TEXAS LEGISLATURE

 

83rd Texas Legislature
May 4, 2013 Report

Week of April 29 Highlights

  • We worked the week to identify and recruit “yes” votes for CSHB 3664.   As of Friday mid afternoon, we’re at 77 (48-no, 10-undecided & 15-don’t know yet).  The goal is to show the Calendar’s Committee that there are enough “yes” votes to pass the bill, in hopes that they will then set it on a calendar for floor consideration. 
  • It’s a challenge because many members would just as soon not have to take a vote on a bill that increases a fee.  The Tarrant County freshman legislators are in the “no” column on the bill.
  • Also, the primary focus of House leadership right now is on water funding, which the Ds killed on point of order on HB 11 Monday . . . they want education funding restored before they consent to water funding (and transportation funding).
  • House leadership is also not in support of SJR 1 ($5.7 billion is too much to take out of the rainy day fund and a constitutional amendment is the wrong way to do it).
  • Behind the scenes, the governor is telling members that he’ll call them back in special session if they don’t address water and transportation funding in the regular session.
  • If the Calendars Committee does not put CSHB 3664 on a daily calendar on or before Tuesday, it’s dead

Week of May 6– Transportation Committee Hearings

  • The House Transportation Committee has not posted an agenda so likely will not be meeting.
  • Wednesday, May 8, 8:00am, E1.016, the Senate Transportation Committee will hear HB 248, HB 250, HB 341, HB 347, HB 442, HB 511, HB 567, HB 625, HB 1347, HB 1534, HB 2536 & HB 3031 and consider pending bills.   HB 2536 (Geren, et al) is the only bill we’re tracking . . . it would allow Grapevine to have a seat on the T Board.

Other Committee Hearings of Tracked Bills

The Senate Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Matters will meet at 9:0am Monday, May 6 in E1.036.
SB 1648 (Williams) provides a new collection mechanism for the motor fuels tax on compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas. 

End of Session Deadlines Occurring Week of May 6:

Monday, May 6, 2013 (119th day) - Last day for House committees to report HB’s and HJR’s
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 (120th day) - Deadline for House to distribute last House
Daily Calendar with HB’s and HJR’s
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 (121st day) - Deadline for House to distribute last House
Local and Consent Calendar with consent House bills
Thursday, May 9, 2013 (122nd day) - Last day for House to consider HB’s and
HJR’s on second reading on Daily or Supplemental Calendar
Friday, May 10, 2013 (123rd day) - Last day for House to consider consent HB’s on second and third reading and all third reading HB’s and HJR’s

Tracked Bills

Transportation Revenue – Bills to Reduce Diversions

HB 3666 (Darby) amends the transportation code to establish a $15 annual public safety fee on compulsory inspection of a motor vehicle, to be deposited in the general revenue fund and credited to the department of public safety (Probable intent: A funding source of DPS to facilitate the reduction of SHF 006 monies now going to fund DPS).  Pending in Calendars.

Transportation Revenue – Fee Increase / New Fee Bills

HB 1198 (Raymond) permits the commissioners’ court in an international border county of at least 60,000 and not more than 300,000 population to impose a $10 vehicle registration fee, if approved by the voters.  Substitute passed in the House May 2.

HB 1573 (McClendon) amends the Transportation Code to authorize the Bexar County Commissioners Court to levy an additional vehicle fee up to $10 to be collected at the time of vehicle registration renewal.  Pending in local and consent calendars committee.

HB 3126 (Lucio III) amends the transportation code to authorize the commissioners’ courts of certain Valley counties to impose an optional vehicle registration fee of $10 in one county and $20 in others.  Pending in local and consent calendars committee.

SB 1670 (Nichols) amends the transportation code to increase the permit fees for oversize/overweight vehicles.  Passed the Senate April 22, pending in the House Calendars Committee.

SB 1671 (Nichols) amends the transportation code to increase the penalties and add enforcement provisions relating to violations of law by oversize/overweight vehicles.  Passed the Senate April 22, reported favorably as substituted from House Transportation April 30.

HB 3664 (Darby) increases vehicle registration fees by specified amounts ($30 for a passenger car) and dedicates the revenue, one third to transportation debt retirement and two thirds to right-of-way acquisition and planning, designing, and constructing nontolled improvements to the state highway system; restricts the use of monies in the state highway fund and Texas mobility fund, precluding payment of any costs associated with a CDA unless TxDOT first has in place a plan to (i) contract for department projects with the private sector in the fiscal year in a minimum amount of $4 billion, (ii) spend in the fiscal year a minimum amount of $400 million for private sector engineering services to advance projects to be let directly by the department, and (iii) spend in the fiscal year a minimum amount of $250 million in right-of-way acquisition for projects to be let directly by the department, excluding amounts the department spends for routine maintenance.  Pending in Calendars.

Transportation Revenue Bills – One-time Revenue

SJR 1 (Williams) proposes a constitutional amendment allocating from the economic and stabilization (rainy day) fund $2 billion to water projects, $2.9 billion to TxDOT for debt service and Rider 42 projects, and $800 million to TEA for public education.  Passed the Senate, received in the House April 24.

HB 3363 & HJR 139 (Callegari) proposes a constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of up to $3 billion in general obligation bonds by the Texas Transportation Commission to provide funding for state highways, publicly owned toll roads, and other publicly owned transportation projects.  Filed 03/08, referred to Appropriations.  Probably dead (must be reported out before Tuesday) but there is still some chatter about the merit of “century bonds.”

Transportation Revenue – DMV & Other Bills with Potential Revenue Impact

HB 2148 (Hilderbran)/SB 1648 (Williams) provides a new collection mechanism for the motor fuels tax on compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas.  HB placed on May 7 General State Calendar.  SB set for hearing May 6 in Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Matters.

HB 2202 (Pickett, McClendon)/SB 1288 (Williams) amends the transportation code to direct that vehicle fees (not the registration fee) be deposited in the department of motor vehicles fund, to allocate certain fee revenue between the state highway fund and the motor vehicles fund on a 90-10 basis, to authorize the DMV to establish and collect a fee to recover its cost of issuing license plates and performing other services, to broaden the DVM board’s rule making authority, and to make other refinements to provisions relating to the DVM.  HB Substitute passed the House May 4; SB pending in Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Matters.

Transportation Revenue – CDA Bills

SB 1730 (Nichols) amends the transportation code regarding comprehensive development agreements, authorizes specific CDA projects including several in the DFW region; requires a CDA in which a private participant receives the right to operate and collect revenue from a toll project to contain a provision authorizing the toll project entity to terminate the agreement for convenience and to purchase the private entity’s interest in the project under terms agreed to by the parties; requires the CDA to contain specific buy back prices at specific time intervals.  Passed the Senate.  Passed as amended in the House April 30.

SB 1488 (Watson) amends the transportation code to permit TxDOT to enter into a CDA to finance, design, acquire, construct, maintain, or operate a rail facility or system.  Reported favorably as substituted from Senate Transportation April 29.

Transportation Revenue Bills – Rail Relocation and Improvement Fund

HB 1878 (McClendon, Riddle) amends section 152.122 of the tax code to require that $25 million of the annual revenue from taxes on the sale, rental, and use of motor vehicles be deposited into the rail relocation and improvement fund. Substitute reported favorably; placed on May 7 General State Calendar.

Transportation Revenue Bills – Energy Production Road Damage Remediation

HB 2300 (Keffer) amends the transportation code to enable a county or counties jointly to establish a county energy transportation reinvestment zone upon determining that an area is affected by oil and gas exploration and production activities and would benefit from funding; permits use of an ad valorem and or local sales tax increment to provide funding to implement a project.   Substitute passed the House April 25.  Referred to Senate Transportation May 2.

SB 1778 (Zaffirini) amends the transportation code to establish a transportation infrastructure fund as a separate account in the general revenue fund to receive a portion of the growth in oil and gas production revenues to be used for transportation infrastructure projects intended to alleviate degradation caused by the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas, with the money to be distributed to counties in proportion to the number of new oil and gas well completions in each county during the preceding three years.  Heard April 22 in Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Matters; left pending.

SB 1747 (Uresti)/HB 3639 (Keffer) amend the transportation code to add a new Subchapter C “Transportation Infrastructure Fund” providing tools (a county energy transportation reinvestment zone, the ability to utilize ad valorem and sales tax increments, a TxDOT grant program with a match requirement, donations) for implementing transportation infrastructure projects to alleviate degradation caused by exploration, development or production of oil or gas.  Passed the Senate; pending in House Energy Resources.

Transportation Revenue Bills – Miscellaneous

SB 1333 (Carona) adds a chapter to the special district local laws code to create the Cotton Belt Rail Improvement District, providing authority to impose an assessment and to issue bonds.  Filed 03/07, heard April 10 in Intergovernmental Relations, left pending, set for hearing April 17; no action taken.

Transportation Revenue – Bill Negatively Impacting Revenue

HB 3343 (Kolkhorst) amends the transportation code to delete references to the use of surplus toll revenue, to require that a toll project become a part of state highway system and be operated without tolling when toll revenue bonds are retired, and to repeal the following sections of the code: 228.006, 228.109(d), 284.008(c) & (d), 366.003 (9-a), 366.037, and 366.175, all of which, except 284.008, deal with surplus revenue.  Heard April 23 in Transportation, testimony taken, left pending.

General Transportation Bills   

HB 104 (Larry Gonzales, Burnam, Allen, Sylvester Turner) repeals Chapter 708 of the Transportation Code, Driver Responsibility Program, and proposes a series of replacement provisions. Reported favorably as substituted, committee report sent to Calendars April 24.
 
HB 377 (Burnam)/SB 1314 (Davis) amends the Transportation Code to name IH-35W between IH-20 and SH-183 the Cesar Chavez Memorial Highway.   HB passed the House April 11, referred to Senate Transportation April 24.  SB placed on and pulled from intent calendar.
 
SB 276 (Watson, Nelson) amends the Transportation Code to permit Cap Metro and DCTA to create a local government corporation.  Passed the Senate, passed the House May 2.
 
HB 1102 (Harper-Brown, Keffer, Morrison, Mando Martinez, Lucio III)/ SB 565 (Ellis, Deuell, Davis, Lucio, Rodriquez, Watson)  amends the Transportation Code to establish a complete streets policy requiring TxDOT to consider the needs of motorists, public transportation vehicles, users of public transportation, bicyclists, and pedestrians in all transportation planning, design, construction, reconstruction, retrofitting, operations, and maintenance.  HB heard twice in Transportation and not reported, SB not heard in Transportation.
 
HB 1134 (Darby)/SB 638 (Paxton) amends the Transportation Code to make technical changes relating to the performance and payment security provided for CDAs.  Substitute HB passed the House May 3.  SB pending in Transportation.
 
SB 466 (Hinojosa, Nichols)/ HB 1964 (Harper-Brown, Kolkhorst, Pickett, Frank, Mando Martinez) authorizes TxDOT to assume responsibilities of the USDOT with respect to duties under NEPA other federal environmental laws pursuant to MAP 21.  Passed the Senate.  SB passed the House May 2.
 
HB 1290 (Phillips) authorizes local governments to jointly administer a transportation reinvestment zone.  Substitute passed the House, referred to Senate Transportation April 18.
 
SB 1110 (Nichols)/HB 1716 (Pickett) amends the transportation code to clean up language in transportation reinvestment zone (TRZ) provisions and to authorize local governments that have designated a transportation reinvestment zone under for the same transportation project or projects may enter into an agreement to provide for the joint administration of the transportation reinvestment zones.  Passed the Senate April 10, substitute SB passed the House April 25.
 
HB 1485 (Lavender)/ SB 678 (Paxton) amends the transportation code to permit the governor to opt out of the federal-aid highway program and instead elect the receive the portion of the taxes appropriated to the Highway Trust Fund attributable to Texas highway users. HB reported favorably from Transportation, considered in calendars April 24.  SB referred to Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Matters.
 
SB 948 (Nelson)/HB 2339 (Parker) amends the transportation code to make DCTA governance refinements requested by DCTA.  SB passed the Senate; substitute is pending in House Local and Consent Calendar Committee.
 
SB 971 (Williams)/HB 2685 (Deshotel) amends the transportation code to expand the list of projects for which a transportation reinvestment zone may be created. SB passed the Senate.  Substitute SB passed the House May 2.
 
HB 2420 (Elkins) amends the transportation code to prohibit a local government from providing by ordinance a civil penalty on a motorist making a right turn at an intersection with photo enforcement.  Pending in Calendars.
 
SB 1018 (Carona) amends the transportation code to strengthen NTTA’s ability to finance projects and to enhance project delivery tools and overall operations.  It authorizes loans, contractual payment obligations, and other financial instruments, to fund projects; broadens statutory definition of “Revenue” to include contractual payments received by NTTA and pledging of future bond proceeds to increase bonding capacity; designates NTTA turnpike projects as permissible projects for funding by municipal or county taxes and/or tax increment accounts established for Transportation Reinvestment Zones; expands the investor pool by identifying bonds issued under Chapter 366 as authorized investments for other governmental entities; codifies that NTTA will consider payment obligations, in addition to bond debt service, when setting toll rates; expands the number of public and private entities with whom the NTTA may jointly study feasibility, develop, construct, operate, and/or maintain turnpike projects; expands permissible costs payable with feasibility study fund proceeds to better match actual costs NTTA typically incurs; eliminates some accounting and related restrictions applicable to previously authorized ability for NTTA to extend support between different NTTA projects or systems.  Substitute passed the Senate May 1, received in the House May 1.
 
HB 2921 (Orr) amends the transportation code chapter governing NTTA to provide advisory representation for Johnson County and potentially other counties outside the Authority that have an NTTA toll road in their county.   Substitute reported favorably from committee and recommended for local and consent calendar; committee reported distributed.
 
SB 1792 (Watson) amends the RMA chapter of the transportation code to provide enforcement remedies for nonpayment of tolls, including barring use of toll facilities and blocking renewal of vehicle registration. Substitute (includes NTTA) passed the Senate.   Passed the House as amended May 1.
 
HB 2536 (Geren, Capriglione) amends chapter 452 of the transportation code to permit an individual who does not reside in the regional transportation authority to be appointed to the board if the individual is a qualified voter of and resides in a municipality that has entered into a contract with the authority to receive services and has adopted a sales tax to participate in the funding of a transportation project being planned, developed or operated by the authority; also permits an elected officer of the state or of a political subdivision of the state to serve on the board unless that officer is otherwise prohibited by the Texas Constitution.  Passed the House, set for hearing in Senate Transportation May 8.
 
HB 2580 (Harper-Brown) amends the transportation code to permit a municipality to create a freight rail district having the powers of a rural rail transportation district.  Passed the House May 2.
 
HB 2585 (Harper-Brown)/SB 1327 (Paxton) amends the transportation code to continue beyond September 1, 2013 the 50-50 cost sharing arrangement for utility relocations involving toll roads.   HB substitute amended and passed the House May 2.
 
HB 2741 (Phillips)/SB 1669 (Nichols) amends the transportation code to make numerous refinements to provisions regarding motor vehicles, fees and penalties.  HB substitute passed the House May 4.
 
SB 1253 (Zaffrini) amends the transportation code to prohibit disincentives (e.g., lower speed limits) to the use of highways adjacent to toll roads and to require a deceleration lane prior to an exit from a toll road. Passed the Senate, received in the House April 18.
 
HB 2870 (Capriglione) repeals section 371.052(d) of the transportation code that permits a toll project entity to withhold disclosure of financial forecasts and traffic and revenue reports prior to execution of a CDA for a toll project.  Heard April 23 in Transportation, substitute considered, left pending.
 
HB 2875 (Harper-Brown, Ken King)/SB 1350 (West) amends the transportation code to modify the vehicle safety inspection program, initiating registration-based enforcement, and to authorize the DMV Board to modify certain fees.  HB substitute reported favorably and sent to Calendars April 30.  SB substitute placed on intent calendar May 3.
 
HB 3120 (Harper-Brown, Ratliff) amends the transportation code to limit liability for DART, The T, and DCTA and a railroad that enter into an agreement to provide public passenger rail service to an aggregate amount of $125 million for damages arising from a single incident.  Heard April 9 in Transportation, committee substitute considered, left pending.
 
HB 3172 (Bohac) amends the transportation code to require signs at intersections with photo enforcement to state the amount of the fine for a violation.  Passed the House April 25, referred to Senate Transportation.

SB 1294 (Davis) amends the transportation code to require TxDOT in awarding a contract to a private sector provider to give preference to a particular provider if it serves to create a positive economic impact on job growth and job retention in Texas.  Substitute passed the Senate April 11, heard in House Transportation April 23, left pending.
 
SB 1461(Carona)/HB 3642 (Harper Brown) amends chapter 452 of the transportation code to permit a city not a part of a regional transportation authority to become a part of the authority under specified conditions--permits DART or The T to expand their service areas into adjacent counties.  Substitute passed the Senate, house committee substitute reported favorably May 1.
 
HB 3650 (Harper-Brown) amends the transportation code by adding a new subsection permitting TxDOT to use availability payments to compensate a private entity for the design, development, financing, construction, maintenance, or operation of a highway project.  Heard April 2 in Transportation, reported favorably April 11, committee report sent to Calendars April 12.

 
State Revenue/Expenditure Limitation Bills

SB 101 & SJR 10 (Patrick) amends the Government Code, subject to passage of a constitutional amendment, changing the metric limiting the change in biennial appropriations from the rate of change in personal income to the rate of change in the sum of population and monetary inflation or deflation.  Would affect biennial appropriations beginning with the 2016-17 biennium.  If in effect today, would reduce the appropriation limit from 10.71% to 6.45%.  Substitute reported favorably; placed on intent calendar April 30.
 
SJR 27 (Birdwell) proposes a constitutional amendment requiring a two thirds affirmative vote by the senate and the house to impose a new state tax or increase the rate of an existing state tax.  Heard April 22 in Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Matters, left pending.

Unfunded Mandate

HB 2244 (Harper-Brown) amends the local government code to require cities to compensate owners of signs required to be removed for a highway improvement project if state regulations permit reinstallation of the sign but city ordinance precludes reinstallation.  Heard April 10 in Urban Affairs, left pending.  Substitute considered April 17 and reported favorably, committee report sent to Calendars April 26.

SB 1383 (Hancock) is a companion bill to HB 2244.  Reported favorably as substituted from Intergovernmental Relations, placed on intent calendar May 1, May 3 motion to suspend withdrawn.

Appraisal Cap Bill

HB 1943 & HJR 102 (Bohac) amends the tax, lowering from ten percent to five percent the maximum annual increase in appraised value of residential homestead property for ad valorem taxation, subject to passage of a constitutional amendment.  Favorably reported from Ways & Means May 4.

Miscellaneous Bills of Interest

HB 4 (Ritter, Rice, Doug Miller, Lucio III) adds subchapter G to the Water Code creating a state water implementation fund for Texas to receive and expend monies for water conservation and supply projects within the state water plan; establishes an advisory committee composed of members appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, the lieutenant governor, and the governor.  Passed the House.  Substitute reported favorably from Natural Resources.  Passed with amendments in the Senate.  House did not concur in senate amendments and appointed a conference committee.

HB 11 (Ritter | Larson | King, Phil | Pitts | Creighton) appropriates $2 billion from the economic stabilization (Rainy Day) fund for implementation of the state water plan; directs the comptroller to deposit it into the state water implementation fund if HB 4 passes or, otherwise, into Texas Water Development Fund II; requires a 2/3 vote of the Legislature for passage.   Substitute reported favorably from Appropriations.  Point of Order on House floor sustained April 29.

HB 607 (Scott Turner | Laubenberg | Simmons | Flynn | Callegari) amends the tax code to phase out and repeal the franchise tax; incrementally reduces the margins tax rate annually until the tax is eliminated in 2017.  Favorably reported from Ways & Means May 4.

HB 2859 (Harless) amends the health and safety code to increase from $5 million to $10 million the annual amount of clean air fee revenue that may be used for local initiative projects.  Placed on May 6 General State Calendar.

SB 1275 (Watson)/ HB 3110 (Hilderbran) amends the health and safety code to permit the TERP program to provide a $2500 incentive toward the lease or purchase of a new light-duty motor vehicle powered by CNG, LPG or electric drives.  SB pending in Senate Natural Resources, HB pending in House Calendars.

SB 1727 (Deuell) amends the health and safety code to add eligible programs in the TERP fund, to alter program funding allocations, to delete funding for certain programs, and to make certain other changes applicable to the TERP fund.  Substitute as amended passed the Senate May 2.

HB 3812 (Howard | Giddings | Harper-Brown | Creighton | Burnam) & SB 1791 (Watson) relating to a county air quality fee imposed at the time of an emissions-related inspection. HB substitute sent to Calendars April 29.  SB referred to Natural Resources.

Upcoming End of Session Deadlines:

  • Wednesday, May 15, 2013 (128th day) - Deadline for House to distribute last House Local and Consent Calendar with local HB’s
  • Friday, May 17, 2013 (130th day) - Last day for House to consider local HB’s on second and third reading; and first day Senate can consider bills and resolutions the first day they are posted on the Intent Calendar
  • Saturday, May 18, 2013 (131st day) - Last day for House committees to report SB’s and SJR’s
  • Sunday, May 19, 2013 (132nd day) - Deadline for House to distribute last House

Daily Calendar with SB’s and SJR’s

  • Monday, May 20, 2013 (133rd day) - Deadline for House to distribute last House
  • Local and Consent Calendar with SB’s and SJR’s
  • Tuesday, May 21, 2013 (134th day) - Last day for House to consider SB’s and
  • SJR’s other than local and consent, on second reading
  • Wednesday, May 22, 2013 (135th day) - Last day for House to consider local and consent SB’s second and third reading and all SB’s and SJR’s on third reading; and last day for Senate to consider all HB’s and HJR’s on second or third reading
  • Thursday, May 23, 2013 (136th day) - Midnight deadline for House to print and distribute senate amendments
  • Friday, May 24, 2013 (137th day) - Last day for House to act on senate amendments; midnight deadline for Senate to print and distribute Senate copies of conference committee reports on tax, general appropriations, and reapportionment bills
  • Saturday, May 25, 2013 (138th day) - Midnight deadline for House to distribute
  • House copies of all conference committee reports; midnight deadline for Senate to print and distribute Senate copies of all conference committee reports on bills other than those on tax, general appropriations, and reapportionment and all House amendments to SB’s and SJR’s that did not go to a conference committee.
  • Sunday, May 26, 2013 (139th day) - Last day for House to adopt conference committee reports or discharge House conferees and concur in Senate
  • Amendments; last day for Senate to concur in House amendments or adopt conference committee reports
  • Monday, May 27, 2013 (140th day) - Last day of 83rd Regular Session; corrections only in House and Senate
  • Sunday, June 16, 2013 (20th day following final adjournment of Regular Session) - Last day the governor can sign or veto bills passed during the regular session

 

 


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