1-1  By:  Armbrister                                        S.B. No. 219
    1-2        (In the Senate - Filed January 13, 1995; January 18, 1995,
    1-3  read first time and referred to Committee on Natural Resources;
    1-4  March 15, 1995, reported adversely, with favorable Committee
    1-5  Substitute by the following vote:  Yeas 7, Nays 0; March 15, 1995,
    1-6  sent to printer.)
    1-7  COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR S.B. No. 219               By:  Armbrister
    1-8                         A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
    1-9                                AN ACT
   1-10  relating to community assistance and economic development program
   1-11  activities of certain river authorities; validating certain actions
   1-12  and instruments of the river authorities.
   1-14        SECTION 1.  Section 3, Chapter 245, Acts of the 67th
   1-15  Legislature, Regular Session, 1981 (Article 717p, Vernon's Texas
   1-16  Civil Statutes), is amended to read as follows:
   1-17        Sec. 3.  (a)  This section applies only to a <Any> river
   1-18  authority that <which> is engaged in the distribution and sale of
   1-19  electric energy to the public.
   1-20        (b)  A river authority may sponsor and participate in an
   1-21  economic development program intended to strengthen the economic
   1-22  base and further the economic development of the state.  The
   1-23  program shall be within the territorial boundaries of the river
   1-24  authority or within the river authority's electric or water service
   1-25  areas.  Participation in the program may not be conditioned on
   1-26  receiving electric service from the authority.
   1-27        (c)  Each program must be established by formal action of the
   1-28  governing body of the river authority.  The governing body of the
   1-29  river authority shall:
   1-30              (1)  establish the goals of the program;
   1-31              (2)  impose requirements on persons participating in
   1-32  and receiving the benefits of the program; and
   1-33              (3)  provide restrictions, procedures, and budget
   1-34  limits the governing body determines are necessary to ensure that
   1-35  the governmental purposes of this section and the program are
   1-36  achieved.
   1-37        (d)  A program under this section may involve grants or loans
   1-38  of money, services, or property to a person engaged in an economic
   1-39  development activity, including a public fire-fighting
   1-40  organization, governmental body, nonprofit corporation, local or
   1-41  regional development council, or other nonprofit or noncommercial
   1-42  organization.
   1-43        (e)  The river authority may employ staff and expend its
   1-44  resources to further an economic development program except the
   1-45  river authority may not use money received from an ad valorem tax
   1-46  or a general appropriation to further a program.  The river
   1-47  authority may apply for and receive money, grants, or other
   1-48  assistance from any source to carry out an economic development
   1-49  program under this section.
   1-50        (f)  The river authority and any other public or private
   1-51  person may enter an agreement with respect to an economic
   1-52  development program.
   1-53        (g)  A river authority that provides scholarships, grants,
   1-54  loans, or financial assistance to a public fire-fighting
   1-55  organization shall adopt guidelines for the determination of:
   1-56              (1)  eligibility for the assistance;
   1-57              (2)  the amount of loans, grants, or other assistance
   1-58  the river authority may make available to a fire-fighting
   1-59  organization; and
   1-60              (3)  the types of equipment, facilities, education, or
   1-61  training for which the assistance may be used.
   1-62        (h)  A determination by the governing body of the river
   1-63  authority that a program is intended and expected to carry out the
   1-64  program's stated purposes is conclusive with respect to whether the
   1-65  purposes of this section are satisfied.
   1-66        (i)  A river authority may not make receiving electric
   1-67  service from the authority a condition for participation in or
   1-68  receiving a benefit from an economic development program authorized
    2-1  by this section.  A river authority may not use an economic
    2-2  development program to:
    2-3              (1)  promote fuel switching or the substitution of
    2-4  electric power for another fuel or energy source; or
    2-5              (2)  provide an economic or other incentive to use
    2-6  electric power to preferentially market the use of electric power
    2-7  over another fuel or energy source.
    2-8        (j)  Subsection (i) of this section does not limit a power
    2-9  granted a river authority by any other law, including other
   2-10  sections of this Act.
   2-11        (k)  For purposes of this section, an economic development
   2-12  program does not include the promotion of retail wheeling of
   2-13  electric power and energy.
   2-14        (l)  In this section, an economic development program
   2-15  includes any program designed to:
   2-16              (1)  encourage economic diversification;
   2-17              (2)  contribute to the health and development of a
   2-18  community to improve the attractiveness of the community to public
   2-19  and private enterprises; or
   2-20              (3)  improve the quality or quantity of services
   2-21  essential for the development of viable communities and economic
   2-22  growth, including services related to:
   2-23                    (A)  education;
   2-24                    (B)  transportation;
   2-25                    (C)  public safety;
   2-26                    (D)  recreation;
   2-27                    (E)  health care;
   2-28                    (F)  training;
   2-29                    (G)  community planning; or
   2-30                    (H)  employment <may employ staff and expend
   2-31  resources to encourage economic development>.
   2-32        SECTION 2.  The legislature finds that the economic
   2-33  development programs authorized by Section 3, Chapter 245, Acts of
   2-34  the 67th Legislature, Regular Session, 1981 (Article 717p, Vernon's
   2-35  Texas Civil Statutes), as amended by this Act, are a specific
   2-36  public purpose and governmental function of the specified river
   2-37  authorities in accordance with:
   2-38              (1)  Section 52-a, Article III, Texas Constitution; and
   2-39              (2)  to the extent that the programs provide assistance
   2-40  to public fire-fighting organizations, Section 51-a-1, Article III,
   2-41  Texas Constitution.
   2-42        SECTION 3.  All proceedings, governmental acts, resolutions,
   2-43  orders, bonds, contracts, and instruments relating to economic
   2-44  development programs, as defined by Section 3, Chapter 245, Acts of
   2-45  the 67th Legislature, Regular Session, 1981 (Article 717p, Vernon's
   2-46  Texas Civil Statutes), as amended by this Act, of a river authority
   2-47  engaged in the distribution and sale of electric energy to the
   2-48  public that were adopted, approved, executed, issued, or ratified
   2-49  by the river authority before the effective date of this Act are
   2-50  validated, ratified, approved, and confirmed.
   2-51        SECTION 4.  The importance of this legislation and the
   2-52  crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
   2-53  emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
   2-54  constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
   2-55  days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended,
   2-56  and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its
   2-57  passage, and it is so enacted.
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