BILL ANALYSIS C.S.H.B. 815 By: Goolsby (Cain) Education 4-20-95 Senate Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND The University of Texas at Dallas does not have a facility large enough to accommodate student gatherings such as graduation and recreational activities. In the past, the university has used remote facilities for such gatherings. The student body has voted to impose a fee to finance, construct and operate a recreational facility. PURPOSE As proposed, C.S.H.B. 815 authorizes the board of regents of the University of Texas System to charge students enrolled at the University of Texas at Dallas a recreational facility fee to finance, construct, equip, operate, maintain, or improve student recreational facilities or programs. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, institution, or agency. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Chapter 54E, Education Code, by adding Section 54.544, as follows: Sec. 54.544. RECREATIONAL FACILITY FEE; THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT DALLAS. (a) Authorizes the board of regents (board) of the University of Texas System (system) to charge each student enrolled at the University of Texas at Dallas a recreational facility (facility) fee to finance, construct, equip, operate, maintain, or improve student facilities or programs at the university. (b) Prohibits a facility fee from exceeding certain amounts for a semester or summer session. (b-1) Prohibits a facility fee from exceeding certain amounts for a semester or summer sessions before the fall semester of 1998. (b-2) Provides that Subsection (b-1) and this subsection expire January 1, 1999. (c) Prohibits a facility fee from being charged or increased unless charging or increasing the fee is approved by a majority vote of the students participating in a general student election called for that purpose. (d) Requires the board to collect a fee charged under this section and deposit the fee in an account known as the recreational facility account. (e) Authorizes the board to pledge a fee charged under this section to pay an obligation issued under the revenue financing method of the system. (f) Prohibits a fee charged under this section from being counted in determining the maximum amount of student services fees that may be charged under Section 54.503(b). SECTION 2. Amends Sections 54.538(a), (b), and (c), Education Code, as follows: (a) Authorizes the board of regents of the Texas State University System to charge each student enrolled at an institution a recreational sports fee not to exceed $50, rather than $35, per semester or 10-week summer session or $25, rather than $17.50, per five-week summer session, if approved by student vote. Makes a nonsubstantive change. (b) Prohibits the recreation fee authorized by this section from being increased more than 10 percent from one academic year to the next unless the increase has been approved by a majority vote of those students at the affected institution participating in a general student election called for that purpose. Prohibits the fee from exceeding the amounts provided by Subsection (a). (c) Requires each system institution, rather than each university, to collect any student recreational sports fee and deposit the money in the student recreational sports account. SECTION 3. Provides that this Act applies beginning with the fall semester of 1995. SECTION 4. Emergency clause. Effective date: upon passage.