TEXAS TECH BILL BRIEFS – 2005

 

79th Regular Session – April 8, 2005

 

 

 Bill No.

Sponsor

Caption – SENATE BILLS

 

 

 

SB 1

 

HB 1

Ogden

College Station

Pitts,

Waxahachie

Relating to the General Appropriations Bill.

 

 

 

SB 5

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to the continuation and operation of the workers’ compensation system of this state, including changing the name of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission to the Texas Department of Workers’ Compensation, the powers and duties of the governing authority of that department, the provision of workers’ compensation benefits to injured employees, and the regulation of workers’ compensation insurers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

 

 

 

 

SB 9

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to homeland security.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would establish the Governor’s interoperable radio communications program for a statewide integrated public safety radio communications system that promotes interoperability within and between all first responders.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 24

 

HB 292

Zaffirini,

Laredo

McClendon

San Antonio

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:

 

 

 

SB 30

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Relating to tuition and fee exemptions for students contracting to graduate in a timely manner from public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.202.  This bill would require the governing board of each institution of higher education to create a graduate on time contract.  The institution would be required to notify the undergraduate students about the contract not later than the sixth week of the student’s first semester or term and the student would be required to enter into the contract prior to the end of the student’s first semester or term at the institution.  No student would be required to enter into a contract under this section.

 

Each contract under this section would require a student to:

 

(1)     earn at least 30 required or elective credit hours each academic year,

(2)     enroll in any specified courses or types of courses prescribed by the contract at the times required by the contract,

(3)     maintain good academic standing as prescribed in the contract,

(4)     the student must declare a major not later than the end of the student’s second academic year,

(5)     earn additional credit hours if the student’s degree program requires more than 120 credit hours for a bachelor’s degree program as prescribed in the contract.

 

A student who has entered into and satisfies the requirements of the contract is exempt from the payment of tuition for the final fifteen credit hours required for the student’s bachelor’s degree program or the final nine hours required for the student’s associate degree program.  In addition to the tuition exemption, each contract would require the institution to exempt a student from the payment of any tuition and fees for a course required in the student’s degree program that was unavailable to the student at the appropriate time as specified by the institution in the contract.

 

If a student withdraws from the institution, the contract is void.  A student may not receive an exemption from tuition or fees under this section for a semester or session before the 2006 fall semester.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 31

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Relating to requiring students receiving certain financial aid at institutions of higher education to meet timely graduation and academic progress requirements.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 56.304(e), 56.305(e) and (g), 56.462, and 61.225.  This bill attempts to standardize the eligibility requirements for a TEXAS grant and a tuition equalization grant to the eligibility requirements for a Texas B-On-Time loan.  The bill changes the requirements regarding satisfactory academic progress after the initial academic year and requires a student to complete at least 30 semester credit hours in the student’s most recent academic year and earn an overall grade point average of at least 2.5 on a four-point scale in all previously attempted coursework at the institution for continued TEXAS grant eligibility.

 

The bill also amends the time of eligibility for TEXAS grant recipients and tuition equalization grant recipients to the same time periods that apply to the Texas B-On-Time loans.  For all three programs, the bill applies the four calendar years and the five calendar years for certain degrees.  The limit on total number of semester credit hours for all three programs will include transfer credit hours but exclude hours earned exclusively by examination and hours earned for a course for which the student received credit towards the student’s high school academic requirements.  The student would still be allowed to have attempted six additional semester credit hours than the minimum needed to complete the certificate or degree. 

 

The bill makes corresponding changes to the limitations on tuition equalization grant eligibility.  The bill makes similar provisions for students with hardship provisions.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 32

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Relating to certain special tuition rates at institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.072 and adds Section 54.0514.  This bill amends the section authorizing UT Austin’s flat rate tuition pilot project to now authorize the governing board of any institution of higher education to charge the same amount of tuition to all undergraduate students enrolled in a college or degree program at the institution.  The tuition could not exceed the average amount of tuition a student would pay for enrolling in the institution for fourteen semester credit hours.

 

The bill would authorize the governing board of an institution of higher education to charge a resident undergraduate student a lesser amount for tuition in a summer term or session for state tuition.  The amount of tuition could not be less than ½ of that amount. Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 33

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Relating to graduate stipends awarded as part of the Texas B-On-Time loan program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 56.466.  This bill would authorize a student who previously qualified for forgiveness of a Texas B-On-Time loan and who enrolls in a graduate or professional degree program at an institution to be eligible to receive a stipend of $2,500 in the student’s first academic year in the program to be used toward expenses associated with the program.

 

The stipend will be paid for money appropriated for these purposes.  The Coordinating Board is directed to allocate the amount to eligible institutions and if the amount is insufficient to provide a stipend to each eligible student, the Coordinating Board shall proportion the number of full-time equivalent graduate students enrolled at each institution.  The institution shall allocate the stipends based on financial need.  The Coordinating Board would be required to adopt rules to administer this program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 34

 

HB 2332

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Morrison,

Victoria

Relating to the tuition rebate program for certain undergraduates at certain public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 54.0065(a), (c), and (i).  This bill amends the sections regarding the $1,000 rebate of tuition program for undergraduates.  For students beginning after the effective date of this bill, they will be required to complete the baccalaureate degree within the same time period prescribed to qualify for forgiveness of a Texas B-On-Time loan which is either four or five years depending upon the degree program.  The bill also authorizes the Coordinating Board to adopt rules providing for hardship or other good cause provisions.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 35

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Relating to a study regarding credit hour requirements for undergraduate certificate and degree programs at public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require the Coordinating Board to conduct a study to examine the need for and feasibility of developing uniform credit hour requirements for undergraduate certificate and degree programs in any academic field common to two or more public institutions of higher education.  The study must include an evaluation of reducing credit hour requirements for programs that exceed typical or traditional credit hour requirements for similar programs.  The report is due September 1, 2006 and will be presented to the governing board of each public institution of higher education and the presiding officer of each legislative standing committee and subcommittee with primary jurisdiction over higher education.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 39

 

HB 298

Zaffirini,

Laredo

McClendon,

San Antonio

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.

 

 

 

SB 41

 

HB 299

Zaffirini,

Laredo

McClendon,

San Antonio

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:

 

 

 

SB 44

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Relating to the Indigent Health Care Advisory Committee

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill requires the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission to establish an advisory committee to advise the commission on rules and policies concerning indigent health care services.  The committee shall consist of eleven members, including four consumer and seven other representatives, appointed by the executive commissioner.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 50

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Relating to contracts between health care providers and certain health benefit plans.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would prohibit a health maintenance organization or an insurer from including a provision in a contract with a participating physician or a preferred provider that would allow HMO or the insurer to refuse to pay an individual clean claim because of the provider submitted a previous claim that was deemed not a clean claim.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 61

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to the teaching of foreign languages in public schools.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize the commissioner of TEA to make grants from funds appropriated for this purpose to educator preparation programs offered by public senior colleges or universities to allow the programs to exempt from the payment of tuition and fees a student seeking certification as a bilingual education, dual language instruction, or English as a second language teacher, and to reimburse a student for the cost of textbooks required for the educator preparation program.  The bill would also authorize a school district to use state or local funds to supplement tuition and fees exemptions for educational aid employees of the school district if the aide is enrolled in courses leading to certification as a bilingual education, dual language instruction, or English as a second language teacher.  The board would be required to establish a master language teacher certificate to teach bilingual education, dual language instruction, or English as a second language at the elementary, middle school, and high school grade levels.  The commissioner is directed to establish a master language teacher grant program.  Effective date:  September 1,2005.

 

 

 

SB 63

 

HB 2740

Staples,

Palestine

Guillen,

San Diego

Relating to a pay raise for state employees.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would entitle each full-time employee of a state agency to an increase in the employee’s gross salary for the state fiscal year beginning September 1, 2005, in an amount equal to $200 per month and each part-time employee to an increase in the employee’s gross salary in an amount each month that is equal to the ratio between the number of hours the employee works and the number of hours required of a full-time employee times $200.  This would not apply to a member of the legislature or a member of the faculty of an institution of higher education.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 67

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to a program to promote the training and retention of health care professionals in this state.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, by adding Sections 61.551—61.554 and repeals Government Code, Chapter 487, Subchapter G. This bill requires the Coordinating Board to establish a program to encourage the training, recruitment, and retention of health care professionals and practitioners in health professional shortage areas in the Texas-Mexico border region.  The practitioners eligible to participate in the program should be trained in medicine, dentistry, or nursing and would be referred to as the Border Health Corp.  The program would be a loan repayment assistance program for which an individual could receive up to $10,000 in loan repayment assistance per year.  The individual must agree to practice for at least two years in the individual’s field or area of practice. The Coordinating Board would be required to pay the loan repayment assistance directly to the entity to which the loan obligation is due.

 

The bill abolishes the Texas Health Service Corp which is currently administered by the Office of Rural Community Affairs.  Individuals receiving awards or stipends under this program would be allowed to continue but no additional awards could be made.  The appropriations for this program would be transferred to the Border Health Corp program at the Coordinating Board.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 68

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to increasing the number of students in medical education in Texas.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 61.0903, 61.0904, and 61.0905.  This bill requires the Coordinating Board to examine the use of undergraduate programs that require more than four years of undergraduate coursework to prepare students for graduate medical education to determine whether such a program would be feasible or effective in institutions of higher education in this state.  The report is due December 1, 2006.

 

The board is also required to develop in coordination with institutions of higher education a strategy to coordinate recruitment and retention of students from backgrounds or geographic areas that are underrepresented in institutions in this state.

 

The board is also directed to collaborate with the Texas Education Agency to establish a pilot program to provide opportunities for secondary school students in the Texas-Mexico border region who are enrolled in health science technology and related courses to be mentored by health care professionals or students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate health science technology programs in at least three high schools in the first year and three additional secondary schools in the second year.

 

TEA is authorized to establish a statewide network of summer study science instruction programs for students from groups or geographic areas that are underrepresented in the fields of science and medicine.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 70

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to the provision of a preference in governmental purchasing decisions for vendors that provide health benefits to employees.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 44.031(b) and adds Section 44.0421; amends Government Code, Section 2155.074(b) and adds Section 2155.452.  This bill would require public schools and state agencies, other than institutions of higher education, to give preference to the goods or services of a vendor that demonstrates that the vendor provides health benefits coverage to the vendor’s employees.  This would not apply to a vendor with 50 or fewer employees that does not provide health benefits coverage.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 74

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to a prohibition on employment discrimination in compensation.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines employer as a person who employs four or more employees, including the state and a political subdivision of the state.  This bill would make it an unlawful employment practice if an employer discriminated among employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to an employee at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays wages to another employee of the opposite sex for the same or substantially similar work requiring equal skills, effort and responsibility and which are performed under similar working conditions.  An exception to this would be a seniority system, a merit system, a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or a differential based on a factor other than sex.  The Texas Workforce Commission is directed to adopt guidelines specifying the criteria for determining whether a job is dominated by employees of a particular sex.  Each employer is required to provide to each employee a written statement sufficient to inform the employee of the employee’s job title and wage rate at least once annually.  Effective date:  January 1, 2006.

 

 

 

SB 79

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to tuition exemptions granted by public institutions of higher education to children of certain classroom teachers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.220.  This bill would require the governing board of an institution of higher education to exempt from the payment of tuition a resident of this state enrolled as an undergraduate student at the institution who is the child of a person who at the beginning of the semester or academic session for which the exemption is sought holds a National Board Certification, as defined by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and has ten or more years of experience as a classroom teacher in a critical teaching shortage field in one or more school districts in this state and is currently employed by a school district in a similar role.  An individual is not eligible for this exemption if the person has received an exemption for ten semesters or summer sessions at any institution or has received a baccalaureate degree.  An individual who becomes eligible to receive the exemption from tuition could also be eligible for a refund of any amount of tuition paid as a resident student in the three-year period preceding the beginning of the first semester for which the person receives the exemption.  The bill does require the Coordinating Board to take into account any tuition exempted or any refund of tuition made in the preceding biennium when the board is establishing the funding formulas for institutions for the upcoming biennium.  See SB 1145, Shapiro.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 80

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to the percentage of certain tuition set aside to fund financial assistance for resident undergraduate and graduate students at public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 56.011(a) and 56.012(a).  These amendments would increase the required set aside from the amount of designated tuition in excess of $46 per semester credit hour for resident undergraduate students from 20% to 40% and from 15% to 20% for resident students enrolled in graduate or professional degree programs.  This increase would apply to tuition set aside for fall 2005.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 81

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to a joint partnership between the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the University of Texas at El Paso.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 69.23 and 110.17.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the Texas Tech University and the board of regents of the University of Texas System to establish and maintain a joint partnership between the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the University of Texas at El Paso.  The partnership will develop joint degree programs and joint research programs as the boards of regents of the participating institutions consider appropriate to efficiently use the resources of both institutions in El Paso County consistent with the mission of each institution.  The bill authorizes the partnership to prorate the salary of persons receiving a joint appointment from the institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 95

Shapleigh,

El Paso

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 110.151.  This bill requires the board of regents of Texas Tech University System to establish an asthma research center at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center campus at El Paso.  The proposed research center would study asthma and other conditions associated with the disease, as well as environmental causes of the disease.  The center would operate in collaboration with the University of Texas at El Paso and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.  The center would be required to be established not later than January 1, 2007.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 101

 

HB 303

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

McClendon,

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.

 

 

 

SB 105

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to a report on the use of money from the Enterprise Fund.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 481.079.  This amendment would require the Governor to submit to the Lt. Governor, the Speaker, and each member of the Legislature a report on grants from The Enterprise Fund prior to the beginning of each regular session.  The report would include the number of jobs, the wages for the jobs, the total number of grants, the total amount of tax credits, the geographical distribution of the grants by county, and the effect of the grants on employment, personal income, and capital investment in the state and in each regional planning commission area.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 111

 

HB 130

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Smith, T.

Bedford

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.

 

 

 

SB 121

 

HB 223

Duncan,

Lubbock

Gattis,

Georgetown

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.

 

 

 

SB 127

Lindsay,

Houston

Relating to disease control programs to reduce the risk of certain communicable diseases.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize a local health authority or an organization that contracts with a local governmental entity to establish a disease control program that provides for the anonymous exchange of used hypodermic needles and syringes, offers education on the transmission and prevention of communicable diseases, including HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C; and assists program participants in obtaining health-related services, including substance abuse treatment services.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 128

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.  See HB 1929, Woolley.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 130

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Relating to the provision of health and human services.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends the sections regarding the established procedures for the prior authorization requirements under the Medicaid vendor drug program.

 

This bill requires the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission to establish an advisory committee to advise the commission on rules and policies concerning indigent health care services.  The committee shall consist of eleven members, including four consumer and seven other representatives, appointed by the executive commissioner.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 132

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Relating to goals and strategies concerning the number of graduates from professional nursing education programs.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.9623(a), 61.9624, and 61.9626(a); adds Section 61.0812.  This new section would require the Coordinating Board, in consultation with the Department of State Health Services, to develop a model to assist the Coordinating Board in determining for each academic year a target number of graduates from the state’s professional nursing programs, goals for increasing the number of graduates from these programs, and the levels of public and private funding needed to achieve the target number and goals.  This model would be required to be developed not later than March 1, 2006.  The board would be required to identify, develop, and study strategies for accomplishing the graduation goals.  The Coordinating Board would be required to report to the Legislature on the completion of the model not later than January 1, 2007.

 

The bill would also authorize the use of grants from the professional nursing shortage reduction program to identify, develop, or implement innovative methods to limit the need for additional professional nursing program faculty.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 136

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Relating to the establishment of a school of pharmacy at the University of North Texas Health Sciences 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 HB 684, Giddings.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 147

 

HB 1285

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Swinford,

Amarillo

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

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

SB 148

 

HB 1284

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Swinford,

Amarillo

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.

 

 

 

SB 151

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Relating to students enrolled in courses for which students may receive both high school and higher education academic credit.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 51.3062(r); adds Sections 54.2161; 31.021(c), 31.031, and 42.005(g).  This bill would establish a pilot project for students enrolled in courses for concurrent high school and higher education academic credit beginning with the fall 2005 and extending through August 2009.  A governing board of an institution of higher education would be required to waive the tuition and mandatory fees charged by the institution for a student who is a high school junior or senior in a school district that is eligible for guaranteed yield allotments and is enrolled in a course for which the student is entitled to simultaneously receive both high school academic credit and course credit towards a degree offered by the institution.  The student would be entitled to a free textbook for the course provided by the school district through the foundation school program textbook funding.  There is no provision to reimburse the institution of higher education for the waived tuition and mandatory fees.

 

The Coordinating Board will be required to evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program in encouraging students to graduate from institutions of higher education in a timely manner and of any other benefits or problems.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 156

 

HB 321

Fraser,

Marble Falls

Hupp,

Lampasas

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.

 

 

 

SB 157

 

HB 320

 

HB 495

Fraser,

Marble Falls

Hupp,

Lampasas

Miller,

Stephenville

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.

 

 

 

SB 158

 

HB 1725

Fraser,

Marble Falls

Casteel,

New Braunfels

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:

 

 

 

SB 161

 

HB 373

Jackson, M.

Pasadena

Swinford,

Amarillo

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.

 

 

 

SB 173

Harris,

Arlington

Relating to banning handguns and certain other weapons from parking areas associated with schools or educational institutions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would expand the areas associated with public or private schools or educational institutions by including public or private parking lots, parking garages, or other parking areas owned or leased by a public or private school or educational institution unless an individual has authority to possess the handgun or other weapon pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the school of institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 201

 

HB 376

Gallegos,

Galena Park

Coleman,

Houston

Relating to a prohibition of discrimination 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.

 

 

 

SB 213

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to requiring more Spanish language content for online services provided by state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 2054.116.  This bill does define state agency to include the university system or an institution of higher education.  This bill requires each state agency to review the online services provided by the agency to the public and make a reasonable effort to develop and complement a system that ensures that Spanish-speaking persons of limited English proficiency can meaningfully access state agency online services.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 219

 

HB 45

Carona,

Dallas

Grusendorf,

Arlington

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.

 

 

 

SB 222

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Relating to exempting books purchased by university and college students from the sales tax for a limited period.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Tax Code by adding Section 151.3211.  This amendment would exempt the sale of a book bought by a full-time or part-time student enrolled in a public or private institution of higher education for a one week period in August and a one week period in January.  Effective date:  October 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 230

 

HB 930

West, R.

Dallas

Branch,

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.

 

 

 

SB 238

 

HB 730

Janek,

Harris

Nixon,

Houston

Relating to training for members of the governing boards 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.

 

 

 

SB 246

Gallegos,

Galena Park

Relating to the creation of an offense involving certain sales of tickets to events; providing a penalty.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill creates a criminal offense for the practice of ticket scalping.  The offense would be a Class C misdemeanor.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 249

 

HB 1532

West, R.

Dallas

Rose,

Dripping Springs

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.

 

 

 

SB 254

 

HB 2631

Shapiro,

Plano

Hill,

Richardson

Relating to the removal of certain restrictions imposed on the programs, enrollment, and admission policies of the University of Texas at Dallas.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Repeals Education Code, Sections 70.05 and 70.08.  The first repealed section protects programs at UNT, TWU, A&M at Commerce, and UT at Arlington from being disadvantaged by any competition from UT at Dallas.  The second repealed section applied to undergraduate admissions of the University of Texas at Dallas.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 255

Carona,

Dallas

Relating to the removal of data from data processing equipment disposed of or transferred by state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 2054.130.  This amendment would require a state agency to permanently remove data from data processing equipment for disposing or transferring the equipment to a person who is not a state agency or other agent of the state.  The Department of Information Resources is required to adopt rules to administer this section.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 275

 

HB 606

Staples,

Palestine

Berman,

Tyler

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

 

 

 

SB 276

 

HB 605

Staples,

Palestine

Berman,

Tyler

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:

 

 

 

SB 277

Lucio,

Brownsville

Relating to use of money in the Texas Enterprise Fund.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize the governor to enter into an interagency agreement with the Texas Workforce Commission to use the Enterprise Fund in conjunction with the skills development fund to better recruit new businesses and to maximize efforts in creating new jobs.

 

The amendment also requires the governor to submit before December 1 of each even-numbered year to the Lt. Governor, Speaker and each member of the legislature a report outlining a long-range plan for the use of the money in the Texas Enterprise Fund which would include how the current fund had been spent.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 283

 

HB 598

Staples,

Palestine

Blake,

Nacogdoches

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.

 

 

 

SB 286

 

HB 634

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Baxter,

Austin

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.

 

 

 

SB 287

 

HB 1031

Janek,

Harris

Taylor,

League City

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.

 

 

 

SB 288

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to the transfer of certain surplus or salvage property to the United Mexican States.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 2175.241, 2175.242, and 2175.304.  This bill would authorize a state agency or a university system or institution of higher education to donate surplus or salvage property that has not otherwise been disposed and has no resale value.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 295

Madla,

San Antonio

Relating to the issuance of revenue bonds for Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b); adds Section 55.17511.  This bill would authorize the Texas A&M University System board of regents to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $80 million to construct and equip facilities at Texas A&M University--San Antonio.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 296

Madla,

San Antonio

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 87.841(d).  This bill would authorize the Texas A&M University--San Antonio to operate as a general academic teaching institution if the enrollment is equivalent to one thousand full-time students for one semester if the legislature authorizes revenue bonds to construct facilities at the institution.  If the tuition revenue bonds are not authorized and issued, current law requiring an enrollment of 2,500 full-time students would continue as the requirement.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 302

Ellis,

Houston

Relating to reports of strategies for increasing minority participation in higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 61.080(a) and adds Section 51.4032.  For purposes of this new section, a racial or ethnic group is underrepresented in the undergraduate or graduate student body if the percentage of the student body consisting of members of the racial or ethnic group is less than the percentage of the population of this state consisting of members of that racial or ethnic group.  Each institution of higher education would be required to submit a report to the Coordinating Board detailing its strategies for increasing the number of undergraduate and graduate students who enroll in the institution from ethnic and racial groups that are underrepresented in the institution’s student body.  The Coordinating Board would prescribe the form for the report and the first report would be not later than July 1, 2006.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 303

Ellis,

Houston

Relating to notice of factors used in admissions and scholarship decisions at certain public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 51.805(d) and 51.842(d).  Current law requires that an institution publish in its catalog a description of the factors considered by the institution for admissions decisions and for competitive scholarship decisions in both undergraduate and graduate or professional programs at least one year before those factors are used.  This bill would amend the requirement that those factors be published at least 180 days before they are used.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 311

Deuell,

Greenville

Relating to the regulation of academic language teachers and therapists.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines academic language to mean treatment of dyslexia or related disorders.  The bill would require any individual to be licensed by the Department of State Health Services before the individual could practice academic language teaching or therapy.  The bill establishes the minimum educational requirements for an academic language teacher or therapist.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 315

 

HB 547

Lucio,

Brownsville

Bailey,

Houston

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.9615.  This 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.

 

 

 

SB 319

Shapleigh,

El Paso

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 2054.114.  This bill defines state investment fund to include any investment fund administered by or under a contract with any entity of state government, including a fund established by statute or the Texas Constitution, or administered by or under a contract with a public retirement system, an institution of higher education, or any other entity that is part of state government.  Each entity of state government would be required to post on a generally accessible Internet site on or before the first day of each calendar quarter information regarding all purchases and sales by or for the fund of domestic equity securities and bonds by company, total amount of shares traded, total commission paid, and the ratio of the amount of the commissions to the number of shares; the fund’s investment managers, custodians, consultants, lending agents, and other ancillary consultants by company name, average fund assets under management, fees paid by the fund, and average basis points that fees paid by the fund represent in relation to the average assets of the fund under management; and the dollar amount of fees, commissions, and other amounts paid in connection with the administration of the fund.  This information would be required to be provided by the race, ethnicity, and gender of the controlling ownership of each business, the principal place of business of each business, and the status of each business as a HUB.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 320

 

HB 750

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Woolley,

Houston

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.

 

 

 

SB 322

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to proceeds from the sale of certain state surplus and salvage personal property.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 2175.134(c) and 2175.191(c).  These amendments would direct that the proceeds from the sale of surplus and salvage property belonging to the Texas Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Safety, or the Aircraft Pooling Board to be deposited to the credit of the state highway fund (Fund 006).  The Attorney General is interpreting the current law to require that these funds to be deposited to the general revenue fund.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 333

West, et al

Houston

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 makes nonsubstantive changes in the statutes relating to the automatic admission of students in the top 10% of their high school graduating class.

 

The bill does require the Coordinating Board in consultation with the Texas Education Agency to establish standards for determining for purposes of the automatic admission criteria 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 recommended or advanced high school program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 352

Madla,

San Antonio

Relating to the management of state-owned land, including the lease of the right to produce groundwater from certain state-owned land.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends the membership of the Public School Land Board.  This bill establishes criteria for the lease of the right to produce groundwater from lands dedicated to the permanent school fund and the permanent university fund.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 354

 

HB 948

Fraser,

Marble Falls

Miller,

Stephenville

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.

 

 

 

SB 358

 

HB 954

Gallegos,

Galena Park

Chavez,

El Paso

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.

 

 

 

SB 391

 

HB 1215

Armbrister,

Victoria

Morrison,

Victoria

Relating to the degree programs offered by the University of Houston-Victoria.

 

 

 

 

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:

 

 

 

SB 392

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Relating to the residency requirements for tuition and fee exemptions for certain military personnel and their dependents.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 54.203(a) and (b).  This bill would clarify the exemption from payment of tuition and fees.  Current law requires that the military individual and his/her dependents must be a citizen of Texas and must have resided in Texas for at least a period of 12 months before the date of registration.  These amendments would entitle a person who is a Texas resident and satisfies the other requirements regarding military service or family relationship to be entitled to the exemption.  This would apply to the fall 2005 tuition and fees.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 400

 

HB 7

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Solomons,

Carrollton

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:

 

 

 

 

SB 412

 

HB 1116

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Solomons,

Carrollton

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.

 

 

 

SB 418

 

HB 1633

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Grusendorf,

Arlington

Relating to the 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.

 

 

 

SB 419

 

HB 1944

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Solomons,

Carrollton

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.

 

 

 

SB 420

 

HB 2274

Carona,

Dallas

Cook, R.

Corsicana

Relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill reflects the recommendations of the Sunset Commission regarding the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation.  The amendments require each state agency that conducts higher education and financial aid outreach activities to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the corporation to outline how the corporation and the state agency will coordinate outreach activities to maximize resources and avoid duplication.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 423

Carona,

Dallas

Relating to the issuance of a limited license to practice medicine to certain applicants.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize the State Board of Medical Examiners to adopt rules and prescribe fees related to the issuance of a license that is limited in scope to an applicant by virtue of the applicant’s conceded eminence and authority in the applicant’s specialty.  The applicant must present proof in seven areas including a recommendation to the board by the dean, president, or chief academic officer of a school of medicine in this state or the UT Health Sciences Center at Tyler or M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.  The license would authorize the holder to practice only in the specialty of medicine for which the license holder has trained and qualified at the institution or program that recommended the holder to the board.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 424

 

HB 567

Carona,

Dallas

Branch,

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.

 

 

 

SB 445

Carona,

Dallas

Relating to indemnification provisions in construction contracts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code by adding Chapter 502.  This bill defines construction contract.  The bill prohibits an agreement in the construction contract to indemnify a contractor for personal injury, property damage, or other fines or penalties assessed by a governmental entity due to the construction.  See HB 490, Driver.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 448

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Relating to the Texas Academy of International Studies at Texas A&M International University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 25.086(a) and 28.024; adds Section 87.505.  This bill authorizes the board of regents of the Texas A&M University System to establish the Academy of International Studies at Texas A&M International University.  The academy would serve gifted and highly motivated junior and senior high school students in an interdisciplinary approach relating to international issues and problems.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 452

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to transferring the duties of the Building and Procurement Commission under the public information law to the attorney general.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Chapter 552.  This bill would move all powers and duties of the Building and Procurement Commission under the public information law and transfer those powers and duties to the attorney general.  This would include the annual report that each state agency is currently required to file with the Building and Procurement Commission relating to requests for public information.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 459

 

HB 957

Staples,

Palestine

Pickett,

El Paso

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:

 

 

 

SB 462

 

HB 1431

Eltife,

Tyler

Frost,

Atlanta

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: 

 

 

 

SB 467

Lucio,

Brownsville

Relating to a risk assessment for Type 2 diabetes.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Health and Safety Code, Chapter 95.  This bill would replace the assessment for an acanthosis nigricans screening program with a Type 2 diabetes education and risk assessment program administered by the Border Health Office of the University of Texas—Pan American.   See SB 545, Madla and HB 3099, McReynolds.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 470

Averitt,

Waco

Relating to the portion of designated tuition set aside to fund financial assistance for resident undergraduate and graduate students at public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 56.011 and 56.012.  This bill would amend the set asides from the deregulated designated tuition.  The current set aside for the resident undergraduate tuition is 20%; this bill would establish an incremental set aside of 20% for tuition charged between $46 and $66, 30% for tuition charged between $66 and $86 and 40% for tuition charged at greater than $86 per hour.

 

Current law requires a set aside of 15% on deregulated designated tuition in graduate or professional degree programs.  This bill would create a incremental set aside of 15% for tuition charged between $46 and $66 per hour, 25% for tuition charged between $66 and $86 and 25% for tuition charged at greater than $86 per semester credit hour.  These changes would apply to tuition set asides beginning with the 2005 fall semester.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 479

 

HB 1171

Barrientos,

Austin

Brown, F.

Bryan

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.

 

 

 

SB 482

Shapiro,

Plano

Relating to the retirement benefits payable to retirees of the Teacher Retirement System who are employed as teacher mentors.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 824.602(a).  This bill would prohibit the Teacher Retirement System from withholding a monthly benefit payment to a retiree who is employed in a Texas public educational institution as a mentor to other teachers and is certified and taught in the public school system for at least five years.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 500

 

HB 1774

West, R.

Dallas

Taylor,

League City

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:

 

 

 

SB 501

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to indemnification provisions in health care provider contracts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code by adding Chapter 503.  This bill would prohibit a covenant, promise, or understanding contained in a health care provider contract, or an agreement collateral to or affecting a health care provider contract if it purports to indemnify, hold harmless, or defend a person against loss or liability for damages caused by the negligence of the health care provider and resulted in personal injury or death, property damage, or any other loss, damage, or expense that arises from an occurrence.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 502

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to common undergraduate admission application forms for public institutions of higher education in this state.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 51.761 and 51.762(a), (b), and (f).  This bill would require the Coordinating Board to expand the use of the common undergraduate admission application form usage to include junior college districts and public technical institutes.  Each institution would be required to use the common application form beginning with applications for the 2007-2008 academic year.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 507

 

HB 1940

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Ritter,

Nederland

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:

 

 

 

SB 508

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to the confidentiality of certain communications involving an ombudsman’s office established by an employer.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill defines employer as a person who employs at least one employee.  The term does not include a state agency, political subdivision, or other public entity or instrumentality.

 

The bill authorizes an employer to establish an ombudsman’s office for employees to communicate issues of concern, including allegations of organizational misconduct.  All oral and written communications to the ombudsman’s office would be confidential under certain circumstances.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 511

Deuell,

Greenville

Relating to public testimony at regular meetings of the governing board of a general academic teaching institution.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.355.  This bill would require the governing board of each general academic teaching institution or university system to adopt a policy that allows the public to present, for a reasonable amount of time and for any item on the agenda, both written and oral testimony at a regular meeting of the board.  The governing board shall consider the public testimony presented to the board on an issue before making a decision on that issue.  Policies would be required to be adopted not later than October 1, 2005.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 527

 

HB 258

Hinojosa,

McAllen

Pena,

Edinburg

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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB 528

 

HB 993

 

HB 2609

Hinojosa,

McAllen

Gonzales,

McAllen

Guillen,

San Aiego

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:

 

 

 

SB 529

 

HB 994

Hinojosa,

McAllen

Gonzales,

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.  See SB 531, West, R.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 530

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to a fixed tuition rate provided by general academic teaching institutions to certain students for satisfactory academic progress and performance.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.011.  This bill would establish a fixed designated tuition rate at general academic teaching institutions for students who enrolled at the institution as a first time freshman or not later than the first fall semester following the student’s graduation from high school.  The rate would be established at the rate the student paid during the first semester or other academic term that the student was enrolled at the institution.  The student would have to be continuously enrolled, entitled to pay resident tuition, enrolled in a full course load as determined by the Coordinating Board, must have completed at least 75% of the semester credit hours previously attempted at the institution, and must have earned accumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.  This fixed designated tuition rate would end on the fourth anniversary of the date that the student first enrolled or on the date that the student should have completed his degree program if enrolled in a baccalaureate degree program other than a 4-year program.  This section would not apply to a transfer student.  This section would not apply to a student who enters a general academic teaching institution for the first time before 2006 fall semester.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 531

West, R.

Dallas

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.  See SB 529, Hinojosa and HB 994, Gonzales.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 532

 

HB 1214

Shapiro,

Plano

Morrison,

Victoria

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: 

 

 

 

SB 543

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to the authority of a member, agency, or committee of the legislature to receive on request one copy of public information from a governmental body without charge.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 552.264.  Current law authorizes a member, agency, or committee of the legislature to request one copy of public information from a state agency that shall be provided without charge.  This bill expands that from just state agencies to include all governmental bodies.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 544

 

HB 493

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Naishtat,

Austin

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.

 

 

 

SB 545

Madla,

San Antonio

Relating to the creation of the Type 2 Diabetes Screening Program Advisory Council and the establishment of a type 2 diabetes screening program for school children.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends Health and Safety Code, Chapter 95.  This bill would replace the current screening for acanthosis nicgicans with a screening program for Type 2 diabetes.  The bill authorizes the Department of State Health Services to contract with one or more institutions of higher education, such as the Texas-Mexico Border Health Coordination Office of UT—Pan American or the Texas Tech Diabetes Research Center to administer the screening program.  See SB 467, Lucio and HB 3099, McReynolds.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 549

Ellis,

Houston

Relating to the disclosure of information relating to the investment of the permanent university fund and other funds under the management and control of the board of regents of the University of Texas System.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 66.08.  Current law provides that the investment records of the nonprofit investment management corporation handling assets under the fiduciary care of the University of Texas System board of regents are public information.  This bill would expand the information that the board would be required to disclose.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 554

Duncan,

Lubbock

Relating to the liability of an ERISA-regulated employee benefit plan under certain state law.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code by adding Section 88.00115.  This amendment states that this chapter does not apply to an employee benefit plan regulated under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 562

Janek,

Houston

Relating to the creation of health savings accounts for certain state employees and retirees 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 HB 1795, Crownover.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 572

Barrientos,

Austin

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Labor Code, Section 21.452.  This bill requires Health and Human Services Commission, Department of State Health Services, Department of Aging and Disability Services, Department of Family and Protective Services, Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Criminal Justice, Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Texas Youth Commission to use personnel selection procedures that incorporate job-related objective criteria, including a selection instrument that matches job-related occupational interests, behavioral characteristics, and thorough processes of applicants to a particular job or class of jobs.  The selection instrument must conform to federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission uniform guidelines on employee selection procedures.  This would apply only to entry-level position compensated under the Schedule A classification salary schedule.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 579

 

HB 1010

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Corte,

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:

 

 

 

SB 582

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Relating to tuition and fee exemptions for certain military personnel and their dependents.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.203.  Current law exempts dependents and spouses of members of the armed forces who were killed in action from the payment of tuition and required fees.  This bill would expand that exemption from the payment of tuition and required fees to children and spouses of members of the armed forces who become permanently and totally disabled if certain qualifications are met.  This would apply to fall semester 2005 tuition and other fees.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 593

 

HB 2717

 

SB 1337

Carona,

Dallas

Swinford,

Amarillo

Madla,

San Antonio

Relating to the governor’s study of emerging technology and economic development.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill directs the office of the Governor to review how other leading states and countries have structured their economic development programs to match the needs of businesses in the new economy in which information, ideas, and technology are the driving forces.  The bill requires an outline of the current roles of the state, members of the finance and business communities, researchers from universities and industries and others who have a stake in fueling economic growth and opportunity in Texas.  The report would include recommendations for legislation to the 80th Texas Legislature based on this research.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 601

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Relating to importing prescription drugs for use in state funded programs that provide heath care services or benefits.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill requires the Employee Retirement System to conduct a detailed study to determine whether importing prescription drugs from a foreign country for use in the state employees group benefits program would be safe, feasible, and cost-effective.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 608

Nelson,

Flower Mound

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b); adds Section 55.1745.  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 of UNTHSC at Fort Worth.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 613

 

HB 1537

Whitmire,

Houston

Wong,

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:

 

 

 

SB 623

Hinojosa,

McAllen

Relating to the authorized charges for providing a copy of public information requested under the public information law.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 552.263.  This bill amends the public information law to state that a requestor who fails to make a deposit or post a bond as required before the 10th day after the date the deposit or bond is required is considered to have withdrawn the request for the copy of the public information.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 633

 

HB 952

Barrientos,

Austin

Delisi,

Temple

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.

 

 

 

SB 634

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to the compensation of administrators in public institutions of higher education and university systems.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.969.  This bill takes the current rider in the General Appropriations Act relating to reporting by each institution of higher education and each university system office the total number of persons holding high-ranking administrative positions and the compensation for those administrative employees and places it in the statute.

 

This new section adds a requirement that the institution report at the same time on comparable salary information for the institution’s faculty members.  It requires the Legislative Budget Board to determine the average salary increase in the fiscal year for all administrators and for all faculty members at each institution and each university system office.  The bill states that the average salary increase for all high-ranking administrators employed by an institution that is not a component of a university system may not exceed in any fiscal year the average salary increase for all faculty members employed by that institution.  For a university system, the average salary increase for all high-ranking administrators employed within the system may not exceed for any fiscal year the average salary increase for all faculty members employed by the component institutions of the system.  The governing board of an institution would be required to take appropriate steps in a following year if a disparity is found to exist.

 

These amendments would require that copies of the reports be delivered to the faculty senate at each institution and that the report be posted on the institution’s Internet website and in the main library of the institution.  The reports would be due not later than December 1 of each fiscal year.  Effective date:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB 635

 

HB 2708

Barrientos,

Austin

Naishtat,

Austin

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.17522.  This bill authorizes the board of regents of the UT System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $75 million to construct or renovate facilities and related infrastructure at UT Austin.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 638

Barrientos,

Austin

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 481.078 and adds Sections 481.079 and 481.080.  The bill would require the Governor to develop a mechanism for awarding grants from the TEF that gives greater consideration to potential recipients who commit to using grant money to purchase goods and services that result in the creation or retention of jobs.  The 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 promised, the recipient must repay the grant and any related interests.  Prior to making an award of a grant to an entity for a proposed initiative, the Governor’s office would be required to prepare the direct and indirect economic impact of the approval of the grant.  The office would also be required to submit to the legislature an annual report on the Texas Enterprise Fund and the report would be required to contain certain information.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 646

 

HB 479

Barrientos,

Austin

Keel,

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.

 

 

 

SB 651

Harris,

Arlington

Relating to the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth Missing Persons DNA Database.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill transfers subchapter I, Chapter 105, Education Code, to Chapter 63, Code of Criminal Procedures.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 674

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to limiting the use of customers’ social security numbers by persons.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Business and Commerce Code by adding Section 35.62.  This bill would prohibit a person from requesting a customer’s social security number, or another number that includes four or more consecutive digits of a customer’s social security number, as an identifier unless the number is needed to complete a credit check that is required to provide a service or product requested by the customer.  This section does not apply to a financial institution or a governmental entity.  The bill creates a civil penalty for violation.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 676

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to identifying which public institutions of higher education in this state are comprehensive research universities of the first class.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 61.0818.  The bill states that the purpose of the act is to provide guidance regarding the definition of a comprehensive research university of the first class to enable a common understanding and the use of common terminology in legislative decisions relating to the designation of and support for universities of this character.  The Coordinating Board would be required to establish a system for designating a general academic teaching institution as a comprehensive research university of the first class and to prescribe criteria to determine whether a general academic institution should be assigned that designation.  The Coordinating Board shall consider the criteria to identify those universities and shall include the following factors:  number, variety, and quality of degree programs, the institution’s selectivity in admissions to each program, time to obtain a degree in each program, the institution’s graduation rates in each program, and the institution’s faculty-to-student classroom ratios; the degree to which writing and critical though are incorporated as elements in the undergraduate degree program, the number of graduates, the level of graduate performance on licensure examinations, the number, variety, and quality of honors programs available at the institution, and the availability of independent study credits at the institution; the number of doctoral degrees awarded and the number of students enrolled in each program; the degree of faculty and student engagement in research and other creative activities, the resources applied by the institution to those activities, the success of the institution in receiving federal research and development funding, the number of faculty who are members of nationally recognized academic associations; the quality of the libraries of the institution; the amount of institutional endowment and state revenue available on behalf of each student; whether the institutions are members of the Association of American Universities, the Association of Research Libraries, or another similar entity that recognizes institutional excellence on a national level; and alumni involvement in institution activities. 

 

The Coordinating Board is required to administer this new section with the assistance of an advisory committee composed of at least five but not more than fifteen higher education experts or scholars from any state.  The board is required to develop the initial criteria not later than October 1, 2006 and to report the board’s actions to each legislative standing committee with primary jurisdiction over higher education.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 690

Zaffirini,

Laredo

Relating to the required posting by a governmental body of a meeting of the governmental body that is continued to the following regular business day.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 551.0411.  This bill amends the open meetings act to state that a governmental body that recesses a meeting to the following regular business day is not required to post notice of the continued meeting if the action is taken in good faith and not to circumvent this act.  If because of a catastrophe the governmental body is prevented from continuing the meeting on the following regular business day, the governmental body may convene the continued meeting on the next regular business day without posting notice.  The bill defines catastrophe.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 700

 

HB 1742

Hinojosa,

McAllen

Seaman,

Corpus Christi

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.

 

 

 

SB 701

 

HB 1491

Deuell,

Greenville

Flynn,

Canton

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.

 

 

 

SB 702

 

HB 1541

Deuell,

Greenville

Flynn,

Canton

Relating to authorizing certain used 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:

 

 

 

SB 703

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of North Texas, the University of North Texas System Center at Dallas, and the University Center at Dallas.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.1755.  This bill authorizes the board of regents of the University of North Texas System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed (1) $94 million for the University of North Texas; (2) $30 million for the university of North Texas System Center at Dallas; and (3) $10 million for the Universities Center at Dallas to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for the University of North Texas, the University of North Texas System Center at Dallas or for the Universities Center at Dallas.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 704

 

HB 2105

West, R.

Dallas

Branch,

Dallas

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b); 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 $42 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 705

West, R.

Dallas

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b); 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 $6 million to construct or renovate facilities and related infrastructure for educational facilities at TAMUHSC Baylor College of Dentistry.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 712

 

HB 2022

Carona,

Dallas

Cook, R.

Eagle Lake

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.

 

 

 

SB 716

Gallegos,

Galena Park

Relating to payroll deduction for certain employees who are peace officers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would apply only to peace officers employed by a municipality.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 719

 

HB 2146

Deuell,

Greenville

Hupp,

Lampasas

Relating to the operation of mail order prescription plans for certain public employees and retirees.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would prohibit a pharmacy benefit manager who administers pharmacy benefits under a coverage plan offered by the Employees Retirement System or the Teachers Retirement System from referring a participant in the group benefits program to a mail order prescription plan that is owned by the pharmacy benefit manager.  A pharmacy benefit manager who violates this section is subject to sanctions.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB 720

 

HB 2147

Deuell,

Greenville

Hupp,

Lampasas

Relating to required patient counseling regarding mail order prescription plans for certain public employees and retirees.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require that those individuals participating in the group benefits programs administered by the Employees Retirement System and the Teachers Retirement System have access to patient counseling from a pharmacist licensed by the Texas State Board of Pharmacy if the participant receives pharmacy benefits for more than one prescription through the mail order prescription plan.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 721

Lucio,

Brownsville

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 74.611—74.617; 55.1732; 61.003(5); 63.002(c); 63.101(a); 65.02(a).  This bill would elevate the regional academic health center in the lower Rio Grande Valley to the UT Health Science Center—Rio Grande Valley.  The health science center would consist of a medical school, other health and health-related degree programs. 

 

The bill would authorize the institution to participate in funding provided by the Permanent University Fund if a constitutional amendment is adopted.  The bill does require that the health science center be established not later than the 2007-2008 academic school year.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 722

 

HB 1521

Lucio,

Brownsville

Goolsby,

Dallas

Relating to the creation of the TexasNextStep grant.

 

 

 

 

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: 

 

 

 

SB 727

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to the public information law.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 552.009, 552.205, 552.221(b), 552.225(a) and (b), 552.231, 552.2615(a), 552.262, 552.274, 552.301, 552.302, 552.304, 405.031(d), and Labor Code, Section 402.081(d).  This bill changes the name of the General Services Commission to the Texas Building and Procurement Commission throughout the Public Information Act.  Once a public information officer makes public information available for inspection or duplication this bill would amend the time that a requestor has to complete the examination of the information.  Current law is on the 10th day after the date that the information is available; this amendment would state the 10th business day after the date. 

 

If a governmental body submits written comments to the attorney general, the governmental body would be required to send a copy of those comments to the person who requested the information from the governmental body.   Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 730

 

HB 1624

West, R.

Dallas

Goolsby,

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:

 

 

 

SB 754

 

HB 1130

Ellis, R.

Houston

Cook, B.

Corsicana

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.

 

 

 

SB 770

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to limiting use of money in the Enterprise Fund to recipients that provide health benefit plans.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 481.078 by adding Subsection (g).  This bill would require that a recipient of a TEF grant furnish a health benefit plan to the recipient’s employees.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 774

 

HB 2501

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Uresti,

San Antonio

Relating to permitting certain military personnel entitled to receive tuition and fee exemptions to transfer the exemption to a child.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.203.  This bill would require the Texas Veterans Commission to prescribe procedures to allow a veteran eligible for a Hazlewood exemption of tuition and fees who has never received an exemption to waive the person’s right to the exemption and assign the exemption to one of the veteran’s children.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 775

 

HB 1837

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Berman,

Tyler

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: 

 

 

 

SB 783

 

HB 337

Seliger,

Amarillo

Smithee,

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.

 

 

 

SB 793

 

HB 1451

Estes,

Wichita Falls

Farabee,

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:

 

 

 

SB 794

 

HB 1524

Estes,

Wichita Falls

Crownover,

Lake Dallas

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:

 

 

 

SB 795

 

HB 1525

Estes,

Wichita Falls

Crownover,

Lake Dallas

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for Teas 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:

 

 

 

SB 801

 

HB 1063

Lucio,

Brownsville

Oliveira,

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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB 815

 

HB 1732

Lucio,

Brownsville

Solis,

Harlingen

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 Lower 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:

 

 

 

SB 817

 

HB 2583

West, R.

Dallas

Turner,

Houston

Relating to financial transaction awareness plans to be adopted by public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education by adding Section 51.955.  Each governing board of an institution of higher education would be required to develop and implement a financial transaction awareness plan to educate the students concerning safe and unsafe practices in financial transactions, especially credit cards, and protect students from financial situations that may negatively affect student financial security or credit scores.  The new section requires certain elements to be included in the plan.  A credit card issuer would be prevented from entering the institution’s campus to solicit or distribute credit card applications unless the issuer, in the manner prescribed by the plan, applies to participate in one or more solicitation events on campus and receives the institution’s written approval to participate.  The credit card issuer must pay an annual fee in the amount established in the plan and those funds from the annual fee would be used to fund the institution’s student’s regular financial awareness events.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 831

 

HB 1765

Shapiro,

Plano

Morrison,

Victoria

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:

 

 

 

SB 855

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.17144.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the UT System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $192 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for educational facilities at UT at San Antonio.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 856

 

HB 2001

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

McClendon,

San Antonio

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

 

 

 

 

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:

 

 

 

SB 857

 

HB 2002

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

McClendon,

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:

 

 

 

SB 858

 

HB 2003

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

McClendon,

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:

 

 

 

SB 870

Shapleigh,

El Paso

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 51.355, 51.356, and 51.357.  This bill would require the student government of each general academic teaching institution in a university system to select one graduate student and one undergraduate student of the institution to serve as the institution’s representative on the university’s system student regent nominating committee.  The nominating committee shall select applicants from each institution in the system for the position of student regent designate.  The committee will select three applicants to forward to the board of regents not later than December 1.  Not later than February 1, the university system’s board of regents shall select an applicant to serve as student regent for the system for a one year term expiring on February 1.  The bill makes similar provisions for general academic general institutions that are not part of a university system.  The bill does require that the student regent to rotate between being an undergraduate student and a graduate student.  The student regent would be entitled to the same powers and duties, including voting privileges, as the other members of the board.  The bill does amend the specific statutes of each board of regents and structures the current membership of 9 to include the student regent member.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 876

 

HB 2268

Lindsay,

Houston

Woolley,

Houston

Relating to financial reporting requirements of a  nonprofit corporation.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act to require that nonprofit corporations complete their annual financial reports not later than 180 days after the close of each fiscal year.  Effective date:  January 1, 2006

 

 

 

SB 888

Williams,

The Woodlands

Relating to the powers, duties, privileges, and immunities of a peace officer.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Code of Criminal Procedures, Article 2.12.  This bill would restrict the authority of peace officers commissioned by institutions of higher education and various other entities.  The would be afforded the legal protections only at the time the officer is in the actual discharge of official duties and to the extent that the officer is acting within the scope of those duties, as described by law, including any applicable limitation as to geographical boundaries.  The only peace officers with full powers, privileges, and immunities at all times would be sheriffs, constables, police officers, rangers and officers commissioned by the DPS, investigators of the district attorneys’ office and law enforcement officers commissioned by the Parks and Wildlife Commission.  Effective date:  September 1, 2007.

 

 

 

SB 900

Eltife,

Tyler

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas 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 $81 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for a classroom building and other facilities, including facilities at branch campuses for the UT at Tyler.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 929

 

HB 1931

Ellis,

Houston

Turner,

Houston

Relating to the service area of 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:

 

 

 

SB 931

Hinojosa,

McAllen

Relating to the authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas—Pan American for construction and renovation to accommodate institutional growth.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b); adds Section 55.17521.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the UT System to issue tuition revenue bonds for $29.9 million for the construction and renovation of academic infrastructure to accommodate student and faculty population growth; $7.5 million for the construction and infrastructure in Starr County to accommodate student and faculty population growth; and $24 million for a multipurpose exercise physiology facility at UT—Pan American.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 934

 

HB 1968

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Rose,

Dripping Springs

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.

 

 

 

SB 936

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to practices of school districts that concern the admission process to institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 28.025(e) and adds Section 28.0252.  This bill would require the State Board of Education to develop a uniform transcript form that each school district would be required to report the academic achievement record of a student in electronic and paper formats.  The bill specifies certain things that must appear on this transcript form.

 

The commissioner of education would be required to develop a standard method of computing a student’s high school grade point average that provides additional weight to be given to each owner’s course, advanced placement course, international baccalaureate course, or dual credit course.  A school district could elect to use this standard method for students entering the ninth grade during or after the 2006-2007 school year.

 

The Texas Education Agency is required to conduct a study on the feasibility of requiring school districts to provide high school seniors with an elective class period to enable the students to research college and major areas of study, work with guidance counselors on preparing applications, admissions essays, and financial aid applications, and to search for scholarships and financial aid options.  The agency is required to report to the legislature not later than December 1, 2006.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 940

Lucio,

Brownsville

Relating to the establishment of the Reynaldo G. Garza School of Law at the University of Texas at Brownsville.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 78.10.  This bill would require the board of regents at UT System to establish and operate a school of law at the University of Texas at Brownsville.  The Coordinating Board would be required to prepare a feasibility study to assist the board in establishing the school not later than June 1, 2006.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 941

 

HB 1419

Staples,

Palestine

Blake,

Nacogdoches

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:

 

 

 

SB 942

 

HB 1667

Staples,

Palestine

Hopson,

Jacksonville

Relating to the 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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB 953

 

HB 1693

Seliger,

Amarillo

Naishtat,

Austin

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.

 

 

 

SB 960

 

HB 2162

Shapiro,

Plano

Branch,

Dallas

Relating to hospital and clinic fees collected by certain public medical schools.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 51.009, Subsection (c), and adds subsection (d).  This bill adds a section stating that hospital and clinic fees received by a clinical care facility that is not operated using general revenue fund appropriations is not subject to the proportionality requirements in the General Appropriations Act for salaries, wages, and benefits.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 965

Lucio,

Brownsville

Relating to the authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds by the University of Texas System.

 

 

 

 

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 $134.1 million for UT at Brownsville; $30 million for the medical education and research division of the Regional Academic Health Center operated under the control of UTHSC at San Antonio; and $19.4 million for the public health division of the Regional Academic Health Center that is operated under the control of UTHSC at Houston.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 966

Lucio,

Brownsville

Relating to programs to recruit, train, and license nurses and other healthcare professionals.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 61.9631—61.9639.  This bill would require the Coordinating Board to develop six different programs to reduce the shortage of  health care professionals, reduce the nursing shortage, provide funding formulas for nursing programs to recruit and retain graduate nursing students, incentive programs to recruit and retain nursing program faculty, pilot programs to increase nurses and nursing faculty in areas with critical shortage of nurses, and accelerated or alternative procedures for nursing program acceptance.  The Coordinating Board would be required to work with professional licensure agencies in each of these areas.  The board would also be required to conduct a study in consultation with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education concerning the need and appropriate measures for increasing the number of students permitted in the residency programs of the medical schools located in areas of the state designated as health professional shortage areas.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 981

 

HB 1427

 

HB 2291

Whitmire,

Houston

McClendon,

San Antonio

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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB 982

 

HB 3467

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Puente,

San Antonio

Relating to certain practices to improve energy conservation in state buildings.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 447.004(e), 2166.153(a), 2166.403; adds Section 2166.408.  This bill would require that prior to beginning construction, a state agency or an institution of higher education would be required to have certified to the appropriate authority having jurisdiction that the construction or renovation complies with the energy conservation standards established by the state and the alternative energy and energy-efficient architectural and engineering design evaluation requirements have been met.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 995

 

HB 2180

Averitt,

Waco

Anderson,

Waco

Relating to donees of anatomical gifts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would authorize forensic science programs at general academic teaching institutions and private or independent institutions of higher education to receive gifts of bodies or parts of bodies.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1002

Madla,

San Antonio

Relating to creating a TexasOnline project concerning grant assistance provided by state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Chapter 2055.  This bill would require the Department of Information Resources to establish an electronic government project to develop an Internet website accessible through TexasOnline that provides a single location for state agencies to post electronic summaries of state grant assistance opportunities with the state agencies.  Currently, institutions of higher education are exempt from participation in TexasOnline.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1012

 

HB 2308

Harris,

Arlington

Goodman,

Arlington

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas at Arlington and its engineering facilities.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b), and adds Section 55.175.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the UT System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $76.6 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure including a new Engineering Research Building and renovation of three engineering facilities at the University of Texas at Arlington.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1025

Madla,

San Antonio

Relating to the regulation of the practice of optometry and therapeutic optometry.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would change the scope of practice for optometry and therapeutic optometry.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1032

 

HB 2467

Ellis,

Houston

Swinford,

Amarillo

Relating to the elimination of certain alternative fuels programs.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Natural Resources Code, Section 113.287(e); Government Code, Sections 2158.001 and 1232.104(a); repeals Health and Safety Code, Chapter 382, Subchapter F; repeals Transportation Code, Chapter 451, Subchapter G; Chapter 452, Subchapter F; Chapter 453, Subchapter F; and Chapter 457, Subchapter E.  This bill would eliminate the alternative fuels programs in municipal transit authorities and county mass transit authorities.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1034

 

HB 1697

West, R.

Dallas

McCall,

Plano

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.

 

 

 

SB 1035

 

HB 2344

West, R.

Dallas

Luna,

Corpus Christi

Relating to the Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Health and Safety Code, Chapter 93.  This bill would restructure the Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke to designate the eleven public members appointed by the Governor and the qualifications that each member must possess.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1037

 

HB 2185

Lucio,

Brownsville

Oliveira,

Brownsville

Relating to the tuition rates for Olympic athletes residing and training.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.073.  This bill would entitle a person enrolled in an institution of higher education to pay tuition and fees at the rates provided for Texas residents if the person is in residence and in training as a participating athlete in the Olympic programs.  The person would not be entitled to participate in financial aid programs offered by the state that require a person to be a Texas resident.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1041

 

HB 2269

Janek,

Houston

Woolley,

Houston

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds by the University of Texas System for an adult stem cell research center at the Texas Medical Center.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 55.1752.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of UT System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $24.67 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for UTHSC at Houston to pay the cost of establishing and operating an adult stem cell research center at Texas Medical Center.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1042

 

HB 776

Janek,

Houston

Howard,

Sugar Land

Relating to the Wharton County Junior College district service areas.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

SB 1043

Janek,

Houston

Relating to curriculum requirements for courses in which students receive concurrent high school and college credit.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 28.0241.  This bill would authorize a school district to give a student academic course credit for a course successfully completed at an institution of higher education regardless of whether the course offered conforms to the essential knowledge and skills identified for a substantially similar course.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1046

 

HB 1504

Seliger,

Amarillo

Smithee,

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.

 

 

 

SB 1047

 

HB 1825

Seliger,

Amarillo

West, B.

Odessa

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: 

 

 

 

SB 1048

 

HB 2108

Eltife,

Tyler

Berman,

Tyler

Relating to a student union fee at the University of Texas at Tyler.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.5343.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the UT System to impose a student union fee on the students at UT at Tyler for the purpose of providing revenue for constructing and operating a student union building for the University.  The fee could not exceed $75 per student for each semester or $40 per student for each summer session.  The fee could not be increased by an amount greater than 10% from one academic year to the next unless the amount of the increase is approved by a majority vote of the university’s students voting in a general student election called for that purpose.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1058

Lucio,

Brownsville

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

 

 

 

 

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 $54 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for educational facilities for Texas A&M University—Kingsville.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1059

Lucio,

Brownsville

Relating to authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds for the University of Texas at Brownsville, the University of Texas—Pan American and Texas State Technical CollegeHarlingen.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 55.17528 and 55.17592.  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 for UT at Brownsville and $20 million for UT—Pan American to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure at the respective institutions.

 

This bill would further authorize the board of regents of the Texas State Technical College System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $20 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure at the TSTC—Harlingen campus.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1076

 

HB 1713

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

McClendon,

San Antonio

Relating to 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:

 

 

 

SB 1077

 

HB 3068

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Villarreal,

San Antonio

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b); adds Section 55.175.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the University of Texas System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $50 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for UT at San Antonio including the Downtown Campus architecture building.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1078

 

HB 3069

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Villarreal,

San Antonio

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 61.0572(e) and 61.058(b) and adds Section 55.175.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of the UT System to issue tuition revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $50 million to construct and renovate facilities and related infrastructure for UT at San Antonio, including the Loop 1604 campus academic building phase IV.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1079

 

HB 1712

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

McClendon,

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: 

 

 

 

SB 1081

 

HB 2466

Ellis, R.

Houston

Swinford,

Amarillo

Relating to recycling market development.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 2155.448(a) and Health and Safety Code, Section 361.423.  This bill would require the Building and Procurement Commission and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to coordinate activities regarding recycling by state agencies.  Currently, institutions of higher education are exempt from Chapter 2155.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1094

 

HB 2144

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Berman,

Tyler

Relating to veteran’s employment preferences.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Sections 657.001, 657.002, 657.003, 657.007, and 657.008; adds Section 657.010; repeals Sections 657.004(a) and (c).  This bill defines minimum qualifications as meaning the person has the ability to perform the essential tasks of a job.  The bill defines public entity to include a university system or an institution of higher of higher education as defined by Section 61.003, Education Code.  The bill amends the various sections to require that a veteran meet the minimum qualifications for a position.  The bill continues the current practice of a veteran receiving additional credit applied to a scoring system or mechanism used by the public entity to evaluate applications for employment.  The bill would require a public entity to add to its current reporting any measures taken by the public entity to inform individuals entitled to a hiring preference because they are a veteran and to report on the appeals process available through the public entity if an individual alleges that the public entity violated the veteran’s rights in a hiring situation.  The bill does require the public entity to establish a complaint process for alleged violations.  If the public entity finds that an individual should have been offered a position because of the veteran preference, the public entity would be required to take disciplinary action against the individual responsible for making the hiring decision and offer to employ the applicant in the next position that becomes available for which the individual meets the minimum qualifications.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1109

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Relating to use of the money from the Texas Enterprise Fund to benefit small business concerns.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 481.078.  This bill would require that at least 25% of the total amount of grants made from the Texas Enterprise Fund be made to recipients that are small-business concerns or that commit to using the grants to create new small-business concerns.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1110

 

HB 1427

 

SB 981

 

HB 2291

Ellis, R.

Houston

McClendon,

San Antonio

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:

 

 

 

SB 1118

 

HB 1409

Ellis,

Houston

Coleman,

Houston

Relating to the authority to change the name of component institutions of the 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:

 

 

 

SB 1123

 

HB 1683

Hinojosa,

McAllen

Gonzales,

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:

 

 

 

SB 1128

Hinojosa,

McAllen

Relating to liability of the state for a violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 101.023(a) and adds Section 101.0212.  This new section would make the state liable for a violation by a unit of state government of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  It would require a suit to be brought in a state district court and not in a federal court.  The bill would cap the maximum amount of damages at $250,000 for each person and $500,000 for each single occurrence.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1133

Hinojosa,

McAllen

Relating to posting notice online of the meetings of certain governmental bodies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 551.056.  This bill would require certain governmental bodies or economic development corporations that maintain Internet websites to post notice of open meetings and in certain cases to post the entire agency packet for a meeting on the Internet website.  These governmental entities include a municipality, a county, a school district, a junior college district, and an economic development corporation.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1138

 

HB 2272

Estes,

Wichita Falls

Farabee,

Wichita Falls

Relating to the establishment of a recreational and heath facilities fee at Midwestern State University.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.5441.  This bill would authorize the board of regents of Midwestern State University to charge each student registered at the university a recreational and health facilities fee not to exceed $130 for each semester of the regular term and not to exceed $65 for each summer session.  Effective date:  

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB 1139

Eltife,

Tyler

Relating to monitoring by the Building and Procurement Commission.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 2175.125.  This bill would require a reporting state agency subject to the state surplus or salvage property statutes to coordinate its activities with the Building and Procurement Commission to monitor transfer of surplus or salvage property.  Higher education is currently not subject to this chapter.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1145

Shapiro,

Plano

Relating to tuition or fee exemptions granted by public institutions of higher education to children of certain classroom teachers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.220.  This bill would require the governing board of an institution of higher education to exempt from the payment of tuition or from the payment of required fees for an undergraduate student who is a resident of the state and who is the child of the person who at the beginning of the semester or academic session for which the exemption is sought is a full-time classroom teacher employed by a public school district.  The classroom teacher’s child would be entitled to a tuition or required fees exemption if the teacher has taught fifteen years.  For each year of service that exceeds fifteen years, the classroom teacher would earn an additional tuition exemption or an additional fee exemption for one academic year for the benefit of one child.  If the teacher has nineteen years of service, two children of the classroom teacher would be eligible for the exemption.  This bill does establish an interim eligibility schedule for students based upon the number of semester credit hours completed at the institution.  The exemption would have a four academic year limit.  See SB 79, Shapleigh.    Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1146

 

HB 2805

Shapiro,

Plano

Morrison,

Victoria

Relating to an early college education program to provide at-risk and other students accelerated high school graduation and college credit.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 29.908.  This bill amends the middle college education pilot program and replaces it with an early college education program for students who are at risk dropping out of high school or who wish to accelerate completion of the high school program.  Students participating would be allowed to complete high school and on or before the 5th anniversary of the date of the student’s first day in high school, should receive a high school diploma and either an associate degree or at least 60 semester credit hours toward a baccalaureate degree.  This program would be administered by the Texas Education Agency.  The bill does require articulation agreements with colleges, universities, and technical schools.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1164

Zafirini,

Laredo

Relating to prohibiting human cloning and other uses of human tissue by institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 51.451—51.458.  This bill would prohibit an institution of higher education from engaging in human cloning.  The chapter does not prohibit or restrict scientific research, including nuclear transplantation, to develop regenerative or reparative medical therapies or treatments.  An institution may not purchase, sell, or otherwise transfer for valuable consideration a human oocyte or unfertilized blastocyst.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1172

Armbrister,

Victoria

Relating to energy conservation and efficiency.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Utilities Code, Sections 39.903(e) and 39.905.  This bill authorizes additional uses of the system benefit fund.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1176

 

HB 2617

Armbrister,

Victoria

Eiland,

Galveston

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 609.001(2-a), Chapters 812, 813, and 814; adds Section 411.1402; amends Insurance Code, Sections 1551.063(c), 1551.101(e), 1551.351(d), and adds Sections 1551.3195 and 1551.361; repeals Government Code, Sections 813.103, 813.507, 813.508, 813.510, 814.1042, and 814.202(d).  These amendments would limit an annuitant who was employed as a part-time employee during any portion of the annuitant’s last employment by a state agency to a part-time employee’s contribution for benefits unless the annuitant was designated by the annuitant’s employer as a full-time employee during the three-consecutive-month period immediately before retirement.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1180

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to the group benefit plans provided to certain retired state and university employees and their dependents.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill directs the board of trustees of the Employees Retirement System and the board of regents of the University of Texas System and the Texas A&M University System to jointly review the eligibility requirements for health insurance for annuitants and retirees and their dependents based upon the two different eligibility criteria that started in 2003.  The bill directs the entities to develop an equitable and uniform plan that operates within existing resources and is fair to the annuitants and retirees.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1181

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to exempting a peace officer from tuition and fees charged by a public institution of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.2042.  This bill would require the governing board of an institution of higher education to exempt a student from the payment of tuition and required fees for a course in which there is space available to the student if the student is employed by an agency or political subdivision as a commissioned peace officer and the student is a resident of this state who has resided in Texas for the twelve months immediately preceding the beginning of the semester.  The exemption could not exceed twelve semesters for an undergraduate program.  The student could use it for a master’s or doctoral degree program.

 

In the appropriations act, the legislature shall account for the rates of tuition and fees for which an exemption is authorized in a way that does not increase the general revenue appropriations to the institution.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1184

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to an annual analysis and report by the Higher Education Coordinating Board regarding financial information submitted by institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 61.065.  This amendment would require the Coordinating Board to review, analyze, and summarize financial information reported annually by each institution and present the analysis to the legislative standing committees with primary jurisdiction over higher education.  The board would be required to present all of the sources and uses of the money received by the institution.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1185

 

HB 2333

West, R.

Dallas

Morrison,

Victoria

Relating to the qualifications of and training and continuing education for certain officials and personnel or career schools or colleges.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 132.0551 and 132.056(g).  This bill would require the Texas Workforce Commission to establish minimum qualification and training requirements for certain officials and personnel of career schools or colleges.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1190

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to certain procedures governing health care liability claims.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Sections 74.002, 74.051, and 74.351.  This bill would amend the timing on when a claimant must serve to each party or the party’s attorney one or more expert reports.  Current law is 120 days after the date the claim was filed; this amendment would move it to 120 days after the date the suit was filed.  See HB 2645, Nixon.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1193

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to the service areas of the Alamo Community College District and the Austin Community College District.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 130.162 and 130.166.  This bill would move a portion of Guadalupe County into the Alamo Community College District and move the San Marcus Consolidated Independent School District into the Austin Community College District.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1201

 

HB 3456

Ellis, R.

Houston

Deshotel,

Beaumont

Relating to creating an office of civil rights at certain state agencies.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Chapter 671.  This bill would require each state agency including institutions of higher education with 1,000 or more employees to establish a civil rights office and employ a director of civil rights to administer the office.  The director would be required to report to the head of state agency and would have exclusive responsibility for investigating and ruling on the merits of an informal complaint of employment discrimination.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1215

Eltife,

Tyler

Relating to financial records and audits of certain charitable nonprofit corporations; providing a penalty.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends V.T.C.S., Article 1396-2.23A, and Article 1396-1.01 by adding Article 2.23C; amends Business Organizations Code, Section 22.352 and adds Section 22.3551.  This bill would require a charitable corporation that receives or accrues a total gross revenue of $250,000 or more, not including grants from and proceeds of contracts with a governmental agency or entity that requires an accounting for money received, to have the corporation’s financial statements audited by an independent certified public accountant in accordance with the generally accepted accounting principles.  The corporation must make the financial statements and the audit report available for inspection by the attorney general and the public.  The bill creates fines for violation of this responsibility.  Effective date: 

 

 

 

SB 1224

 

HB 2070

Duncan,

Lubbock

Rose,

Dripping Springs

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:

 

 

 

SB 1226

 

HB 2804

Shapiro,

Plano

Morrison,

Victoria

Relating to a study of the reporting requirements imposed on public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 61.051 by adding Subsection (a-4).  This bill would require the Coordinating Board and the Legislative Budget Board to jointly study the reporting requirements imposed on institutions of higher education to determine if any of these requirements are duplicative, inefficient, or unnecessary.  As part of the biennial report prepared by the Coordinating Board, the Coordinating Board and the LBB shall jointly report the results of the study and make recommendations.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1227

Shapiro,

Plano

Relating to payment of the costs of attending public and private postsecondary educational institutions.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 52.17(e), 52.31, 52.32, 54.0065, 54.010(a) and (c), 54.214(c), 54.2155, 54.5021(b), 56.304(a), 56.305(a), 56.3075(a), 56.405, and adds Sections 54.007(f), 54.0071, 56.033(e), 56.203(a-1), 56.307(l) and (m), and 61.066(c); amends Government Code, Section 431.091; Transportation Code, Section 504.615(b); repeals Education Code, Section 56.203.  One new section of this bill would require the governing board to apply financial aid to the first installment if a student elects to pay tuition and fees by installment and then to release any remaining amount of the award to the student. 

 

 

The bill would also authorize a governing board of an institution of higher education to postpone the due date for a payment of all or part of the tuition and fees if the student is supposed to receive one or more delayed financial aid awards. 

 

One section amends the authority of a governing board to reduce the amount of tuition charged to a student if the student is enrolled in at least 15 semester credit hours and limits the reduction to an amount equal to the charges for three semester credit hours.  This amendment changes the number of hours that the student must be enrolled in to more than twelve hours in order to receive the reduction. 

 

The bill makes a technical change regarding the employment of educational aides for tuition and fee exemptions. 

 

Another set of amendments would require the Adjutant General of the state military forces to certify certain information to the institutions of higher education instead of the Coordinating Board.

 

The bill would also authorize an institution of higher education to consolidate its Texas Public Educational Grant funding with funding collected by the institution for issuance of a collegiate license plate program and administer the two funds as one. 

 

One amendment clarifies that an eligible person for the Early High School Graduation Scholarship Program would not have to complete the recommended or high school advanced high school program if the student enrolled in grade 9 before the 2003-2004 school year.

 

Other amendments would require that a student be enrolled in a full course load in order to qualify for a TEXAS grant.  Current law only requires three-fourths of a full load.

 

The bill amends the statutes to change the eligibility for TEXAS grants that would limit those grants to the first four (in some cases six) semesters and would award B-On-time loans for the remaining semesters if the appropriation is insufficient to provide grants to all eligible applicants for a complete enrollment period. 

 

The Coordinating Board is directed to conduct a biennial study to determine the total cost of attending each institution and the resources used by students to cover that cost including all sources.  The Coordinating Board is directed to report the findings of the study to the legislative standing committees with jurisdiction over higher education.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1228

Shapiro,

Plano

Relating to a statewide assessment and accountability system for public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 54.0515(b) and (f); adds Sections 61.9751—61.9758.  This bill requires the Coordinating Board to develop and implement a statewide assessment and accountability system to measure the performance of each institution of higher education, including the institution’s progress in achieving performance goals.  The bill specifies five areas that must be measured and any other area as determined by the board.

 

The board is directed to place each institution in an institutional peer group that should be reviewed at least every biennium.  The bill directs the board to use the assessments and ratings for each area to assess and rate the overall performance of each institution.  The board may adopt different ratings, methods, for different institutional peer groups.  The board will indicate whether the rating for the institution is acceptable or unacceptable or needs for improvement.  The board is directed to compare an institution’s performance for each area identified to standards established under state law and to the performance of other in-state and out-of-state institutions.  Each year the board would be required to report to the Legislative Oversight Committee on Higher Education and each odd-numbered year the board would be required to report to the committees with jurisdiction over higher education by February 15th.

 

If the institution receives an unacceptable overall performance rating, the institution would not be allowed to increase its designated tuition except as necessary to reflect cost-of-living increases as determined by the governing board of the institution.  The Coordinating Board would be required to make its initial assessments for each institution before March 1, 2006. 

 

The board is directed to implement an assessment and accountability system for public junior colleges before March 1, 2007.

 

The bill changes the composition of the Legislative Oversight Committee on Higher Education to include the presiding officers of the standing committee of each house with primary jurisdiction over higher education, the presiding officers of the Senate Finance Committee and of the House Appropriations Committee, four additional members of the Senate appointment by the Lt. Governor and four additional members of the House appointed by the Speaker.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1239

 

HB 3099

Lucio,

Brownsville

McReynolds,

Lufkin

Relating to a risk assessment program for Type 2 diabetes.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill amends Health and Safety Code, Chapter 95.  This bill would replace the current screening for acanthosis nicgicans with a screening program for Type 2 diabetes.  The bill authorizes the Department of State Health Services to contract with one or more institutions of higher education, such as the Texas-Mexico Border Health Coordination Office of UT—Pan American or the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center to administer the screening program.  See SB 467, Lucio and SB 545, Madla.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1242

 

HB 2978

Madla,

San Antonio

Goolsby,

Dallas

Relating to the procedures required for a governmental entity to perform construction-related work on facilities under the construction manager-agent method.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Local Government Code, Section 271.117(c).  This bill would authorize a local governmental entity to select or designate an engineer or architect to prepare construction documents for a project after the selection of a construction manager-agent.  Current law allows the selection of the architect or engineer before or concurrently with the selection of the construction manager-agent.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1243

 

HB 2713

Carona,

Dallas

Bailey,

Houston

Relating to the provision of a preference in certain state construction contracts for contractors that provide health benefits to employees.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 2166.2527.  This bill requires the Building and Procurement Commission to give preference to a contractor that provides health benefits coverage that is at least equivalent to the basic coverage provided under the state employees group benefits program for both full-time employees and the employees’ family.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1247

 

HB 3223

West, R.

Dallas

Brown, F.

Bryan

Relating to admissions to the Joint Admission Medical Program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 51.824(b) and (c); 51.826(a) and (c); 51.827(a) and adds 51.8265.  This bill would move the eligibility for admissions to the JAMP program from the freshman year to the sophomore year.  The bill would require that a student complete 27 semester credit hours prior to participating as opposed to 15.  The bill establishes a preadmission mentoring and assistance program for students in the first fall semester of their enrollment.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1270

 

HB 2410

Jackson,

Pasadena

Bonnen,

Angleton

Relating to the membership of the board of directors of the Environmental Education Partnership Fund.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would reduce the membership of the board from 12 to 11 members and would increase the current two year terms to staggered 6-year terms.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1269

 

HB 1313

Deuell,

Greenville

Chisum,

Pampa

Relating to the 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.

 

 

 

SB 1276

 

HB 2511

Harris,

Arlington

Denny,

Flower Mound

Relating to financial disclosure by appointed state officers after leaving office.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 572.021.  This bill establishes three exceptions to the required financial disclosure statements filed by appointed state officers.  An appointed state officer who resigns or whose term expires and who ceases to participate, or whose functions are moved or abolished is not required to file a financial statement that is due because of service after the date of the resignation, the date the term expires, or the date the functions of the agency were moved or abolished.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1278

 

HB 2372

Lucio,

Brownsville

King, T.

Batesville

Relating to a college entrance examination preparation pilot program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Sections 29.401—29.409.  This bill requires the Texas Education Agency to establish a college entrance examination preparation pilot program for the purpose of enabling a participating high school campus to offer a college entrance examination preparation course to participating students.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1289

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to authorizing a state university to conduct a one-time lottery.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 466.256.  This bill would authorize a general academic teaching institution to operate a one-time lottery for the purpose of raising revenue to support the institution and awarding one or more vehicles as prizes.  The institution would be authorized to pay the expenses of the lottery and would be able to retain the revenues as institutional funds to be used for any public purpose of the institution.  This section would expire September 1, 2006.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1293

 

HB 3314

Deuell,

Greenville

Brown, B.

Athens

Relating to prohibiting wireless Internet access to obscene materials on public property.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 2054.124.  This bill would prohibit a state agency that provides wireless Internet access on state property to allow access to obscene materials through the use of that wireless access.  This section would not apply to a university system or institution of higher education.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1300

 

HB 1630

West, R.

Dallas

McReynolds.

Lufkin

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: 

 

 

 

SB 1302

 

HB 97

Seliger,

Amarillo

West, B.

Odessa

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.

 

 

 

SB 1312

 

HB 3381

Gallegos,

Galena Park

Jones, J.

Dallas

Relating to the creation of a state occupational health and safety plan; establishing a maintenance tax.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill excludes the state, a political subdivision of the state, or other governmental entity from the definition of employer.  The bill would require the Workers’ Compensation Commission to develop a state plan relating to the enforcement of occupational health and safety standards.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1313

Gallegos,

Galena Park

Relating to safety hotline posting requirements of employers in English and Spanish.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Labor Code, Section 411.081.  This bill would require the division to maintain the 24-hour toll-free telephone service in both English and Spanish for reports of the occupational health or safety law.  The bill would require that each employer notify its employees of this service in a notice prepared by the Workers’ Compensation Commission in both English and Spanish.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1315

Gallegos,

Galena Park

Relating to safety hotline posting requirements for employers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Labor Code, Section 411.081.  This bill would require the Workers’ Compensation Commission to adopt rules requiring that the notice for the safety hotline be posted in a conspicuous place in the employer’s place of business and in sufficient locations to be convenient to all employees.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1316

Gallegos,

Galena Park

Relating to providing educational materials to employees regarding workplace safety and retaliation by employers.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Labor Code by adding Section 411.084.  This bill would require that educational materials relating to work place safety be furnished in English and Spanish and that the Workers’ Compensation Commission adopt minimum content requirements.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1319

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to participation of certain annuitants and their dependents in the state employees group benefits program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Insurance Code, Section 1551.323.  This bill would reduce the amount that an annuitant (retiree) who is eligible to participate in the state employees group benefits program would be required to pay prior to reaching the age of 65 if the retiree did not retire under the rule of 80 in order to participate in the health insurance program.  Current law requires that the retiree pay the total cost as determined by the ERS board of trustees.  This bill would reduce it to the amount equal to the state or other employer contribution that would be made on behalf of the annuitant and, if applicable, the annuitant’s dependents, if eligible to participate.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1320

Staples,

Palestine

Relating to the sovereign immunity and liability to be sued of a junior college district.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 130.084 and adds Section 130.0841.  This bill authorizes the board of trustees of a junior college district to sue in the name of the junior college district.  The bill also states that a junior college district and the board of trustees of the junior colleges district are immune from suit in the same manner as a general academic teaching institution and the governing board of a general academic teaching institution.  The bill states that a person may sue or bring suit against a junior college district only with legislative consent under Chapter 107, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, or as otherwise expressly authorized by law.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1325

 

HB 2234

Armbrister,

Victoria

Keffer,

Eastland

Relating to taxes, fees and programs administered by the comptroller.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill is the comptroller’s cleanup bill for taxes, fees, and programs.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1328

Nelson,

Flower Mound

Relating to the privacy of protected health information.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

 

 

 

 

SB 1337

 

HB 2717

 

SB 593

Madla,

San Antonio

Swinford,

Amarillo

Carona,

Dallas

Relating to the governor’s study of emerging technology and economic development.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill directs the office of the Governor to review how other leading states and countries have structured their economic development programs to match the needs of businesses in the new economy in which information, ideas, and technology are the driving forces.  The bill requires an outline of the current roles of the state, members of the finance and business communities, researchers from universities and industries and others who have a stake in fueling economic growth and opportunity in Texas.  The report would include recommendations for legislation to the 80th Texas Legislature based on this research.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1340

Madla,

San Antonio

Relating to the regulation and reimbursement of health care services provided through telemedicine or telepsychiatry under the state Medicaid program.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

This bill would require the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission to develop minimum standards to permit the use of trained health professionals other than physicians, including professionals who are not registered nurses, advanced practice nurses, or physician assistants, to present patients who are Medicaid recipients for telemedicine medical services consultations to be conducted by physicians at distant sites.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1344

Carona,

Dallas

Relating to investment in research and development by utilities of the state of Texas.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Utilities Code by adding Section 53.066.  This new section states the legislature’s intent that the PUC ensures that the electric utilities invest sufficiently in technology research and development related to the transmission, distribution, storage and use of electricity in this state.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1345

Van de Putte,

San Antonio

Relating to the amount of emergency leave granted by state agencies to state employees on unpaid military leave.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 661.9041.  Current law requires that a state agency grant sufficient emergency leave as differential pay to a state employee on unpaid military leave if the employee’s military pay is less than the employee’s state gross pay.  This amendment would define military pay to exclude money the employee receives for service in a combat zone, as hardship pay, or for being separated from the employee’s family.  Effective date:

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB 1348

Barrientos,

Austin

Relating to records and reports kept and produced by the Texas Workforce Commission civil rights division.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Labor Code, Sections 21.010(e) and 21.552(a).  This bill would authorize a state agency to retain statements verifying an employee’s attendance at a required training program in web-based training records that are kept electronically.

 

The bill would also change the reporting date for equal employment opportunity information furnished by state agencies from the seventh day of the calendar year to November 1.  The report would be for the preceding fiscal year.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1355

West, R.

Dallas

Relating to requiring a contractor to provide health insurance to its employees as a condition of eligibility for the award of certain state contracts.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 2155.0771.  This bill would prohibit a state agency from awarding a state contract for goods or services that has a value greater than $1 million unless the vendor provides health benefits coverage that is at least equivalent to the state employees group benefit program.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1370

Madla,

San Antonio

Relating to the disposition of certain tax revenues for the protection of grape and wine production.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Alcoholic Beverage Code, Section 205.02.  This bill would authorize an appropriation of an amount equal to 75% of the increase in the receipts from the sale of tax stamps and funds derived from the tax on wine produced in a state other than Texas to the Department of Agriculture or Texas institutions of higher education for the purposes of eliminating and eradicating Pierce’s disease, the glassy-winged sharpshooter and other diseases that negatively impact the production of grapes and wine.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1371

Madla,

San Antonio

Relating to the disposition of certain tax revenue for the development of the Texas wine producing industry.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Alcoholic Beverage Code, Section 205.02.  This bill would authorize an appropriation in an amount equal to 90% of the increase in the receipts from the sale of tax stamps and funds derived from taxes on wine produced in this state to the Texas Department of Agriculture and to Texas institutions of higher education for the purpose of increasing the economic impact of the wine industry on the state.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1389

Ellis, R.

Houston

Relating to a limitation on increases in the total amount of tuition and compulsory fees charged by public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.011.  This bill would limit the amount of increases in the total amount of tuition and compulsory fees from one academic year to the next.  The limit would be determined as the lesser of an amount equal to 10% of the amount of the difference between the medium income for four-person families in this state, as determined by the United States Census Bureau, during the most recent year for which that data is available and the year preceding that year or $150.  The bill does require that state tuition be collected irregardless and that any required reduction to meet the capped increase would be in designated tuition or compulsory fees not prescribed by law.  This would apply to the total amount of tuition and compulsory fees beginning with the 2005-2006 academic year.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1398

Ellis, R.

Houston

Relating to the eligibility of a student for a tuition equalization grant.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 61.225.  This bill would establish eligibility criteria for individuals receiving tuition equalization grants at the independent colleges and universities.  The bill would require that a student meet the financial need and academic requirements for TEXAS grant eligibility including requirements relating to a student’s high school curriculum, performance, or graduation, or other academic prerequisites.  Effective date:  January 1, 2006.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SB 1399

Ellis, R.

Houston

Relating to the portion of designated tuition required to be set aside to provide student financial assistance at institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 56.011(a), 56.012(a), and 56.465(a).  This bill would amend the language regarding the set asides from designated deregulated tuition.  The funds would be required to be used for need-based financial assistance.

 

The bill would also amend the section regarding 5% set aside for B-On-time loan program.  Currently, the 5% set aside is considered to be a part of the 20% set aside on resident undergraduate deregulated designated tuition.  This amendment would cause the 5% to be an additional set aside.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1400

Ellis, R.

Houston

Relating to a limitation on increases in the total amount of tuition and compulsory fees charged by public institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code by adding Section 54.011.  This bill defines compulsory fee as a fee charged to all students.  The bill would limit the increase of tuition and compulsory fees charged by the institution to a similarly situated student to not more than 5%.  The bill explains how a student would be considered similarly situated.  If for some reason the result of required statutory increase in tuition or a compulsory fee at an institution would exceed the 5% limit established in this bill, the institution would be required to collect the statutory tuition and would be required to reduce designated tuition and compulsory fees not prescribed by law to get down to the 5% increase.  This would apply to tuition and compulsory fees for the 2005-2006 academic year.  See SB 1554, Ellis.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1432

 

HB 1884

Madla,

San Antonio

Van Arsdale,

Houston

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.

 

 

 

SB 1444

 

HB 1146

Averitt,

Waco

Chisum,

Pampa

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.

 

 

 

SB 1452

 

HB 2184

Lucio,

Brownsville

Oliveira,

Brownsville

Relating to the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science at The University of Texas at Brownsville.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Sections 25.086(a) and 28.024; adds Section 78.10.  This bill would establish the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science at UT at Brownsville which would provide junior and senior high school students with a challenging university-level curriculum to complete their high school graduation requirements and receive academic credit at a public institution of higher education.  The academy would be entitled to receive allotments from the foundation school program as if the academy were a school district for each student enrolled in the academy.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1456

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Relating to telecommunications infrastructure fund assessments and collections.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Utilities Code, Sections 57.048 and 57.043.  This bill would authorize a certificated telecommunications provider to recover from the provider’s customers any assessment imposed on the provider to fund the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund after the fund reaches an amount $1.5 billion.  See HB 2794, Corte.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1458

 

HB 1949

Wentworth,

San Antonio

Corte,

San Antonio

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

 

 

 

 

Summary:

 

 

 

 

SB 1475

Shapleigh,

El Paso

Relating to prerequisites to an institution of higher education increasing designated tuition.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.0513 by adding Subsection (g).  A general academic teaching institution would be prohibited from increasing the amount of designated tuition if four criteria occur.  The first criteria would be that the Legislative Budget Board would be required to conduct a performance review of the institution and report on the appropriateness and effects of a tuition increase.  The other three criteria would have to occur simultaneously.  Those three criteria are that (1) the institution increased designated tuition by more than 20% in the preceding academic year; (2) the percentage of first-time undergraduates who graduated from the institution is less than 50 percent; and (3) the percentage of first-time undergraduates who fail to meet success initiative assessment standards on the initial assessment is greater than 50% in the most recent academic year.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1483

 

HB 257

Williams,

The Woodlands

Pena,

Edinburg

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.

 

 

 

SB 1484

Williams,

The Woodlands

Relating to general revenue appropriations to institutions of higher education.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Education Code, Section 54.0513(c) and repeals Section 54.008(d).  These amendments would allow the legislature to use designated tuition and board authorized graduate tuition to reduce the general revenue appropriations to an institution.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.

 

 

 

SB 1485

 

HB 2191

Williams,

The Woodlands

Wong,

Houston

Relating to providing that the social security number of a living person is excepted from required disclosure under the public information law and may be redacted without the necessity of requesting a decision fro the attorney general.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code by adding Section 552.147.  This bill would create an exception to the Public Information Act that would allow a governmental body to except the social security number of a living person from public information that must be disclosed under the act.  The governmental body may redact the social security number without the necessity of requesting a decision from the attorney general.  Effective date:

 

 

 

SB 1499

Brimer,

Fort Worth

Relating to the telecommunications infrastructure fund, including the administration of the fund.

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Amends Government Code, Section 481.023 and Utilities Code, Chapter 57.  This bill would transfer the administration of the telecommunications infrastructure fund to the Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office.  The office could not award a grant or loan to a qualifying entity unless one of the partners of the proposal is a library in partnership with a school or university, that the partners are contributing at least 50% of the cost of the project and the group demonstrates need, and the manner in which specific educational information and knowledge will be extended to the group not previously served has a five-year plan including performance measures.  Effective date:  September 1, 2005.