H.B. 2540
                                             By: Jones, J. (Cain)
                                                    State Affairs
                              Senate Committee Report (Unamended)

State and federal governments have placed a priority on making
governmental information available to the public.  Technological
advances offer less costly and more effective techniques to
disseminate electronic information, resulting in a significant
increase in the number of people and organizations that can utilize
information in an electronic format.  The increased recognition of
the value of this information has led to a concurrent demand on the
part of the public to exercise the right to such access.  

A major obstacle to reaching this goal has been the availability of
online access to Internet.  One solution may be providing public
access, with governmental assistance, to an Internet terminal
through public libraries.  Currently, public libraries are
connected to a statewide telecommunications network that allows
access to national and foreign library holdings and other
information.  Only about 15 of the largest public libraries have
access to this form of electronic database.  However, about two-thirds of the population of the state is served by public libraries
with integrated automated library systems.  Therefore, the physical
infrastructure for the delivery of information is already in place
for the majority of the population.


As proposed, H.B. 2540 allows the Texas State Library and Archives
Commission to assist public libraries to increase public access to
governmental information with technology grants.


It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not grant any
additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, institution, or


SECTION 1. Amends Section 441.135(b), Government Code, to require
the state grants program of the Texas State Library and Archives
Commission to include public information technology grants to help
public libraries make state, local, and federal government
information that is accessible through the Internet or electronic
bulletin boards available to the public through library computer

SECTION 2. Effective date: September 1, 1995.

SECTION 3. Emergency clause.