BILL ANALYSIS C.S.H.B. 1001 By: Cuellar, H. (Zaffirini) Int'l Relations, Trade & Tech. 05-18-95 Senate Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND A large number of subdivisions have been developed in economically distressed areas throughout South Texas along the international border that lack an adequate potable water supply and waste water or sewer services. The health risk along the border in the affected counties, coupled with the mobile nature of the residents of these affected areas, and the fact that the trade, transportation, and commerce along the border is one of the most intense in the United States, creates a substantial risk of epidemics of third world diseases spreading to the residents of this state and beyond. PURPOSE As proposed, H.B. 1001 sets forth regulations for the platting of subdivisions in economically distressed areas; provides civil and criminal penalties. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the committee's opinion that rulemaking authority is granted to the commissioners court of a county in SECTION 4 (Sections 232.028(f), 232.030(a) and (c), Local Government Code), an affected county in SECTION 15 (Section 16.343(g), Water Code), and the Texas Water Development Board in SECTIONS 15 and 22 (Sections 16.343(a) and 17.936(d), Water Code) of this bill. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS. Sets forth the findings of the legislature regarding economically distressed subdivisions. SECTION 2. Amends Chapter 232, Local Government Code, by adding the heading of Subchapter A, to encompass Sections 232.001 through 232.010, as follows: SUBCHAPTER A. SUBDIVISION PLATTING REQUIREMENTS IN GENERAL SECTION 3. Amends Section 232.0015, Local Government Code, as follows: Sec. 232.0015. New heading: EXCEPTIONS TO PLAT REQUIREMENT. (a) Makes a conforming change. (b) Provides that this subchapter does not apply to a subdivision of land to which Subchapter B applies. SECTION 4. Amends Chapter 232, Local Government Code, by adding Subchapter B, as follows: SUBCHAPTER B. SUBDIVISION PLATTING REQUIREMENTS IN ECONOMICALLY DISTRESSED COUNTIES Sec. 232.021. DEFINITIONS. Defines "affected county," "board," "common promotional plan," "executive administrator," "floodplain," "lease," "lot," "minimum state standards," "plat," "sell," "sewer," "subdivide," "subdivider," "subdivision," and "utility." Sec. 232.022. APPLICABILITY. (a) Provides that this section applies only to land that is subdivided into four or more lots that are intended primarily for residential use in the jurisdiction of an affected county. Provides that a lot is presumed to be intended for residential use if the lot is five acres or less. Provides that this subchapter does not apply if the subdivision is incident to the conveyance of the land as a gift. Sec. 232.023. PLAT REQUIRED. (a) Requires a subdivider of land in an affected county to have a plat of the subdivision prepared. Provides that a subdivision of a tract under this section includes a subdivision of real property by any method of conveyance, including a contract for deed, oral contract, contract for sale, or other type of executory contract, regardless of whether the subdivision is made by using a metes and bounds description. (b) Sets forth the requirements of a plat under this section. (c) Authorizes a subdivider to meet the requirements of Subsection (b)(12)(B) through the use of a certificate issued by the appropriate county or state official having jurisdiction over the approval of septic systems stating that lots in the subdivision can be adequately and legally served by septic systems. (d) Requires the subdivider of the tract to acknowledge the plat by signing the plat and attached documents and attest to the veracity and completeness of the matters asserted in the attached documents and in the plat. (e) Requires the plat to be filed and recorded with the county in which the tract is located. Provides that the plat is subject to the filing and recording provisions of Section 12.002, Property Code. Sec. 232.024. APPROVAL BY COUNTY REQUIRED. (a) Provides that a plat filed under Section 232.023 is not valid unless the commissioners court of the county in which the land is located approves the plat by an order entered in the minutes of the court. Requires the commissioners court to refuse to approve a plat if it does not meet the requirements prescribed by or under this subchapter or if any bond required under this subchapter is not filed with county clerk. (b) Prohibits the commissioners court from approving a plat that is intended for residential housing and that lies in a floodplain unless the plat evidences a restrictive covenant as required by this subsection. Requires a restrictive covenant to prohibit the construction of residential housing in any area of the subdivision that is in a floodplain unless the housing qualifies for insurance under 42 U.S.C. Sections 4001 through 4127 (National Flood Insurance Act). (c) Sets forth the information the county clerk is required to provide the attorney general or the Texas Water Development Board on request. Sec. 232.025. SUBDIVISION REQUIREMENTS. Sets forth the requirements of each subdivision, as adopted, by order, of the commissioners court. Sec. 232.026. WATER AND SEWER SERVICE EXTENSION. (a) Authorizes the commissioners court to extend the date by which the water and sewer service facilities must be fully operable if the commissioners court finds the extension is reasonable and not contrary to the public interest. (b) Prohibits the commissioners court from granting an extension under Subsection (a) if it would allow an occupied residence to be without water or sewer services. (c) Requires the commissioners court to notify the attorney general of the extension and the reason for extension, if applicable. Requires the attorney general to notify all other state agencies having enforcement power over subdivisions in affected counties of the extension. Sec. 232.027. BOND REQUIREMENTS. Requires the commissioners court, unless a person has completed the installation of all water and sewer service facilities required by this subchapter on the date the person applies for approval of a plat under Section 232.024, to require the subdivider of the tract to execute and maintain in effect a bond or, in the alternative, a person may make a cash deposit in an amount the commissioners court determines will ensure compliance with this subchapter. Prohibits a person from meeting the requirements of this subsection through the use of a letter of credit unless that letter of credit is irrevocable and issued by an institution guaranteed by the FDIC. Requires the subdivider to comply with the requirement before subdividing the tract. (b) Requires the bond to be conditioned on the construction or installation of water and sewer service facilities that will be in compliance with the model rules adopted under Section 16.343, Water Code. Sec. 232.028. CERTIFICATION REGARDING COMPLIANCE WITH PLAT REQUIREMENTS. (a) Requires the commissioners court, on approval of a plat, to issue to the person applying for the approval of a certificate stating that the plat has been reviewed and approved by the commissioners court. (b) Sets forth the determinations the commissioners court is required to make regarding the land in which an entity or commissioners court is interested that is located within the jurisdiction of the county, on the written request of a subdivider, an owner or resident of a lot in a subdivision, or an entity that provides a utility service. (c) Requires the request made under Subsection (b) to identify the land that is the subject of the request. (d) Requires the commissioners court to issue the requesting party a written certification of its determinations under that subsection whenever a request is made under Subsection (b). (e) Sets forth the period in which the commissioners court is required to make its determinations and issue the certificate, if appropriate. (f) Authorizes the commissioners court to adopt rules it considers necessary to administer its duties under this section. Sec. 232.029. CONNECTION OF UTILITIES. (a) Prohibits an entity from serving or connecting any subdivided land with water or sewer services unless the entity receives a certificate issued by the commissioners court under Section 232.028(a) or receives a determination from the commissioners court under Section 232.028(b)(1) that the plat has been reviewed and approved by the commissioners court. (b) Prohibits an entity from serving or connecting any subdivided land with electricity or gas unless the entity receives a determination from the county commissioners court under Section 232.028(b)(2) that adequate water and sewer services have been installed to service the subdivision. (c) Prohibits the prohibition established by this section from prohibiting an electric or gas utility from providing electric or gas utility connection or service to a lot being sold, conveyed or purchased through a contract for deed or executory contract or other device by a subdivider prior to July 1, 1995, which is located within a subdivision where the utility has previously established service and was subdivided by a plat approved prior to September 1, 1989. Sec. 232.030. SUBDIVISION REGULATION; COUNTY AUTHORITY. (a) Requires the commissioners court for each county to adopt and enforce the model rules developed under Section 16.343, Water Code. (b) Prohibits the commissioners court from granting a variance or adopting regulations that waive any requirements of this subchapter. (c) Sets forth the conditions for which the commissioners court is required to adopt regulations. (d) Authorizes the commissioners court, in adopting regulations under Subsection (c)(2), to allow one or more commercial providers to provide solid waste disposal services as an alternative to having the service provided by the county if the commercial provider is more efficient or is a more cost-effective alternative to county provision of the service. Sec. 232.031. REQUIREMENTS PRIOR TO SALE OR LEASE. (a) Prohibits a subdivider from selling or leasing land in a subdivision first platted or replatted after July 1, 1995, unless the subdivision plat is approved by the commissioners court in accordance with Section 232.024. (b) Requires a subdivider to record with the county clerk all sales contracts, including the attached disclosed statement required by Section 232.033, leases, and any other documents that convey an interest in the subdivided land. (c) Provides that a document filed under Subsection (b) is a public record. Sec. 232.032. SERVICES PROVIDED BY SUBDIVIDER. Sets forth the services a subdivider having an approved plat for a subdivision is required to provide. Sec. 232.033. ADVERTISING STANDARDS AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS BEFORE SALE; OFFENSE. (a) Sets forth the requirements of brochures, publications, and advertising of any form relating to subdivided land. (b) Requires the subdivider to provide a copy in Spanish of all written documents relating to the sale of subdivided land under an executory contract, including the contract, disclosure notice, and annual statement required by this section and a notice of default required by Chapter 5D, Property Code, under certain circumstances. (c) Requires the subdivider to provide the purchaser with a written notice, before an executory contract is signed by the purchaser, which must be attached to the executory contract, informing the purchaser of the condition of the property that must, at a minimum, be executed by the subdivision and purchaser and be acknowledged. Sets forth the language of the notice. (d) Requires the subdivider to provide the purchaser who is sold a lot under an executory contract with an annual statement in January of each year for the term of the executory contract. Requires the statement to be postmarked not later than January 31 if the subdivider mails the statement to the purchaser. (e) Sets forth the required contents of the statement. (f) Sets forth authorized actions of a purchaser if the subdivider fails to comply with Subsections (d) and (e). (g) Provides that a purchaser who makes a deduction under Subsection (f) is not required to reimburse the subdivider for the amount deducted. (h) Provides that a person commits a Class A misdemeanor if the person knowingly authorizes or assists in the publication, advertising, distribution, or circulation of any statement or representation that the person knows is false concerning any subdivided land offered for sale or lease. Sec. 232.034. CONFLICT OF INTEREST; PENALTY. (a) Defines "subdivided tract." (b) Sets forth the actions of a person which constitute a conflict of interest in a subdivided tract. (c) Provides that a person is considered to have an interest in a subdivided tract if the person is related in the second degree by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code, to a person who has an interest in the tract. (d) Requires a member of the commissioners court who has an interest in a subdivided tract to file an affidavit with the county clerk stating the nature and extent of the interest and to abstain from further participation in the matter. Requires the affidavit to be filed with the county clerk. (e) Provides that a member of the commissioners court who violates Subsection (d) commits a Class A misdemeanor. (f) Provides that the finding by a court of a violation of this section does not render violable an action of the commissioners court but for the vote of the member who violated this section. (g) Provides that a conviction under Subsection (e) constitutes official misconduct by the member and is grounds for removal from office. Sec. 232.035. CIVIL PENALTIES. (a) Prohibits a subdivider or an agent of a subdivider from causing, suffering, allowing, or permitting a lot to be sold in a subdivision if the subdivision has not been platted as required by this subchapter. (b) Prohibits a subdivider or an agent of a subdivider from causing, suffering, allowing, or permitting a subdivision or any part of a subdivision in an affected county to become a public health nuisance as defined by Section 341.011, Health and Safety Code. Provides that this subsection does not apply to a lot for which a subdivider has conveyed title to a purchaser. (c) Sets forth the civil penalty of a person who fails to provide for the construction or installation of certain service facilities in the time and manner described in the plat. (d) Provides that a person who violates Subsection (a) or (b) of this section, except as provided by Subsection (e), is subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 or more than $15,000 for each lot. Requires the person to pay court costs, investigative costs, and attorney's fees for the governmental entity bringing the suit. (e) Provides that a person who violates Subsection (b) is not subject to a fine under Subsection (d) if the person corrects the nuisance not later than the 30th day after the date the person receives notice from the attorney general or a local health authority of the nuisance. (f) Sets forth the venue for an action under this section. Sec. 232.036. CRIMINAL PENALTIES. Sets forth the actions of a subdivider which constitute a Class A misdemeanor. Sets forth the venue for prosecution for a violation under this section. Sec. 232.037. ENFORCEMENT. (a) Authorizes the attorney general, or the district attorney, criminal district attorney, county attorney with felony responsibilities, or county attorney of an affected county to take any action necessary in a court of competent jurisdiction on behalf of the state or on behalf of residents to enjoin certain violations, assess and recover civil or criminal penalties, or require replatting under Section 232.041. (b) Authorizes the attorney general, at the request of the district or county attorney with jurisdiction, to conduct a criminal prosecution under Section 232.033(b) or 232.036. (c) Authorizes any resident of the affected subdivision, or the attorney general, district attorney, or county attorney on behalf of a resident to file a motion against the provider of utilities to halt termination of pre-existing utility services, during the pendency of any enforcement action brought. Prohibits the services from being terminated if the court makes an affirmative finding after hearing the motion that termination poses a threat to public health, safety, or welfare of the residents. Sec. 232.038. SUIT BY PRIVATE PERSON IN ECONOMICALLY DISTRESSED AREA. Authorizes a person who has purchased or is purchasing a lot after July 1, 1995, in a subdivision for residential purposes that does not have water and sewer services and is located in an economically distressed area, to bring suit in the district court in which the property is located to declare the purchase void, or recover certain expenses from the subdivider. Sec. 232.039. CANCELLATION OF SUBDIVISION. (a) Authorizes a subdivider of land in an affected county to apply to the commissioners court to cancel all or part of the subdivision in the manner provided by Section 232.008 after notice and hearing as provided by this section. (b) Provides that a resident of a subdivision for which the subdivider has applied for cancellation under Subsection (a) has the same rights as a purchaser of land under Section 232.008. (c) Requires the notice required by Section 232.008(c) to also be published in Spanish in the newspaper of highest circulation and in a Spanish-language newspaper in the county if available. (d) Requires the county chief appraiser, by regular and certified mail, to provide notice containing the information described Section 232.008(c) to certain persons. (e) Authorizes the commissioners court to require a subdivider to provide the court with the name and last known address of each person with an interest in the property. Provides that a person residing on a lot purchased through an executory contract has an interest in the property. (f) Provides that a person who fails to provide information requested under Subsection (e) before the 31st day after the date the request is made is liable to the state for a penalty of $500 for each week the person fails to provide the information. (g) Authorizes the commissioners court to cancel a subdivision only after a public hearing. Requires the commissioners court to adopt an order on whether to cancel the subdivision at the hearing. Sec. 232.040. REPLATTING. (a) Requires a subdivision plat to accurately reflect the subdivision as it develops. Requires any change, either by the intentional act of the subdivider or by the forces of nature to be recorded a plat in accordance with Section 232.041. (b) Prohibits a lot in a subdivision from being sold if the lot lacks water and sewer services as required by this subchapter. Prohibits a subdivider or agent from transferring a lot through an executory contract or other similar conveyance to evade the requirements of this subchapter. Sets forth the prohibited actions to which a lot sold under this subsection applies. (c) Provides that Subsection (b) does not apply if a seller other than a subdivider or agent of a subdivider resides on the lot or purchases the lot through a contract for deed. (d) Authorizes the attorney general or a district or county attorney with jurisdiction to bring a proceeding under Subsection (b). (e) Prohibits existing utility services to a subdivision that must be platted or replatted under this section from being terminated under Section 232.029. Sec. 232.041. REVISION OF PLAT. (a) Authorizes a person who has subdivided land that is subject to the subdivision controls of the county in which the land is located to apply in writing to the commissioners court of the county for permission to revise the subdivision plat filed for record with the county clerk. (b) Requires the court to publish a notice of the application in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. Sets forth the provisions of the notice. (c) Requires the commissioners court to adopt an order to permit the revision of the subdivision plat if certain conditions apply. (d) Authorizes the person to make the revision by filing for record with the county clerk a revised plat or part of a plat that indicates the changes made to the original plat if the commissioners court permits a person to revise a subdivision plat. Sec. 232.042. VARIANCES. (a) Authorizes the commissioners court to grant a delay or a variance from compliance with Section 232.041 as provided by this section. (b) Authorizes the commissioners court to grant a delay of two years if the reason for the delay is to install utilities. Authorizes a person to apply for one renewal of a delay under this subsection. Sets forth the actions of a subdivider in order to obtain an initial delay under this subsection. (c) Authorizes the commissioners court to grant a delay or a variance for a reason other than a reason described by Subsection (b) if it is shown that compliance would be impractical or would be contrary to the health and safety of residents of the subdivision. Requires the commissioners court to issue written findings stating the reasons why compliance is impractical. (d) Provides that a delay or variance granted by the commissioners court is valid only if the commissioners court notifies the attorney general of the delay and the reasons for the delay not later than the 30th day after the date the commissioners grants the delay. (e) Requires the subdivider of land for which a delay is granted under this section to provide at no cost to residents five gallons of potable water a day for each resident and portable sanitary waste water disposal facilities until approved water and sewer services are made available to the subdivision. SECTION 5. Amends Chapter 412B, Local Government Code, by adding Section 412.015, as follows: Sec. 412.015. COUNTY WATER AND SEWER UTILITY. Authorizes an affected county, as defined by Section 16.341, Water Code, to own, operate, or maintain a water or sewer utility in the same manner as a municipality under Chapter 402. SECTION 6. Amends Section 13.002, Water Code, by amending Subdivision (23) and adding Subdivision (26), to redefine "water and sewer utility," "public utility," and "utility." Defines "affected county." SECTION 7. Amends Section 13.043, Water Code, by amending Subsections (b), (c), (f), and (g), and adding Subsection (k), as follows: (b) Authorizes ratepayers of certain entities to appeal the decision of the governing body of the entity affecting their water, drainage or sewer rates to the commission , including a utility owned by an affected county, if the ratepayer's rates are actually adversely affected. (c)-(g) Make conforming changes. (k) Requires the commissioners court of an affected county to provide written notice to each ratepayer eligible to appeal, not later than the 30th day after the date of a final decision on a rate change. Requires the notice to include the effective date of the new rates and the location where additional information on rates may be obtained. SECTION 8. Amends the heading of Chapter 13D, Water Code, as follows: SUBCHAPTER D. MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTIES SECTION 9. Amends Section 13.084, Water Code, to make conforming changes. SECTION 10. Amends Section 13.085, Water Code, to make conforming changes. SECTION 11. Amends Section 13.139(a), Water Code, to make a conforming change. SECTION 12. Amends Section 13.141, Water Code, to make a conforming change. SECTION 13. Amends Section 13.181, Water Code, to make a conforming change. SECTION 14. Amends Section 13.242(a), Water Code, to make a conforming change. SECTION 15. Amends Sections 16.343(a) and (g), Water Code, as follows: (a) Requires the Texas Water Development Board (board) to consult with the attorney general before adopting rules. Makes a conforming change. (g) Prohibits an affected county from receiving funds under either Section 15.407 of this code or Chapter 17K of this code, unless the county adopts and enforces model rules. SECTION 16. Amends Section 16.349, Water Code, by amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsection (c), as follows: (b) Deletes reference to an economically distressed area located in the boundaries of the political subdivision. (c) Prohibits a political subdivision holding a certificate of convenience and necessity described by Section 13.242, that extends service to an economically distressed area outside the boundaries of the political subdivision, from charging the residents of the area rates that exceed the cost of providing service to the area or the rates charged other residents of the political subdivision plus 15 percent. SECTION 17. Amends Section 16.352, Water Code, as follows: Sec. 16.352. ENFORCEMENT OF RULES. (a) Provides that a person who violates a rule adopted by a county or municipality pursuant to Section 16.343 of this code is subject to a civil penalty of not less than $1,000, rather than $50, nor more than $10,000, rather than $1,000, or each violation and for each day of a continuing violation but not in excess of $50,000, rather than $5,000, per day. (b)-(d) Make conforming and nonsubstantive changes. SECTION 18. Amends Section 16.353, Water Code, to make nonsubstantive changes. SECTION 19. Amends Section Chapter 16J, Water Code, by adding Section 16.356, as follows: Sec. 16.356. VENUE. Authorizes a suit for injunctive relief or for the recovery of a civil penalty to be brought in a district court in the county in which the defendant resides; the county in which the alleged violation or threat of violation occurs; or Travis County. SECTION 20. Amends Section 17.921(1), Water Code, to redefine "economically distressed area." SECTION 21. Amends Section 17.933, Water Code, by adding Subsection (g), to provide that the amount of financial assistance provided by the board to a political subdivision for service to areas defined in Section 17.921(1)(C)(ii) for which repayment is not required is 50 percent of the state bond proceeds used for the design and construction of the service. SECTION 22. Amends Chapter 17K, Water Code, by adding Section 17.936, as follows: Sec. 17.936. RECOVERY OF ECONOMICALLY DISTRESSED AREA IMPACT FEES. (a) Provides that it is the intent of the legislature that a private developer not unduly benefit from the expenditure by the state of public funds on infrastructure for public benefit. (b) Defines "capital improvement costs" and "economically distressed area." (c) Sets forth the property to which this section applies. (d) Authorizes the provider of water or wastewater utility service to an economically distressed area to recover from a developer or owner of an undeveloped lot economically distressed areas program impact fees as provided by rules adopted by the board. SECTION 23. Amends Section 26.001, Water Code, effective until NPDES permit authority, by adding Subdivision (20), to redefine "affected county." SECTION 24. Amends Section 26.001, Water Code, effective upon NPDES permit authority, by adding Subdivision (26), to redefine "affected county." SECTION 25. Amends Section 26.123, Water Code, effective until NPDES permit authority, by adding Subsection (j), to require the executive director on the request of the attorney general to conduct an investigation of the alleged violation, if the attorney general determines that a subdivider, as defined by Section 232.021, Local Government Code, of land in an affected county has violated or is threatening to violate a provision of this chapter. Requires the executive director to consult with the attorney general during the investigation to determine appropriate remedial action. SECTION 26. Amends Section 26.123, Water Code, effective upon NPDES permit authority, by adding Subsection (j), to require the executive director on the request of the attorney general to conduct an investigation of the alleged violation, if the attorney general determines that a subdivider, as defined by Section 232.021, Local Government Code, of land in an affected county has violated or is threatening to violate a provision of this chapter. Requires the executive director to consult with the attorney general during the investigation to determine appropriate remedial action. SECTION 27. Amends Section 26.124, Water Code, by adding Subsection (c), to authorize the attorney general to institute a civil suit in district court for injunctive relief or civil penalties against the person who has or is about to commit a violation, if the attorney general determines that a violation of Section 26.121 or a rule adopted under that section has occurred or is about to occur in an affected county. SECTION 28. Amends Chapter 2306E, Government Code, by adding Section 2306.0985, as follows: Sec. 2306.0985. RECOVERY OF FUNDS FROM CERTAIN SUBDIVISIONS. (a) Provides that it is the intent of the legislature that a private developer not unduly benefit from the expenditure by the state of public funds on infrastructure for public benefit. (b) Sets forth the property to which this section applies. (c) Authorizes the department to require a political entity with authority to tax and place a lien or assessment on property to do so on property that benefits from expenditure of state or federal funds for water, wastewater, or drainage improvements affecting the property. Prohibits the lien or assessment from exceeding an amount equal to the cost of making the improvements as those costs relate to the property. Provides that the lien or assessment expires 10 years after the date the improvements are completed. (d) Requires the seller to pay the political entity from the proceeds of the sale an amount equal to the value of the lien or assessment if the property subject to a lien or assessment under Subsection (c) is sold. Sets forth the conditions in which this subsection does not apply. (e) Requires the holder to pay the political entity an amount equal to the value of the lien or assessment before taking possession of the property if the property is repossessed by the holder of a note or a contract for deed. (f) Requires a political entity to collect payments made under this section and remit the funds for deposit in the treasury to the credit of a special account in the general revenue fund that may be appropriated only to the department for use in administering a program under Section 2306.098 after public notice and comment. SECTION 29. Repealer: Sections 232.001(f), 232.0035, 232.0036, 232.0046, 232.0047, and 232.0049, Local Government Code (Plat Required-Water and Sewer Requirements in Certain Counties-Bond Requirements and Other Financial Guarantees in Certain Counties-Certification Regarding Compliance with Plat Requirements in Certain Counties-Connection of Utilities in Certain Counties-Enforcement in Certain Counties; Penalty). SECTION 30. Makes application of Sections 4 and 17 of this Act prospective. SECTION 31. Provides that this Act does not exempt the deliberations of a political subdivision from the requirements of Chapter 551, Government Code. SECTION 32. Emergency clause. Effective date: upon passage.