By: Sims S.B. No. 366 A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT 1-1 relating to the accurate calculation of costs of environmental 1-2 mandates for local governments. 1-3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: 1-4 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the 1-5 Comprehensive Environmental Mandate Act. 1-6 SECTION 2. DEFINITIONS. In this Act: 1-7 (1) "Environmental mandate" means any state initiated 1-8 rule or law that requires a local government to expand, restrict, 1-9 or modify its water quality, air quality or solid waste activities 1-10 in any way that requires it to make any expenditure or affects its 1-11 ability to raise revenues and which imposes or results in a penalty 1-12 for non-compliance. 1-13 (2) "Local government" means a county or a 1-14 municipality. 1-15 (3) "Preparing agency" means the State Comptroller of 1-16 Public Accounts. 1-17 SECTION 3. ACCURATE FISCAL NOTE REQUIRED. (a) No 1-18 environmental mandate shall be binding on any local government 1-19 unless it is accompanied at the time of its signing or adoption by 1-20 either a fiscal note prepared in compliance with this Act or the 1-21 written determination described in Subsection 4(a), hereof. Each 1-22 fiscal note shall accurately inform the public, local governments, 1-23 and the legislative and executive branches of state government of 2-1 the approximate fiscal impact of the environmental mandate on local 2-2 governments. 2-3 (b) Estimated cost shall be stated in the fiscal note in 2-4 numeric form unless insufficient data exists to produce a numerical 2-5 estimate. In such a case, the preparing agency shall provide a 2-6 written description of the likely impacts of the mandate in 2-7 language which is as precise as the preparing agency is able to 2-8 provide, including any sample costs for affected local governments 2-9 when available. 2-10 (c) Every agency and department of the state is directed to 2-11 cooperate with the preparing agency whenever and to the extent 2-12 requested by the director of the preparing agency. 2-13 (d) The preparing agency may utilize information or data 2-14 supplied by any person, agency, organization or governmental unit 2-15 that the preparing agency deems reliable. 2-16 (e) The preparing agency shall neither make, offer nor 2-17 include any opinion concerning the merit of the mandate, even when 2-18 employing non-numerical estimates to describe its impact. 2-19 SECTION 4. PROPOSED LEGISLATION CONTAINING ENVIRONMENTAL 2-20 MANDATES. (a) Any proposed legislation containing an 2-21 environmental mandate shall be submitted to the preparing agency 2-22 for preparation of the fiscal note. If the preparing agency 2-23 determines that the proposed legislation does not contain an 2-24 environmental mandate, it shall so inform the legislature in 2-25 writing, and such determination shall be final and conclusive 3-1 regardless of the actual effect of the legislation on local 3-2 governments. 3-3 (b) No committee or subcommittee to which a bill containing 3-4 an environmental mandate is referred may take testimony or vote on 3-5 the bill unless a fiscal note which complies with this subchapter 3-6 is attached. 3-7 (c) In the event that a bill containing an environmental 3-8 mandate is amended by the committee so as to alter its fiscal 3-9 implications, or a bill is amended by the addition of an 3-10 environmental mandate, an updated fiscal note shall be obtained by 3-11 the chair and attached to the bill as a part of the committee 3-12 report. The bill may not be reconsidered prior to attachment of 3-13 the adjusted fiscal note. 3-14 SECTION 5. RULES OF THE TEXAS NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION 3-15 COMMISSION. (a) No agency rule proposed by the Texas Natural 3-16 Resource Conservation Commission or its successor which contains an 3-17 environmental mandate shall be binding on any local government in 3-18 the absence of a fiscal note which fully informs the public, local 3-19 governments, and the legislative and executive branches of state 3-20 government of the full impact of the environmental mandate on local 3-21 governments prior to its adoption. 3-22 (b) The fiscal note shall be prepared in the manner 3-23 described in Subsections 3(b), 3(c), and 3(d) of this Act. 3-24 (c) The fiscal note shall be prepared by the Texas Natural 3-25 Resource Conservation Commission or its successor and shall be 4-1 published in the Texas Register with the proposed rule. If 4-2 adopted, the rules shall be accompanied by an adjusted fiscal note 4-3 when the notice of adoption is published in the Texas Register. 4-4 (d) No rule which imposes an environmental mandate on local 4-5 governments may be adopted by the Texas Natural Resource 4-6 Conservation Commission or its successor on an emergency basis. 4-7 SECTION 6. DELAYED IMPLEMENTATION DATES. In order to allow 4-8 local governments to plan and prepare adequate annual budgets, no 4-9 environmental mandate enacted in compliance with this subchapter 4-10 may become effective prior to eighteen months from the date the 4-11 legislation is signed or the agency rule is adopted. 4-12 SECTION 7. The importance of this legislation and the 4-13 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an 4-14 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the 4-15 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several 4-16 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.