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.
    1-4        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.
   1-18  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.
   2-20  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.
   3-15  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.