Each party to the contract would be able to name one person to the dispute board and the two board members would have to nominate a chairperson.  If the parties fail to agree on the appointments, either party may make application to a district court where the work will be constructed to appoint a qualified person.  The bill establishes the procedures for which contract disputes would be submitted to the dispute board and for payment of the cost of the procedure.  The bill makes provisions for an informal proceeding and for a formal hearing before the board to resolve disputes.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 976

Madden,

Plano

Relating to allowing the Building and Procurement Commission to deliberate in a closed meeting regarding business and financial considerations of a contract being negotiated.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 551.0726.  This bill would authorize the Building and Procurement Commission to deliberate in a closed meeting regarding business and financial issues relating to a contract being negotiated if, before conducting the closed meeting, the commission votes unanimously that an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the position of the state in the negotiation and the attorney advising the commission issues a written determination that an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the position of the state.  The commission would be required to tape record the proceedings of the closed meeting.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

HB 981

 

SB 1790

Van Arsdale,

Houston

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to the ability of state-supported college or university football teams to participate in post-regular-session competition.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.968.  This amendment would prohibit a varsity football team from any state-supported college or university within Texas from participating in any intercollegiate post-regular-season competition unless the competition is part of a national playoff system.  This prohibition will be rescinded automatically on December 2, 2005 unless a similar prohibition for its state colleges or universities is adopted and is effective in at least four other states including Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 993

 

SB 528

 

HB 2609

Gonzales,

McAllen

Hinojosa,

McAllen

Guillen,

San Diego

Relating to the installment payment of tuition and fees charged by a public junior college for a summer term.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 54.007(b) and (c).  This amendment would authorize the governing board of a public junior college to allow a student enrolled for a summer term to pay one-half payment of tuition and fees prior to the beginning of the summer term and the remaining amount in one or two later payments to be made in the percentages and by the dates determined by the governing board, provided that the final payment must be made before the beginning of the last week of the summer term.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 994

 

SB 529

Gonzales,

McAllen

Hinojosa,

McAllen

Relating to the tuition charged for certain courses repeated by students attending public junior colleges.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 130.0034.  This amendment would authorize the governing board of a public junior college to charge a student a higher rate of tuition if the student enrolls in a course that the student previously enrolled in the same course or a course of substantially the same content and level two or more times after the 2003-2004 academic year.  This would not apply to non-degree-credit developmental courses.  The total amount of tuition charged under this new section could not exceed the full cost of instruction for the course.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1008

Martinez Fischer,

San Antonio

Relating to public access to certain information and materials.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill expands the protection of information and materials compiled by the department during an investigation of hospitals and mental hospitals.  This information would not be subject to disclosure under the Public Information Act.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1010

 

SB 579

Corte,

San Antonio

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Relating to the eligibility of children of certain military personnel to receive Texas B-On-time loans.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 56.455.  This bill expands the eligibility of students to participate in the Texas-B-On-time loan program.  Students who are entitled to a waiver of nonresident tuition because the student is a child of a member of the armed forces that is entitled to the waiver would be eligible for an initial loan.  Also students graduating from high school operated by the U. S. Department of Defense who graduated from school not earlier than the 2002-2003 school year and at the time of graduation was a dependent child of a member of the armed forces would be entitled to participate in the loan program.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1013

Callegari,

Houston

Relating to the annexation of territory to a public junior college district.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Chapter 130.  This bill amends several aspects of the requirements relating to annexation of territory to a public junior college district including the property which maybe annexed, the petition for the election, the requirements of the public hearing, the actual election, and the automatic annexation of future territory.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1019

Coleman,

Houston

Relating to the rates of tuition charged to students of institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 54.0513(a) and (b); 54.0515(e) and (f); repeals Sections 56.011, 56.012, and 56.013.  This bill amends the deregulated designated tuition statute to limit the amount of designated tuition that could be charged to a student to an amount equal to the state tuition that a student would pay in the particular degree program that the student is enrolled in.  The bill repeals all the set asides for financial aid related to the deregulated portion of designated tuition.  These changes would apply to tuition collected for the 2005-2006 academic year.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1026

Nixon,

Houston

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 2260.104(e), 2260.105(a), and 2260.1055(a); repeals Section 2260.104(f).  This bill amends the current resolution of contract claims against state agencies.  The amendments would only allow an appeal of a contested case hearing when there is evidence of abuse of discretion.  The amendments would require the unit of state government to pay reasonable cost of attorney fees if the administrative law judge finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that under the laws of this state the claim or part of the claim is valid.  It excludes the current requirement that the total amount of damages must be less than $250,000 in order to award attorney’s fees.  If the administrative law judge determines that the amount of the claim and attorney’s fees exceeds the amount of appropriated money that the unit of state government has for the payment of contract claims, the administrative law judge must issue a written report.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1029

Rodriguez,

Austin

Relating to approval procedures of institutional review boards for certain clinical trials.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Health and Safety Code by adding Chapter 442.  This bill defines clinical drug trial to mean a research study in human volunteers designed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a drug.  This bill would prohibit an institutional review board from approving a clinical drug trial unless the person conducting the trial agrees to register with the National Institutes of Health website for clinical trials, and publish the results in electronic format on the Internet in a manner readily understood by the public.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1031

 

SB 287

Taylor,

League City

Janek,

Harris

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston for National Biocontainment facilities and infrastructure.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b) and adds Section 55.1752.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the UT System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $57 million to construct and equip the Galveston National Biocontainment Laboratory at UTMB.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005

 

 

 

HB 1039

Keel,

Austin

Relating to an exemption from tuition and fees at institutions of higher education for peace officers and police cadets enrolled in certain law enforcement programs.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.2081.  This bill would authorize the governing board of an institution of higher education to exempt a peace officer or a police cadet from the payment of tuition and required fees if the student is enrolled in a law enforcement degree or certificate program at an institution of higher education.  The exemption would only apply to courses that are required to complete the law enforcement degree or certificate program in which the student is enrolled.  This would apply to tuition and fees beginning the 2005 fall semester.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1046

Branch,

Dallas

Relating to the automatic admission of undergraduate students to general academic teaching institutions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 51.803.  If the number of applicants who qualify for automatic admission under the top 10% rule to a general academic teaching institution exceeds 50% of the institution’s enrollment capacity designated for first-time undergraduate students, the institution would be allowed to offer admission to those applicants by percentile rank according to graduating class standing based on grade point average beginning with the top percentile rank until a sufficient number of applicants have accepted admission to fill those spaces.  Any remaining applicants that qualify for automatic admission would be treated in the same manner as other applicants for admission as first-time freshman students.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1060

Naishtat,

Austin

Relating to exempting certain persons in transitional living programs from the payment of tuition and fees at public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.2115.  The bill defines transitional living program to mean a program that meets the grant eligibility standards for transitional living youth projects for homeless youth under the federal Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, Sections 321 and 322.  A person would be exempt from the payment of tuition and required fees if the person is a resident in a transitional living program for a continuous period of at least six months occurring after the person’s 16th birthday but before the person’s 22nd birthday, maintains a current residence separate from that of a parent or guardian, is classified as a Texas resident, initially enrolls in an institution not later than the person’s 22nd birthday and demonstrates financial need as determined according to standards adopted by the institution.  This would apply to tuition and fees for the 2006 spring semester.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1063

 

SB 801

Oliveira,

Brownsville

Lucio,

Brownsville

Relating to a fee to support the wellness, recreational, and fitness complex at the University of Texas at Brownsville.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.550.  This bill authorizes the board of regents of the University of Texas System to impose a wellness, recreational, and fitness complex fee initially set at $79 per student for each regular semester and $39.50 per student for each summer session.  The board would not be authorized to increase the fee by more than 10% in any academic year unless approved by vote of the students.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1064

Delisi,

Temple

Relating to creating the Governor’s Health Care Coordinating Council.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Health and Safety Code by adding Chapter 113.  This bill establishes the Governor’s Health Care Coordinating Council.  The council is composed of the administrative head or that person’s designee from the Health and Human Services Commission; the Department of State Health Services; the Department of Aging and Disability Services; Correctional Managed Health Care Committee; the Employees Retirement System; the Teacher Retirement System; and any other state agency identified by the Governor that purchases health care services.  The council is required to meet at least once each year and to identify gaps, flaws, inefficiencies, or problems in the health care system that creates systemic or substantial negative impacts on the participants in the health care system, study problems and identify possible solutions.  The council is required to report to the Governor, Speaker and Lt. Governor prior to each regular session of the legislature.  These amendments would require a state agency that issues a request for a purchase of health care products or services to notify the council of the pending purchase.  The council will determine whether another state agency has previously purchased the same health care products or services and assist the state agencies in coordinating the purchase of health care products.  This bill abolishes the interagency council on pharmaceuticals bulk purchasing and transfers its responsibilities to this new council.  See HB 916, Woolley and HB 2479, Delisi.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1069

Solis,

Harlingen

Relating to liability of a governmental unit for a claim arising from roadway lighting conditions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code by adding Sections 101.067.  Under this amendment, the Texas Tort Claims Act would not apply to a claim arising in connection with the lighting or any condition related to the lighting of a road, highway, or street under the supervision of a governmental unit.  This would not impact the liability of a municipality with regard to street construction and design.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1101

Miller,

Stephenville

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the Tarleton State University Dairy Center.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.1751.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the Texas A&M University System to issue $8 million in tuition revenue bonds for the Tarleton State University Dairy Center.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1102

Miller,

Stephenville

Relating to an intercollegiate athletics fee at Tarleton State University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.5394.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the Texas A&M University System to impose an intercollegiate athletics fee on each student enrolled at Tarleton State University in an amount not to exceed $10 per semester credit hour.  If the fee is increased by more than 5% from one academic year to the next, the increase must be approved by a majority vote of the students of the university in a general student election.  Smaller increases must be approved by a majority vote of the legislative body of the student government of the university.  The fee would apply beginning with the 2005 fall semester.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1113

Goolsby,

Dallas

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 28.025(g), 28.026, 51.803 and 51.807.  This bill would continue the top 10% automatic admission for students graduating from high school before the 2009-2010 school year with a completion of the recommended or advanced high school program.   For students graduating after the 2009-2010 school year, the student would be required to complete the recommended or advanced high school curriculum and graduate in the top 5% of the student’s high school graduating class.

 

If the student was unable to complete the recommended or advanced high school program because of course scheduling, lack of enrollment capacity, or another cause not within the student’s control, the high school would be required to reflect that on the student’s transcript.

 

The bill requires the Coordinating Board and the Texas Education Agency to establish standards for determining whether a private high school is accredited by a generally recognized accrediting organization and whether a person completed a high school curriculum that is equivalent to the curriculum established for public high schools in the recommended or advanced high school programs.

 

Each school district would be required to notify a student at the time the student first registers for one or more classes required for high school graduation with a written notification regarding the automatic admissions requirements.  See HB 656, Goolsby.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1116

 

SB 412

Solomons,

Carrollton

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Relating to the governmental entities subject to the sunset review process.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill is the biennial bill to adjust sunset review dates for certain state agencies.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1130

 

SB 754

Cook, B.

Corsicana

Ellis, R.

Houston

Relating to the adoption of a privacy policy by a person who requires the disclosure of an individual’s social security number.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Business and Commerce Code by adding Section 35.581.  This bill would prohibit a person from requiring an individual to disclose the individual’s social security number to obtain goods or services from or enter into a business transaction with the person unless the person adopts a privacy policy, provides the privacy policy to the individual, and maintains under the privacy policy the confidentiality and security of a social security number disclosed to the person.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1146

 

SB 1444

Chisum,

Pampa

Averitt,

Waco

Relating to contingent payment clauses in certain construction contracts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Business and Commerce Code by adding Section 35.521.  This bill establishes notice and enforcement criteria for contingent payment clauses in construction contracts.  It directly affects the agreement for payment of construction subcontractors.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1170

 

SB 1734

Miller,

Stephenville

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to readmission to a public institution of higher education of students who withdraw to perform active military service.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.9242.  If a student withdraws from an institution to perform active military service as a member of the United States Armed forces or the Texas National Guard, the institution would be required to readmit the student, without requiring reapplication, within one year of the date the student is released from active military service, if the student is otherwise eligible to register for classes at the institution.  The institution may adopt rules requiring reasonable proof from a student of the fact and duration of the student’s active military service.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1171

 

SB 479

Brown, F.

Bryan

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to protecting students and employees at an institution of higher education from threatened acts of violence.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.9365.  For purposes of this section, a person poses a substantial threat to human life if the person knowingly threatens to commit a violent offense against a student or employee in a manner that reasonably places the student or employee in fear of imminent bodily injury.  The president of an institution shall provide for the identification of a student who poses a substantial threat to human life on the campus or other facility of the institution and make provision for the removal of the student.  The institution is required to establish procedures for filing of complaints or reports by students and employees of persons who pose a substantial threat and the removal of the student or employee from the campus or facility.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1172

Brown, F.

Bryan

Relating to the tuition charged to resident undergraduate students of institutions of higher education for excess credit hours and to related formula funding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 54.068(a) and (c) and 61.0595(a) and (e) and adds Subsection (f).  This amendment would disallow formula funding for semester credit hours earned by a resident undergraduate student who enrolled during or after the 2006 fall semester if the student had previously attempted a number of semester credit hours for courses taken at any institution while classified as a resident student for tuition purposes that equals or exceeds 115% of the minimum number of semester credit hours required for completion of the degree program in which the student is enrolled.  The bill would allow formula funding for semester credit hours attempted by a student who initially enrolled during or after 1999 fall semester, but prior to the 2006 fall semester if the number of semester credit hours required for the student’s degree program is not exceeded by at least 45 hours (which is current law). 

 

The amendments would authorize an institution of higher education to charge a resident undergraduate student tuition at a higher rate, not to exceed the rate charged to a nonresident undergraduate student, if the student has attempted a number of semester credit hours for courses taken at any institution of higher education while classified as a resident student for tuition purposes that equals or exceed 115% of the minimum number of semester credit hours required for completion of a degree program in which in the student is enrolled.  For students who enrolled between the 1999 fall semester and the 2006 fall semester, those students would be subject to the current law of attempting greater than 45 hours exceeding the number of semester credit hours required for the student’s degree program.  See SB 1529, Zaffirini.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1173

Brown, F.

Bryan

Relating to the regulation of the use of postsecondary credits and degrees, persons offering or granting certain postsecondary credits and degrees, and the manner of offering or granting those credits and degrees.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.304 and 61.312; adds Sections 61.302(11); 61.3021; 61.313(h), (i), and (j); 61.320 and 61.321; amends Penal Code by adding Section 32.52; amends Code of Criminal Procedure by adding Article 13.30.  These amendments would regulate degrees conferred by private postsecondary educational institutions and require their approval through the review process established by the Coordinating Board.  The bill establishes criminal penalties for persons who violate this process.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1184

Herrero,

Robstown

Relating to a policy regulating the use of textbooks in certain courses offered by public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.968.  This bill would require the governing board of each institution of higher education that offers courses in the core curriculum to adopt a policy that regulates the use of textbooks in core curriculum courses at the institution.  The policy must encourage faculty members who teach core curriculum courses to use the same textbooks and the same editions of those textbooks to the extent practicable from one academic year to the next and must require that unless good cause is shown that a textbook must be used for a period of at least three academic years.  The bill attempts to define the elements of good cause for changing textbooks.  The governing board is required to seek advice and comment from faculty and students at the institution and to file the policy with the Coordinating Board.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1206

Thompson,

Houston

Relating to the prohibition of certain discrimination in applications for employment and employment interviews.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Labor Code by adding Section 21.0515.  This bill would make it an unlawful employment practice if an employer requires an applicant for employment to disclose in an application form, in the course of an interview, or ask another person other than the applicant to disclose the sexual orientation of the applicant.  This section would not apply to private schools or institutions of higher education affiliated with a religious organization.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1214

 

SB 532

Morrison,

Victoria

Shapiro,

Plano

Relating to tuition for a student registered in a public junior college.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.051(n).  This bill would authorize the governing boards of public junior colleges to establish differential tuition rates for each program, course, or course level offered by the institution.  The change in tuition would apply to the fall 2005 semester.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

HB 1215

 

SB 391

Morrison,

Victoria

Armbrister,

Victoria

Relating to the degree programs offered by the University of HoustonVictoria.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 111.96(b).  This bill would expand the degree programs offered by UH-Victoria to include all graduate level programs, not just master’s.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1217

Eiland,

Galveston

Relating to enforcement of certain insurance provisions in construction contracts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Insurance Code by adding Article 21.75.  This bill would void and make unenforceable a provision in a construction contract that requires a person, including an indemnitee under an indemnification agreement, to be an additional insured; or require an insurance policy be endorsed to provide a waiver of subrogation.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1274

Hardcastle,

Vernon

Relating to the service area of the Ranger Junior College District.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 130.196.  This bill would remove Young County from the Ranger Junior College District service area.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1278

Hope,

Conroe

Relating to academic advisors at public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding section 51.954.  The bill defines academic advisor as any person employed by an institution of higher education whose primary employment responsibility is to advise students concerning academic policies and procedures, such as course requirements for a particular degree plan, course load or other academic requirements, and degree progress.  The term does not include career counseling services to students.  The bill requires each institution of higher education to develop and provide training for academic advisors.  The training must address the detailed requirements, policies and procedures about which a counselor will be authorized to advise students and effective methods for communicating that advice.  The bill prohibits a person from serving as an academic advisor unless the person has earned a baccalaureate or advanced degree in any field and has been trained for the responsibilities of an academic advisor as established by the institution.  The training must be in place by May 1, 2006 and would apply to individuals serving as academic advisors beginning with the 2006 fall semester.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1281

Isett,

Lubbock

Relating to the creation of spot-incentive awards for certain state employees.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 659.2552.  This bill defines spot-incentive award as a monetary reward provided to an employee for individual or group performance or achievement deserving recognition.  The bill requires each state agency to develop and implement detailed written policies for the award of spot-incentive awards.  A state agency may provide a spot-incentive award to a state employee who holds a classified position under the state’s position classification plan.  The total value of all spot-incentive awards a state agency may provide to a individual employee under this section is $1,000 each fiscal year.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

HB 1284

 

SB 148

Swinford,

Amarillo

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to the exception from required public disclosure of a photograph of a peace officer.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 552.119.  This bill strikes the old language regarding security officers commissioned under Section 51.212, Education Code.  Photographs of peace officers employed by institutions of higher education who are commissioned as peace officers under the Code of Criminal Procedure would still be excepted from disclosure.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1285

 

SB 147

Swinford,

Amarillo

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to the exception from required disclosure under the public information law of certain audit working paper.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 552.116(b) and (1).  This bill expands the definition of audit to include an audit authorized or required by the charter or an ordinance of a municipality, or an order of the commissioner’s court of a county.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1295

Rose,

Dripping Springs

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for Texas State UniversitySan Marcos for the construction of a fine arts and communications center.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.0572(e) and 61.058 (b); adds 55.17543.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of Texas State University System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $50 million to finance the construction of a fine arts and communication center at Texas State University—San Macros.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1296

Rose,

Dripping Springs

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for Texas State UniversitySan Marcos for the construction of an undergraduate academic center.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b); adds Section 55.17541.  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 $47,700,000 to finance the construction of an undergraduate academic center at Texas State University—San Marcos.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1297

Rose,

Dripping Springs

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for Texas State UniversitySan Marcos for infrastructure repairs and improvements.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b); adds Section 55.17542.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the Texas State University System to issue tuition review bonds in an amount not to exceed $45,461,248 to finance infrastructure repairs and improvements at Texas State University—San Marcos.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1298

Rodriguez,

Austin

Relating to requiring hepatitis C training for nurses and physician assistants.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require that nurses and physician assistants receive at least two hours of continuing education relating to the prevention, assessment, and treatment of hepatitis C.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1311

Puente,

San Antonio

Relating to requiring a course in multicultural or gender studies in baccalaureate degree programs at public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.305.  This bill would require each undergraduate student to complete a course of at least three semester credit hours in multicultural studies or gender studies approved by the Coordinating Board prior to receiving a degree from an institution.  The bill provides a definition for multicultural and gender studies.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1313

 

SB 1269

Chisum,

Pampa

Deuell,

Greenville

Relating to establishment of a defined contribution health care benefits program for certain active state employees that is operated through the establishment of health reimbursement arrangements.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Insurance Code by adding Chapter 1555.  The bill requires the board of trustees of the Employee Retirement System to establish a state employees health reimbursement arrangement program to provide group health benefit coverages to employees through the operation of health reimbursement arrangements.  Individuals employed on or after September 1, 2006 would be required to participate in this program and it would be elective for employees employed before that date if the employee is eligible to receive a state contribution for health care benefits.  The state would contribute the amount specified by the legislature to the health reimbursement arrangement account established for that employee for the payment of qualified health care expenses.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1327

Isett,

Lubbock

Relating to the constitutional limitation on the rate of growth of state appropriations and the constitutional creation of three special funds to replace the economic stabilization fund.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would establish a new methodology for determining the rate of growth of state appropriations in a biennial period.  The bill also establishes three special funds to replace the economic stabilization fund (Rainy Day Fund) if approved by the voters on a constitutional amendment.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1330

Chisum,

Pampa

Relating to the creation of a dispute resolution program for state building construction contracts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Sections 2166.601—2166.605.  This bill would require the Building and Procurement Commission to establish a dispute resolution program for use by contractors and state agencies to resolve disputes arising under a contract for a building construction project.  This would apply to all building construction projects of the state including projects otherwise exempted from the commission’s oversight (includes higher education).  Each state agency would be required to include in a contract for the design of a building construction project a provision stating that disputes will be resolved using this dispute resolution program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1331

Chavez,

El Paso

Relating to interagency cooperation.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 771.002(1).  This bill would expand the definition of agency to include a junior college district. This chapter authorizes a state agency to agree or contract with another state agency for the provision of necessary and authorized services and resources.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1383

Jones, J.

Dallas

Relating to a study of the expense of health care for certain elderly inmates.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require the Department of Criminal Justice to conduct a study to determine the number of inmates 60 years of age or older who receive health care service from the department and who may be released into the community on parole with the reasonable belief that the inmates will not engage in any criminal conduct after release.  The department would be required to also project the savings if these inmates were released.  The department would be required to submit the report to the legislature not later than December 1, 2006.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1385

Hartnett,

Dallas

Relating to a governmental unit’s liability for attorney’s fees and costs in a declaratory judgment proceeding.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Sections 37.001 and 37.009; adds Section 37.0021.  These amendments would prohibit a court from awarding costs and attorney’s fees against a governmental unit in any declaratory judgment proceeding.  The new section states that a governmental unit does not waive sovereign immunity or liability for attorney’s fees and costs in a declaratory judgment proceeding.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1400

Dutton,

Houston

Relating to discovery procedures for a claim against a governmental entity under the Texas Tort Claims Act.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code by adding Section 101.110.  This new section would require the Supreme Court to adopt rules under which a claimant under the Texas Torts Claim Act may, if the defendant asserts a plea to the jurisdiction, obtain reasonable discovery to investigate whether circumstances exist that would confer jurisdiction on the court.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1407

McReynolds,

Lufkin

Relating to an exemption from tuition and fees at public institutions of higher education for children of certain employees of the Texas Forest Service with fire-fighting, rescue, or other special duties who are killed or disabled in the line of duty.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.204(a)(1).  This bill would add children of certain employees of the Texas Forest Service who are assigned fire-fighting, fire-prevention, rescue, or incident management duties who are killed or disabled in the line of duty from the payment of tuition and fees at public institutions of higher education.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1409

 

SB 1118

Coleman,

Houston

Ellis, R.

Houston

Relating to the authority to change the name of component institutions of the Texas A&M University System.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 86.23(b).  Current law prohibits the board of regents of the Texas A&M University System from changing the name of Tarleton State University by resolution.  This bill would also prohibit the board from changing the name of Prairie View A&M University.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1411

Campbell,

San Angelo

Relating to the provision of broadband services.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Utilities Code by adding Sections 55.351—55.352.  This bill would require the Public Utilities Commission to develop a plan to ensure that access to broadband services is available throughout this state, including rural areas.  The commission would be required to establish a pilot project to develop and build a regional broadband network in a rural area of the state using a regional planning agency.  If the Concho Valley Council of Governments agrees to participate, the commission shall establish the program in that region.  Not later than January 15, 2007, the commission would be required to report to the legislature on the progress of the pilot program and by the same date in 2009, the commission is required to report to the legislature on the effectiveness of the program and the feasibility of expanding the program statewide.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1412

Haggerty,

El Paso

Relating to the recreational facility fee at the University of Texas at El Paso.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 54.541(a) and (c).  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the UT System to increase the recreational facility fee for students at UTEP from the current amount of $12 per student to an amount not to exceed $100 per student for a long term or $50 for any other term or semester.  Any increase in the fee would be required to be approved by a majority vote of the students participating in a general student election.  This change would apply to fees in the 2005 fall semester.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1419

 

SB 941

Blake,

Nacogdoches

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for Stephen F. Austin State University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b); adds Section 55.1758.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of Stephen F. Austin State University to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $66,450,000 to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure at the university.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1427

 

SB 1110

 

SB 981

 

HB 2291

McClendon,

San Antonio

Ellis, R.

Houston

Whitmire,

Houston

Coleman,

Houston

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for Texas Southern University for campus facilities and infrastructure.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.17591.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of Texas Southern University to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $109,560,000 to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure, for a multipurpose university center, a fine arts building, a building for the school of technology, the Robert J. Terry Library, and deferred maintenance on campus facilities and infrastructure.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1431

 

SB 462

Frost,

Atlanta

Eltife,

Tyler

Relating to the issuance of revenue bonds for Texas A&M UniversityTexarkana.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.17513.  This bill authorizes the board of regents of the Texas A&M University System to issue tuition revenue bonds for Texas A&M UniversityTexarkana in an amount not to exceed $65 million.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

HB 1443

Dutton,

Houston

Relating to exempting certain general academic teaching institutions from the requirement that certain high school graduates be granted automatic admission.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 51.804 and adds Sections 51.803(c) and (d).  This new section states that the top 10% automatic admission requirement for general academic teaching institutions would not apply in any academic year if the total percentage of students from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups enrolled as first-time freshman students at the institution during the preceding academic year equaled or exceeded the total percentage of students from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups listed for the fall semester of the preceding academic year on the roster of the NCAA football team fielded by the institution.  The institution would be required to post on the institution’s Internet website whether the institution is exempt from the top 10% automatic admission’s policy.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1445

Madden,

Plano

Relating to the creation and operation of a state virtual school network to provide education through electronic means to public school students.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Chapter 30A.  This bill requires the State Board of Education to create and operate a state virtual school network using local or state provider school districts to provide electronic courses or programs to students enrolled in the virtual school network.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1450

Farabee,

Wichita Falls

Relating to the creation of the TexasNextStep program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 56.481—56.488.  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 2006-2007 academic year.  See HB 1521, Goolsby, and SB 722, Lucio.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

HB 1451

 

SB 793

Farabee,

Wichita Falls

Estes,

Wichita Falls

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for utility infrastructure and campus renovations at Midwestern State University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b); adds Section 55.1757.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of Midwestern State University to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $10, 395,000 to finance utility infrastructure and campus renovations at the university.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1459

Leibowitz,

San Antonio

Relating to requiring energy-saving devices for vending machines in buildings owned or leased by this state.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 2165.058.  This bill would require the Building and Procurement Commission to use an energy-saving device for each vending machine located in a building owned or leased by the state.  The entity that owns or operates the vending machine subject to this section is responsible for any expenses associated with the acquisition, installation or maintenance of an energy-saving device.  The commission is authorized to fine any entity not in compliance with this section in an amount not to exceed $250 a year.

 

This amendment is in a section of the code that appears not to cover buildings owned or operated by institutions of higher education.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1463

Flores,

Mission

Relating to the payment of monthly benefits to certain retirees of the Teacher Retirement System who return to work.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 824.602(a) and adds Section 824.601(g).  This bill would prohibit the Teacher Retirement System from withholding a monthly benefit payment to a retiree who before January 1, 2005 retired and is employed by a school district or an open-enrollment charter school, other than a third-party entity.  Current law allows only classroom teachers who are teaching in an acute shortage area to continue to receive their monthly benefit payment.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1480

Gattis,

Georgetown

Relating to the issuance of special license plates to benefit certain programs.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

These amendments would require the Department of Transportation to issue two specialty license plates.  One would include the words “Mothers Against Drunk Driving” and the other would include “Boy Scouts of America.”  A portion of the fees collected from the issuance of these license plates would be deposited to the credit of the general revenue fund and appropriated to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to make grants to benefit drug-abuse prevention and education programs sponsored by the Mothers Against Drunk Driving and to make grants to benefit educational projects sponsored by the Boy Scout councils in this state.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1482

Van Arsdale,

Houston

Relating to reports regarding the use of race, color, ethnicity, or national origin by public institutions of higher education in admissions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.4032.  This bill would require each institution of higher education to annually provide the Coordinating Board and the chair of each legislative standing committee or subcommittee with primary jurisdiction over higher education, and to make available to the public on the institution’s website, a report regarding whether the institution or any school or department of the institution considers race, color, ethnicity, or national origin in admitting applicants to any undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, or professional degree program.  The new section contains a comprehensive list of factors that would be required to be included in the report.  The first report would be due not later than July 1, 2006.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1491

 

SB 701

Flynn,

Canton

Deuell,

Greenville

Relating to the issuance of revenue bonds for Texas A&M University—Commerce.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.17515.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of Texas A&M University System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $37,770,000 to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for a music building and for the James G. Gee Library at Texas A&M University—Commerce.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1496

Martinez Fischer,

San Antonio

Relating to use of money in the Texas Enterprise Fund for recipients who make certain commitments.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 481.078(g).  This amendment would require the 20% of the total amount of grants made from the Enterprise Fund be made to recipients with one hundred or fewer employees who commit to contribute the recipient’s own money to the enterprise for which the grant is made in an amount equal to at least one-third of the amount of the grant and who commits to provide a health benefit plan to the recipient’s employees.  The bill further defines the way these grants would be distributed depending upon the number of employees.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1504

 

SB 1046

Smithee,

Amarillo

Seliger,

Amarillo

Relating to the issuance of revenue bonds for West Texas A&M University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.17514.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the Texas A&M University System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $28,580,500 to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for educational facilities for West Texas A&M University.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1512

Merritt,

Longview

Relating to a requirement that the Bureau of Economic Geology of the University of Texas at Austin conduct a study of the East Texas Oil Field.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Natural Resources Code by adding Sections 85.401—85.405.  This bill would require the bureau to conduct a study of the East Texas Oil Field to make comprehensive recommendations regarding measures that should be taken to maximize the ultimate recovery of oil and gas from the field.  The bill appoints an advisory committee to advise the bureau.  The report is due January 1, 2007.  See HB 3219, Merritt.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1515

Villarreal,

San Antonio

Relating to the prohibition of certain discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identify or expression.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would prohibit discrimination in employment and real estate related transactions because of the sexual orientation or gender identity or expression of an individual.  The Texas Workforce Commission would be required to adopt rules to administer and enforce this new section.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1516

 

SB 1547

Isett,

Lubbock

Duncan,

Lubbock

Relating to the Department of Information Resources’ management of state electronic and telecommunications services.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 2054.071, 2054.074, 2157.068, 2170.051, 2157.001, 2157.003, 2157.005(a), 2157.063(b), 2157.121(b) and (c), 2157.181(a), 2157.182, 2157.184, and adds Sections 2054.0565, 2054.096(c), 2054.1015, 2054.301—2054.307, 2054.375—2054.387; repeals Sections 2054.201(c) and 2055.061.  These amendments would allow an information resources manager to be designated as a joint information resource manager by two or more state agencies and to consolidate the operating plans of each agency for which the manager serves.

 

The amendments require a state agency to provide a planned procurement schedule for commodity hardware to DIR before the agency’s operating plan may be approved.  The bill establishes the Texas Project Deliver Framework which would apply to major information resources projects proposed by state agencies.  Each state agency would be required to meet certain criteria prior to proceeding with the agency’s plan. 

 

The bill establishes statewide information centers which would consist of all information resources technologies, including consolidated data center services and telecommunication services that are obtained by a state agency using state money or used by a state agency.  DIR is directed to mange the operations of the statewide information centers that provide data center services or disaster recovery services for two or more state agencies, including management of the operation of the center on the campus of Angelo State University.  DIR would determine which state agencies would receive services through the statewide information centers.  Those agencies would be required to enter into interagency contracts and would be required to transfer to the department ownership, custody, or control of resources that the department determines are necessary to provide the operations or services including information resources, information resources technologies, full-time equivalent positions, and any other resources determined necessary by the department.

 

Currently, DIR is authorized to negotiate with catalog information systems vendors to obtain favorable process for commodity software purchases.  These amendments would expand that authority to include hardware or technology services.

 

The bill eliminates the review of the telecommunications planning and oversight council regarding agencies participation in the statewide telecommunications system.  The amendments prohibit a state agency from spending appropriated money to contract or issue purchase orders for telecommunication services unless the executive director of DIR approves the expense. 

 

DIR is directed to conduct a statewide assessment of information technology security resources and practices of state agencies and to report to the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker not later than December 31, 2005. 

 

DIR, in coordination with the LBB, Building and Procurement Commission, and the Comptroller is directed to analyze current automated information systems of state agencies to determine how the systems may be combined to more effectively synchronize strategic planning, budgeting, and reporting of technology expenditures, assets, and projects.  This report to the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker would be due not later than December 31, 2005.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1521

 

SB 722

Goolsby,

Dallas

Lucio,

Brownsville

Relating to the creation of the Texas Next Step grant program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 56.481—56.488.  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 for a resident student enrolled full-time in an associate or certificate program for that semester or term plus $30 per semester credit hour for textbooks.  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 2006-2007 academic year.  See HB 1450, Farabee.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

HB 1523

Guillen,

San Diego

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of TexasPan American South Texas College Multi-Institution Teaching Center.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b); adds Section 55.17521.  This bill authorizes the board of regents of the UT System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $7.5 million for the construction and renovation of facilities and related infrastructure at the UT—Pan American South Texas College Multi-Institution Teaching Center.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1524

 

SB 794

Crownover,

Lake Dallas

Estes,

Wichita Falls

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of North Texas.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.1755.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the University of North Texas System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $94 million for construction and renovation of facilities and related infrastructure for the University of North Texas.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1525

 

SB 795

Crownover,

Lake Dallas

Estes,

Wichita Falls

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for Texas Woman’s University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.1756.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of Texas Woman’s University to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $44.5 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure at the university.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1526

Rodriguez,

Austin

Relating to the prohibition of employment discrimination by state agencies on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Labor Code by adding Chapter 24.  This bill would prohibit a state agency from subjecting an employee or applicant to different standards or treatment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  The bill prohibits retaliation or coercion.  The bill prohibits quotas and preferential treatment to an individual on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  If the state agency is liable for a violation under this new chapter, sovereign immunity is waived and abolished to the extent of liability under this chapter.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1527

Rodriguez,

Austin

Relating to a breach in the security of a data system that includes another person’s identifying information.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Business and Commerce Code by adding Chapter 50.  A breach in the security of a person’s data system is considered to have occurred when there is unauthorized access to data stored in the system, an electronic storage or otherwise, that compromises the security, confidentiality, or integrity of identifying information maintained by the person.  The person would be required to notify the resident of any alleged breach of the security of the person’s data system.  The bill makes provisions for the required notifications.

 

The bill also states that this chapter does not apply to a person who maintains federal, state, or local government records containing identifying information that are made available to the public.

 

A person injured by a violation of this chapter is entitled to bring a cause of action to recover actual damages or to enjoin a continued violation.  See HB 1682, McCall.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1532

 

SB 249

Rose,

Dripping Springs

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to rates for professional liability insurance for physicians and health care providers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

These amendments impact rates for professional liability insurance that is delivered through or by an insurance policy.  The amendment states that no rate will be considered excessive unless the rate is unreasonably high for the insurance coverage provided and deletes the current law regarding a reasonable degree of competition in an area.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1536

Wong,

Houston

Relating to prohibiting derogatory names or designations for public property.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Chapter 2206.  In this section, public property includes buildings, streets, and parks.  The new section would apply to all governmental entities of the state including state agencies.  The bill prohibits a governmental entity from using a name or designation that is derogatory to a racial or ethnic group when naming or giving a designation to public property.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1537

 

SB 613

Wong,

Houston

Whitmire,

Houston

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center facilities and infrastructure.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b); adds Section 55.17523.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the UT System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $40 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1541

 

SB 702

Flynn,

Canton

Deuell,

Greenville

Relating to authorizing certain uses for student center complex fees charged to students enrolled in component institutions of the Texas A&M University System.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 54.521(a).  This bill amends the authority of the board of regents of the Texas A&M University System and authorizes the board to collect a fee from students enrolled at educational institutions within the system to acquire, construct, or renovate facilities for student centers.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1579

Kolkhorst,

Brenham

Relating to eligibility for benefits of and reports concerning certain retired members of the Teacher Retirement System.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 824.602(a), 825.308 and adds Sections 824.6022 and 825.4092; amends Insurance Code, Section 1575.204.  These amendments would prohibit the retirement system from withholding a monthly benefit payment to a retiree who is employed in an public educational institution as a classroom teacher who is certified and is a teacher in an acute shortage area, as determined by the board of trustees of the school district employing the retiree under certain time constraints or on a full-time basis if the retiree has been separated from service with all public schools for at least twelve months.  The employing school district would be required to contribute both the employee’s and the school district’s contribution to the retirement system and is prohibited from deducting the contribution from the retiree’s compensation.  The school district would also be required to pay the difference for any insurance contribution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1607

McCall,

Plano

Relating to a request for public information that is sent to a governmental body by electronic mail.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 552.301(c).  When a request for public information is sent to an officer for public information by electronic mail, the request is presumed to have been received by the governmental body on the earlier of the date that the officer for public information or the person designated by the officer opened the electronic mail or the third day after the date that the electronic mail was sent.  The governmental body may establish that an external event beyond the control of the governmental body caused an additional delay in its receipt of the request and the attorney general may on the request of the governmental body extend the deadlines.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1618

Ritter,

Nederland

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for Lamar University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b); adds Section 55.17541.  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 $40 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for educational facilities for Lamar University.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1621

Alonzo,

Dallas

Relating to a study and report concerning predicted faculty retirement at general academic teaching institutions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.4021.  This bill would require each general academic teaching institution to conduct a study relating to faculty member retirements that may occur through the end of the 2025 academic year, including projections on the number and proportion of faculty members expected to retire during that period, and methods that the institution could reasonably implement to address those retirement issues through recruitment of new faculty or other means.  The report is due to the Coordinating Board not later than September 1, 2006.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1624

 

SB 730

Goolsby,

Dallas

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to the establishment of a law school in the city of Dallas by the University of North Texas System.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 105.502.  This amendment authorizes the board of regents of the University of North Texas System to establish and operate a school of law in the city of Dallas.  The law school would operate as a program of the UNT System until the University of North Texas at Dallas has been administered as an independent institution of higher education or five years.

 

The Coordinating Board is directed to prepare a report that addresses the feasibility of establishing the law school, the actions that the system must take to obtain accreditation, and any recommendations the Coordinating Board may have regarding the establishment of the law school, including an implementation schedule.  The report is due not later than June 1, 2006 to the board of regents of the system.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1626

 

SB 1689

Nixon,

Houston

Duncan,

Lubbock

Relating to the third-party civil liability for certain persons entering into building or construction contracts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would limit the liability of the premises owner, general contractor, or hiring contractor if these individuals maintained workers’ compensation insurance coverage that provides coverage for employees of subcontractors or independent contractors.  The premises owner, general contractor, or hiring contractor is secondarily liable for the workers’ compensation insurance coverage obligation of a subcontractor or independent contractor if the subcontractor or independent contractor fails to maintain the coverage.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1630

 

SB 1300

McReynolds,

Lufkin

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to an excused absence from a public institution of higher education for a person called to active military service.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.9111.  This amendment would require an institution of higher education to excuse a student from attending classes or engaging in other required activities, including examinations, in order for the student to participate in active military service to which the student is called, including travel associated with the service.  The Coordinating Board is directed to adopt rules to administer this section including a maximum period for which the student may be excused.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

HB 1633

 

SB 418

Grusendorf,

Arlington

Shapleigh,

El Paso

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would add educational diagnostician to the individuals who must hold an appropriate certificate or permit in order to be employed.  The amendments would also make certain individuals ineligible to serve on the board.  The bill sets forth certain training requirements that each board member must comply with in order to serve.  The bill establishes criteria for removal from the board.

 

The bill authorizes the Governor to designate one member of the board to serve as the presiding officer. 

 

The bill requires the board to establish and update necessary informational materials regarding the requirements for educator certification, including information related to criminal history check requirements and the type of criminal history that could prevent a person from becoming certified.  The bill establishes criteria for the State Board of Educator Certification to use in developing proposed rules for approval by the State Board of Education.  The bill also establishes criteria for certification renewal and waiver of certification requirements.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1654

Rodriguez,

Austin

Relating to the cost of certain coverage provided by certain group benefits programs and uniform insurance benefits programs and to eligibility to participate in certain group benefits programs.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Insurance Code by adding Sections 1551.067, 1551.115, and 1601.064.  This bill would require the board of trustees of the Employees Retirement System to make available to the public on request the contract rates paid for prescription drugs under the basic coverage plan.

 

The bill would also authorize employees of a small employer, as defined, to participate in the group benefits program as if the individual were an employee eligible to participate.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1667

 

SB 942

Hopson,

Jacksonville

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b); adds Section 55.17525.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the UT System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $34.4 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for educational and related facilities, including an academic center at UTHSC at Tyler.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1682

McCall

Plano

Relating to a breach in the security of a computerized data system that included another person’s identifying information; providing a civil penalty.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Business and Commerce Code by adding Chapter 50.  A breach in the security of a person’s data system is considered to have occurred when there is unauthorized access to data stored in the system, an electronic storage or otherwise, that compromises the security, confidentiality, or integrity of identifying information maintained by the person.  The person would be required to notify the resident of any alleged breach of the security of the person’s data system.  The bill makes provisions for the required notifications.

 

The bill also states that this chapter does not apply to a person who maintains federal, state, or local government records containing identifying information that are made available to the public.

 

A person who violates this chapter is liable to the state for a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $1 million for each violation.  See HB 1527, Rodriguez.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1683

 

SB 1123

Gonzales,

McAllen

Hinojosa,

McAllen

Relating to fees and charges imposed by the governing board of a public junior college district.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.002 and adds Section 130.0037.  This bill would authorize the governing board of a public junior college district to charge and collect student service fees and incidental fees from students registered at the junior college.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1684

Casteel,

New Braunfels

Relating to excepting certain real property appraisal information from required disclosure under the public information law.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 552.105.  This bill further refines the exception from the Public Information Act for information related to the appraisals of real or personal property and the purchase price of real or personal property.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1693

 

SB 953

Naishtat,

Austin

Seliger,

Amarillo

Relating to an energy-efficient building program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Property Code by adding Chapter 431 and repeals Health and Safety Code, Section 388.009.  This bill would authorize the Texas Residential Construction Commission in consultation with the Energy Systems Laboratory at the Texas Engineering Experiment Station of the TAMU System, the Commission on Environmental Quality and an advisory committee to establish an energy-efficient building accreditation program for buildings that exceed the building energy performance standards by 15% or more.  It appears to apply only to residential housing.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1694

Hegar,

Katy

Relating to authorizing the state auditor to appoint investigators as peace officers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 321.011 and Code of Criminal Procedures, Article 2.12.  This bill would authorize the State Auditor to appoint investigators as peace officers.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1697

 

SB 1034

McCall,

Plano

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to the use of gifts to fund technology workforce development grants and to the evaluation of the technology workforce development grant program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 51.856(b) and 51.960(a) and (c).  This bill would increase the amount of funds eligible for match in the technology workforce development grant program by adding the amount or value of any gift, grant, or donation that the Coordinating Board determines was applied for and received by an eligible computer science institution, eligible engineering institution, or eligible private or independent engineering institution during that biennium and received from a source other than a participant in the consortium.  The bill also includes a technical change on the committee that evaluates the program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1712

 

SB 1079

McClendon,

San Antonio

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas at San Antonio.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.17526.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the UT System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $17 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure to complete Phase V construction at UT at San Antonio Downtown campus.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

HB 1713

 

SB 1076

McClendon,

San Antonio

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas at San Antonio.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.17526.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the UT System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $72 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for an engineering building at UT at San Antonio.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1725

 

SB 158

Casteel,

New Braunfels

Fraser,

Marble Falls

Relating to the authority of another institution of higher education to conduct vocational or technical courses in the service area of a junior college district.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 61.0551.  This bill establishes the criteria for an institution of higher education to conduct a lower-division-level vocational or technical course or program in a county with a population of 35,000 or less and is in the service area of another junior college district.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1732

 

SB 815

Solis,

Harlingen

Lucio,

Brownsville

Relating to the long-range plan for the South Texas Health Care System and the provision of tuberculosis and other health care services in the Rio Grande Valley.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill removes the specific language about the location of new physical facilities for outpatient health care services in South Texas.  The bill would authorize the facilities to be located in Hidalgo County and Cameron County.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1736

Brown, F.

Bryan

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the College of Medicine of the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b) and adds Section 55.1751.  This bill authorizes the board of regents of the Texas A&M University System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $40 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for educational facilities for the college of medicine at TAMUSHSC.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1737

Flores,

Mission

Relating to the establishment of a dual usage educational complex by a junior college district and other political subdivisions or institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 130.0103.  This bill would authorize the board of trustees of a junior college district to establish and operate a dual usage educational complex to provide a shared facility for the educational activities of the district and other participating entities.  The other participating entities could be a county, municipality, or school district or another institution of higher education located in the same state uniform service region of the junior college district.  The junior college district would share the cost with the other participating entities.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1742

 

SB 700

Seaman,

Corpus Christi

Hinojosa,

McAllen

Relating to the issuance of revenue bonds for Texas A&M UniversityCorpus Christi.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.17513.  This bill authorizes the board of regents of the Texas A&M University System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $58 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for a kinesiology and wellness center, a college of business academic facility, and distribution of utilities for Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1747

 

SB 1711

Keffer, J.
Eastland

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to the creation of and funding for the Texas Entrepreneurship Network.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends Government Code by adding Chapter 490.  This bill establishes the Texas Entrepreneurship Network to be administered by the Office of Rural Community Affairs to develop and diversify the economy of this state.  The founding members of the network include the Texas Cooperative Extension of the TAMU System; the IC2 Institute at UT at Austin; the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech University; the Department of Agriculture; the Workforce Commission; the Office of Rural and Community Affairs; the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship;  and the Economic Development Council.  The general duties and goals of the network are to provide coordinated training and services, developing a statewide network of entrepreneurship developers and centers, educating entrepreneurs, identifying promising ventures, developing best practices for successful entrepreneurship and applied research.

 

The bill would authorize the network to receive an appropriation by the legislature to fund the network and to receive gifts, grants and other donations.  The fund would be an account in the general revenue fund.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1748

Giddings,

De Soto

Relating to African American studies programs and course work at certain public junior colleges.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 130.0103.  This bill would authorize the governing board of a public junior college district located in one or more counties with a substantial African American population to establish an African American studies program or other course work after an evaluation of the demand for a feasibility of establishing such programs.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1750

Pena,

Edinburg

Relating to the right of certain employees who are crime victims to time off from work.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Labor Code by adding Chapter 84.  This bill would authorize an employee who is a crime victim to time off to attend a legal or investigative proceeding associated with the prosecution of the crime or a counseling session.  The employee would be required to give the employer reasonable notice.  The employer may require the employee to use existing vacation, personal, or compensatory leave time.  The employer must maintain the confidentiality of any written document pertaining to this request for time off.  The bill prohibits retaliation and establishes a civil penalty.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1753

Riddle,

Houston

Relating to supplemental pay for members of the Texas National Guard who suffer economic hardship when called to active military duty.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 431.0821.  This bill would limit those members of the Texas National Guard who are called to active military duty by the proper federal or state authority to recover supplemental pay.  This bill defines economic hardship as an income reduction of 25% or more.  The bill requires the adjutant general and the comptroller to adopt rules to govern the manner and method of paying supplemental pay.  The bill states that the adjutant general is the final arbiter of any dispute arising from this section and prohibits a member from appealing a decision.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

HB 1755

Herrero,

Robstown

Relating to the transferability of service credit and proportionate participation in public retirement systems.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill requires the board of trustees of the Employees Retirement System to appoint a work group to develop and implement a fair and equitable plan to permit transfer of service credit or proportionate participation among all public retirement systems in this state.  The plan must be applicable to all members of all of the public retirement systems.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1765

 

SB 831

Morrison,

Victoria

Shapiro,

Plano

Relating to the creation of programs and funding for emerging technology industries.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would establish the Texas Emerging Technology Fund to be administered by the Texas Emerging Technology Committee.  The Governor would appoint the committee members from names nominated by the Coordinating Board, a president of a public or private institution of higher education, the members of the Texas Workforce Commission, representatives of the Governor’s office involved in economic development activities, and other persons considered appropriate by the Governor.  These individuals would be industry leaders in Texas or nationally recognized researchers from public or private institutions.  The emerging technology industries eligible for funding under this chapter include industries related to semiconductors, information, computer and software technology, energy, manufactured energy systems, micro-electro mechanical systems, nanotechnology, biotechnology, medicine, life sciences, petroleum refining and chemical processes, aerospace, defense, and other pursuits identified by the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker.

 

The administration of the fund is considered to be a trusteed program within the office of the Governor.  The fund would consist of any amount appropriated by the Legislature, benefits realized from a project undertaken with money from the fund, gifts, grants, and other donations.

 

The committee would make recommendations, through peer review and evaluation processes established by the committee, to the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker for the award of money from the fund.  The appropriated money in the fund shall be allocated 50% to create regional centers of innovation and commercialization, 25% of the money for research grant matching funds, and 25% of the money for acquisition of research superiority. 

 

The allocation to create regional centers of innovation and commercialization shall be reserved for incentives for private or nonprofit entities to collaborate with public or private institutions of higher education on emerging technology projects with a demonstrable economic benefit to the state.  Regional centers could be located in Harris County, Lubbock County, Bexar County, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, El Paso County, the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and any other suitable location determined by the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker.

 

Amounts allocated for research grant matching are reserved to match funding from research sponsors other than the state, including federal research sponsors.  Amounts allocated from the fund for the acquisition of research superiority will be used to acquire new or enhanced existing research superiority at public institutions of higher education in this state.  Research superiority is considered as the employment by an institution of higher education of one or more world class or nationally recognized researchers and associated assistants in an emerging technology industry.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1774

 

SB 500

Taylor,

League City

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to prices charged for the provision of health care services.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Insurance Code, Section 552.001.  Current law does not apply the applicability of this chapter to the provision of health care services to a Medicaid or Medicare patient or medically indigent person who qualifies for a sliding fee scale.  This amendment would state that the chapter does not apply to the provision of any health care service.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1791

Naishtat,

Austin

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 51.936.  This bill clarifies that the hazing statutes applies to all postsecondary educational institutions in the state, including public institutions of higher education, private or independent institutions of higher education, or private postsecondary educational institutions.  The application of the statutes is not limited to institutions supported in whole or in part by state tax funds.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1795

Crownover,

Lake Dallas

Relating to the creation of health savings accounts for certain state employees and their dependents.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Insurance Code, Chapter 1551.  This bill requires the board of trustees of the Employees Retirement System to establish a state employee health savings account program for the benefit of state employees and annuitants and their dependents.  Each employee and each annuitant eligible to participate in the group benefits program is eligible to participate in the health savings account program if the employee is eligible under the Internal Revenue Code.  An employee or annuitant who elects to participate in the program waives basic plan coverage and must be enrolled in a high deductible health plan.  See SB 562, Janek.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1797

Geren,

Fort Worth

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth for campus expansion and construction of a public health education building.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b) and adds Section 55.17551.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the University of North Texas System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $42.1 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for campus expansion at UNTHSC at Fort Worth.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1806

Campbell,

San Angelo

Relating to prohibiting a person from requiring an individual to provide a social security number to obtain goods or services or enter into a business transaction.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Business and Commerce Code by adding Section 35.62.  This bill would prohibit a person from requiring a individual to disclose the individual’s social security number to obtain goods or services or enter into a business transaction with the person unless federal or state law authorizes the person to require the disclosure.  This section does not apply to a governmental entity and does not prevent the collection of social security number as required by state or federal law.  The bill creates a civil penalty for violation.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1817

Driver,

Garland

Relating to the regulation of the practice of engineering.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize the board to collect late renewal fees.  The bill specifies that design of equipment or a product in an environmental air conditioning system, a commercial refrigeration system, or a process cooling or heating system and a design of electrical wires or conductors must be formed in compliance with this chapter.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1820

 

SB 1664

Otto,

Dayton

Eltife,

Tyler

Relating to the requirements for reporting certain information to the attorney general.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Local Government Code and Tax Code.  This bill would eliminate the requirement to file reports with the attorney general regarding the suspension of a firefighter or police officer.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1825

 

SB 1047

West, B.

Odessa

Seliger,

Amarillo

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b); adds Section 55.17526.  This bill would authorize the UT System board of regents to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $54 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for educational and related facilities, including a campus convocation center and a science and technology complex at UT Permian Basin.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

HB 1827

Wong,

Houston

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.1752.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the UT System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $15 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for educational and related facilities for UTHSC at Houston.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1829

Wong,

Houston

Relating to authorizing private or independent institutions of higher education to charge fees for processing or handling certain payment transactions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.9461.  This bill would authorize a private or independent institution of higher education to charge a fee or other amount in connection with a payment made by an electronic funds transfer or a credit card.   This would apply to the payment of tuition, a fee, or any charge made by or on behalf of a student at a private or independent institution.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1837

 

SB 775

Berman,

Tyler

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Relating to tuition assistance for members of state military forces.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.2155(a) and Government Code, Sections 431.090(d) and (f).  These amendments would increase the number of hours that a member of the state military forces could receive tuition grant assistance from the current twelve semester credit hours to fifteen semester credit hours in any semester.  Current law limits the number of tuition assistance awards made to the member of the Texas State Guard to not exceed thirty for any semester.  This language is deleted in these amendments.  Effective date:  

 

 

 

HB 1843

 

SB 1750

Dukes,

Austin

Ellis, R.

Houston

Relating to grievance and complaint resolution procedures for certain state employees.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Chapter 671.  This bill would establish a grievance and complaint resolution procedures pilot project for state employees of the Texas Youth Commission.  The bill requires the commission to report to the legislature not later than December 1, 2006 regarding the commission’s experience with the grievance and complaint resolution procedures established under this chapter.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1849

Farabee,

Wichita Falls

Relating to the calculation of general revenue for purposes of indigent health care.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would amend the section relating to a county government’s calculation of general revenue levy for purposes of indigent health care.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1884

 

SB 1432

Van Arsdale,

Houston

Madla,

San Antonio

Relating to the records management and preservation services fee.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would increase the fee that a defendant convicted of an offense would pay for records management and preservation services.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1914

Olivo,

Missouri City

Relating to longevity pay for certain campus peace officers employed by a state institution of higher education or public technical institute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.2031.  This bill would entitle campus peace officers employed by public institutions of higher education or technical institutes to receive, in addition to other compensation and benefits (including hazardous duty pay), longevity pay in a monthly amount of not less than $4 for each year of service up to and including 25 years.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1924

Chavez,

El Paso

Relating to public entity qualified health centers located along the Texas-Mexico border.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Occupation Code, Section 162.001(c).  This bill would expand the board authority to certify a health organization to contract with or employ physicians licensed by the board if the organization is a hospital district that is located in a county that borders the United Mexican States and is otherwise recognized by an agency of the federal government as a public entity for purposes of administering a community health center or a federally qualified health center.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1926

Flores,

Mission

Relating to the eligibility of students enrolled in courses for joint high school and college credit for extracurricular activities and University Interscholastic League competitions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 33.087.  This bill would authorize a student enrolled in a course offered for joint high school and college credit, regardless of the location at which the courses provided, to be eligible to participate in an extracurricular activity or a UIL competition.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1929

 

SB 1733

Woolley,

Houston

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to the use of certain human cells and tissue.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill establishes a civil penalty and a criminal offense for a person engaging in or attempting to engage in human cloning.

 

The bill does authorize scientific research, including nuclear transplantation, to develop regenerative or reparative medical therapies or treatments.  The bill establishes an advisory committee to be named by the commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission to develop guidelines for research.  See SB 128, Shapleigh.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1930

Turner,

Houston

Relating to the annexation of territory in political subdivisions by certain junior college districts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 130.071.  This bill amends the territory of certain political subdivisions and the process for elections for annexation of territory in political subdivisions by certain junior college districts.   Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1931

 

SB 929

Turner,

Houston

Ellis,

Houston

Relating to the service area of the Houston Community College System District.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 130.182.  This bill would add the part of Fort Bend ISD that is located in the municipality of Missouri City to the service area of the Houston Community College System District.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1932

Turner,

Houston

Relating to the effect of annexation of territory on the terms of members of the governing boards of certain junior college districts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 130.088.  This section would make clear that the term of office of a member of governing board of a community college district is not affected by an annexation.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1938

Ritter,

Nederland

Relating to the award of a grant and reporting requirements under the Texas Enterprise Fund.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 481.078 and adds Section 481.079.  This bill would require the Governor to enter into a written agreement with a grant recipient that states that if the recipient does not meet the targets specified in the agreement, the recipient must repay the grant and any related interest.  The recipient would have to agree to furnish additional information regarding the entity’s financial condition and to furnish information throughout the agreement period.  The entity would be required to provide quarterly progress reports.  Before the beginning of each regular session of the legislature, the Governor would be required to submit to the Lt. Governor, Speaker, and each member of the legislature a report on the Texas Enterprise Fund including information regarding job creation, capital investment, tax credits, geographical distribution of grants, affect of grants on employment, personal income, and capital investment in each regional planning commission area.  See HB 2649, Ritter.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1940

 

SB 507

Ritter,

Nederland

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); 2260.056(a); 2260.104(e); 2260.105; and 2260.1055(a).  Repeals Government Code, Section 2260.052(b).  These amendments would allow award of damages for consequential or similar damages and attorney’s fees.  The amendment also authorizes a contractor to assert a counterclaim or right of offset against the unit of state government in the court in which the unit of state government files a lawsuit.  The amendments reduce the amount of time in which a unit of state government must assert any counterclaim to not later than 60 days after the date of notice from the contractor.  Current law is within 90 days.  It also reduces the time period for the parties to agree to mediation of a claim from 270 days to 90 days.

 

In a contested case hearing a party would only be allowed to appeal when the party can prove an abuse of discretion.  The administrative judge may order the unit of state government to pay the total amount of damages if the amount of damages is less than 25% of the original contract price as adjusted by approved change orders and counterclaims.  See HB 1026, Nixon.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 1944

 

SB 419

Solomons,

Carrollton

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Relating to the continuation and functions of the State Board of Medical Examiners.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill represents the Sunset Commission recommendations regarding the State Board of Medical Examiners.  The bill renames the board as the Texas Medical Board.  The new section of the bill authorizes the board to issue and renew a license to a foreign medical graduate who has extensive and verifiable academic or clinical qualifications and achievements and who is recommended and endorsed by the president or dean of an accredited medical school in this state.  The license would expire when the license holder’s employment at the medical school ends.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1949

 

SB 1458

Corte,

San Antonio

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to the adoption of a uniform commercial building code for use in the state.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

 

 

 

 

HB 1952

Goodman,

Arlington

Relating to providing that an individual’s social security number is generally considered to be confidential under the public information law.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 552.147.  This bill would add a new section to the Public Information Act that states that a social security number maintained by or for a governmental body is considered to be confidential and may not be disclosed by a governmental body.  The bill does create an exception to this nondisclosure provision if the individual provides written consent or a legitimate governmental purpose exists.  If another section of the law specifically allows the disclosure of an individual’s social security number by a governmental body in certain circumstances, the other law would control.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

HB 1960

 

SB 1759

McReynolds,

Lufkin

Gallegos,

Galena Park

Relating to retirement benefits for law enforcement officers employed and commissioned by certain institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would allow commissioned law enforcement officers employed by public institutions of higher education to participate in the Employees Retirement System instead of the Teachers Retirement System.  The rules for law enforcement officers under ERS allow for retirement at age 55 with only 10 years of service credit.  See HB 2523, Coleman.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1966

Turner,

Houston

Relating to the establishment of an interagency task force to address the impact of globalization on this state.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would establish a task force on globalization composed of the representative of 17 difference agencies.  The task force is directed to study the positive and negative effects of globalization on the society, economy, and government of this state.  The task force would be required to report to the legislature not later than November 1, 2006.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

HB 1968

 

SB 934

Rose,

Dripping Springs

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to student representation on the board of regents of each state university or state university system.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 51.355, 51.356, and 51.357.  This bill would authorize a student regent on the governing board of a university system.  The student government of the general academic teaching institutions would be required to select five applicants to be the student government’s recommendations for the position of student regent and the student government would forward those five names to the chancellor.  The chancellor would select two names to forward to the Governor.  The Governor would be required to name the student regent on February 1 or as soon thereafter as practicable.  The bill makes similar provisions for general academic teaching institutions that are not part of a university system.

 

The student regent would serve for a term of one year and would be entitled to the same powers and duties, including voting privileges, as the other members of the board.  The bill does amend the sections of the Education Code applying to each existing board of regents and does specify that one of the nine regents will be a student regent.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 1975

Gallego,

Alpine

Relating to eligibility for participation in the group benefits program established under the Employees Group Benefits Act.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Insurance Code, Chapter 1551.  This bill would eliminate the 90 day waiting period for an employee to qualify for participation in the group benefits established under the Texas Employees Benefits Act.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 2001

 

SB 856

McClendon,

San Antonio

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b) and adds Section 55.17525.  This bill would authorize the UT System board of regents to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $60 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for the South Texas Research Tower at UTHSC at San Antonio.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 2002

 

SB 857

McClendon,

San Antonio

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b) and adds Section 55.17525.  This bill would authorize the UT System board of regents to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $20 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for a center for academic medicine and clinical research UTHSC at San Antonio.  Effective date:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HB 2003

 

SB 858

McClendon,

San Antonio

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b) and adds Section 55.17525.  This bill would authorize the UT System board of regents to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $20 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for a faculty office building UTHSC at San Antonio.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 2004

McClendon,

San Antonio

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the College of Medicine of the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b) and adds Section 55.1751.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the Texas A&M University System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $40 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for a research building and to renovate the Joe H. Reynolds Medical Building for the college of medicine of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 2007

Flores,

Mission

Relating to a tuition and fee exemption for students earning semester credit hours through concurrent enrollment in high school and college-level courses.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.2161.  This bill defines concurrent enrollment to mean enrollment in a course for which the student is entitled to simultaneously receive both course credit toward the student’s high school academic requirements and course credit toward a degree offered by an institution of higher education.  This bill would prohibit the governing board of an institution of higher education from collecting tuition and required fees from an undergraduate student who has earned through concurrent enrollment at least 59 semester credit hours or the equivalent if the student graduated from a public high school, is a resident of this state, and before enrolling in the institution has met the applicable assessment standards of the Texas Success Initiative.  The student would be entitled to an exemption for not more 60 semester credit hours.  The Coordinating Board is required to adopt rules.  This would apply beginning with the 2006 fall semester.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 2020

West, B.

Odessa

Relating to the transfer of the state energy conservation office to the Railroad Commission.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would transfer the state energy conservation office currently within the comptroller’s office to the Railroad Commission of Texas.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 2022

 

SB 712

Cook, R.

Eagle Lake

Carona,

Dallas

Relating to the legislature’s goal for energy efficiency in this state and related energy efficiency programs.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill extends the Public Utility Commission’s goal for energy efficiency from January 1, 2004 to January 1, 2007.  The amendments require the commission to establish market transformation programs for energy-smart schools; appliance retirement and recycling; air conditioning system tune-ups; and the use of trees or other landscaping for energy efficiency.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 2034

Dutton,

Houston

Relating to an exemption from or refund of tuition and fees for certain lower-division students enrolled in a general academic teaching institution.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.220.  This bill would authorize a freshman student to a refund of tuition and required fees paid by the student for the first semester for which the student enrolls at the institution if the student graduated from a private high school, including a home school, or a public high school in the state; is classified as a Texas resident; and for all courses attempted that initial semester or term earned a grade point average of at least 3.0.  The student would also be entitled to an exemption from the payment of tuition and required fees for one other semester or term during the first two academic years excluding the first term if the student met the same criteria and maintained a 3.0 grade-point average.  The bill authorizes the institution to fund the tuition and fee refunds and exemptions from local funds or from funds appropriated to the institution.  The refunds and exemptions would stop with the semester or term that begins after the 2024-2025 academic year.  This bill would apply to tuition and fees charged for the 2005 fall semester.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 2041

 

SB 1696

Campbell,

San Angelo

Duncan,

Lubbock

Relating to a Pilot Project to provide additional capacity for higher education undergraduate education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding section 56.3076.  This bill would establish a Pilot Project to address existing capacity for higher education undergraduate education.  The Coordinating Board would be required to establish the Pilot Project that would award grants in an amount equal to a TEXAS grant award to a student who enrolls in either of the pilot project institutions established by this section and meets all the requirements to receive a TEXAS grant.  The initial pilot Project would be established for 1,000 students at Angelo State University and 600 students at Sul Ross State University for the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 academic years and shall award continuation grants to the Pilot Projects in future years.  Funding for the awards to Pilot Project students shall be provided through TEXAS Grants and B-On-Time funding.

 

The bill requires the Coordinating Board to report to the 80th Legislature in the spring of 2007.    Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 2048

Uresti,

San Antonio

Relating to certain online services and transactions involving state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 2054.113(c).  This bill would require a state agency to notify the TexasOnline Authority and the Department of Information Resources prior to bidding for Internet application development that duplicates a TexasOnline function.  The department must be provided the opportunity to bid.

 

The bill also requires that each state agency must advertise the options for completing transactions with the agency online.  Effective date:

 

 

 

HB 2056

Coleman,

Houston

Relating to the provision of voter registration applications to graduating high school students and incoming college students.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require a high school deputy registrar and a college deputy registrar to distribute to a student who is or will be 18 years of age or older during that year an official registration application to vote.  The registrar would be required to submit the registration to the county in which the student resides.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 2068

Anderson,

Waco

Relating to the designation of certain state agencies as voter registration agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would designate certain health related agencies as voter registration agencies.  The secretary of state could designate any other agency that provides public assistance or services to persons with disabilities.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

HB 2070

 

SB 1224

Rose,

Dripping Springs

Duncan,

Lubbock

Relating to liability of a governmental unit for certain recreational activities.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 75.002.  This bill would expand the definition of recreation to include bicycle and motor biking, disc golf, and on-leash and off-leash walking of dogs.  The current limits on liability for a governmental unit for certain recreational activities would be expanded to these new recreation activities.  Effective date: