S.B. No. 219
                                        AN ACT
    1-1  relating to community assistance and economic development program
    1-2  activities of certain river authorities; validating certain actions
    1-3  and instruments of the river authorities.
    1-5        SECTION 1.  Section 3, Chapter 245, Acts of the 67th
    1-6  Legislature, Regular Session, 1981 (Article 717p, Vernon's Texas
    1-7  Civil Statutes), is amended to read as follows:
    1-8        Sec. 3.  (a)  This section applies only to a <Any> river
    1-9  authority that <which> is engaged in the distribution and sale of
   1-10  electric energy to the public and that generates at least an annual
   1-11  average of 55 million kilowatt hours of electric energy.
   1-12        (b)  A river authority may sponsor and participate in an
   1-13  economic development program intended to strengthen the economic
   1-14  base and further the economic development of the state.  The
   1-15  program shall be within the territorial boundaries of the river
   1-16  authority or within the river authority's electric or water service
   1-17  areas.  Participation in the program may not be conditioned on
   1-18  receiving electric service from the authority.
   1-19        (c)  Each program must be established by formal action of the
   1-20  governing body of the river authority.  The governing body of the
   1-21  river authority shall:
   1-22              (1)  establish the goals of the program;
   1-23              (2)  impose requirements on persons participating in
   1-24  and receiving the benefits of the program; and
    2-1              (3)  provide restrictions, procedures, and budget
    2-2  limits the governing body determines are necessary to ensure that
    2-3  the governmental purposes of this section and the program are
    2-4  achieved.
    2-5        (d)  A program under this section may involve grants or loans
    2-6  of money, services, or property to a person engaged in an economic
    2-7  development activity, including a public fire-fighting
    2-8  organization, governmental body, nonprofit corporation, local or
    2-9  regional development council, or other nonprofit or noncommercial
   2-10  organization.
   2-11        (e)  The river authority may employ staff and expend its
   2-12  resources to further an economic development program except the
   2-13  river authority may not use money received from an ad valorem tax
   2-14  or a general appropriation to further a program.  The river
   2-15  authority may apply for and receive money, grants, or other
   2-16  assistance from any source to carry out an economic development
   2-17  program under this section.
   2-18        (f)  The river authority and any other public or private
   2-19  person may enter an agreement with respect to an economic
   2-20  development program.
   2-21        (g)  A river authority that provides scholarships, grants,
   2-22  loans, or financial assistance to a public fire-fighting
   2-23  organization shall adopt guidelines for the determination of:
   2-24              (1)  eligibility for the assistance;
   2-25              (2)  the amount of loans, grants, or other assistance
   2-26  the river authority may make available to a fire-fighting
   2-27  organization; and
    3-1              (3)  the types of equipment, facilities, education, or
    3-2  training for which the assistance may be used.
    3-3        (h)  A determination by the governing body of the river
    3-4  authority that a program is intended and expected to carry out the
    3-5  program's stated purposes is conclusive with respect to whether the
    3-6  purposes of this section are satisfied.
    3-7        (i)  A river authority may not make receiving electric
    3-8  service from the authority a condition for participation in or
    3-9  receiving a benefit from an economic development program authorized
   3-10  by this section.  A river authority may not use an economic
   3-11  development program to:
   3-12              (1)  promote fuel switching or the substitution of
   3-13  electric power for another fuel or energy source; or
   3-14              (2)  provide an economic or other incentive to use
   3-15  electric power to preferentially market the use of electric power
   3-16  over another fuel or energy source.
   3-17        (j)  Subsection (i) of this section does not limit a power
   3-18  granted a river authority by any other law, including other
   3-19  sections of this Act.
   3-20        (k)  For purposes of this section, an economic development
   3-21  program does not include the promotion of retail wheeling of
   3-22  electric power and energy.
   3-23        (l)  In this section, an economic development program
   3-24  includes any program designed to:
   3-25              (1)  encourage economic diversification;
   3-26              (2)  contribute to the health and development of a
   3-27  community to improve the attractiveness of the community to public
    4-1  and private enterprises; or
    4-2              (3)  improve the quality or quantity of services
    4-3  essential for the development of viable communities and economic
    4-4  growth, including services related to:
    4-5                    (A)  education;
    4-6                    (B)  transportation;
    4-7                    (C)  public safety;
    4-8                    (D)  recreation;
    4-9                    (E)  health care;
   4-10                    (F)  training;
   4-11                    (G)  community planning; or
   4-12                    (H)  employment <may employ staff and expend
   4-13  resources to encourage economic development>.
   4-14        SECTION 2.  The legislature finds that the economic
   4-15  development programs authorized by Section 3, Chapter 245, Acts of
   4-16  the 67th Legislature, Regular Session, 1981 (Article 717p, Vernon's
   4-17  Texas Civil Statutes), as amended by this Act, are a specific
   4-18  public purpose and governmental function of the specified river
   4-19  authorities in accordance with:
   4-20              (1)  Section 52-a, Article III, Texas Constitution; and
   4-21              (2)  to the extent that the programs provide assistance
   4-22  to public fire-fighting organizations, Section 51-a-1, Article III,
   4-23  Texas Constitution.
   4-24        SECTION 3.  All proceedings, governmental acts, resolutions,
   4-25  orders, bonds, contracts, and instruments relating to economic
   4-26  development programs, as defined by Section 3, Chapter 245, Acts of
   4-27  the 67th Legislature, Regular Session, 1981 (Article 717p, Vernon's
    5-1  Texas Civil Statutes), as amended by this Act, of a river authority
    5-2  engaged in the distribution and sale of electric energy to the
    5-3  public that were adopted, approved, executed, issued, or ratified
    5-4  by the river authority before the effective date of this Act are
    5-5  validated, ratified, approved, and confirmed.
    5-6        SECTION 4.  The importance of this legislation and the
    5-7  crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
    5-8  emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
    5-9  constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
   5-10  days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,
   5-11  and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its
   5-12  passage, and it is so enacted.