PUC H.B. 1955 75(R)BILL ANALYSIS STATE RECREATIONAL RESOURCES H.B. 1955 By: Hilbert 3-20-97 Committee Report (Amended) BACKGROUND Currently, ice skating rink operators are being pursued for recovery of damages by persons, or the families of persons, who fall and injure themselves or others while skating. The majority of these falls occur because of the risks inherent in the activity of skating, and not as a result of negligence on the part of the rink owner or operator. As a result, liability costs are escalating in a relatively new industry in Texas. PURPOSE HB 1955 requires and acknowledges that skating rink owner/operators, skating participants, and the spectators who attend skating sessions each have rights and obligations while engaging in skating activity at a public rink. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1: Amends Subtitle A, Title 9, Health and Safety Code, by adding Chapter 760. ICE SKATING CENTERS as follows: Sec. 760.001. DEFINITIONS. Defines "Ice Skating Center", "Operator", and "spectator". Sec. 760.002. DUTIES OF OPERATORS. Provides safety standards with which operators must comply regarding skater supervision, equipment maintenance, and posted skater and spectator responsibilities. Sec. 760.003. DUTIES OF ICE SKATERS. Provides for duties and responsibilities of ice skaters. Sec. 760.004. DUTY OF SPECTATOR. Requires spectators to comply with posted signs or warnings. Sec. 760.005. DUTY OF CHILD. Provides terms and conditions concerning the conduct of a child. Sec. 760.006. LIABILITY. Provides limitations on the liability of the operator. SECTION 2: Transition statement. SECTION 3: Effective date: September 1, 1997. SECTION 4: Emergency clause. EXPLANATION OF AMENDMENTS Committee amendment no. 1 adds subsection (8) to Sec. 760.002. Subsection (8) provides that an operator must maintain liability insurance of at least $500,000 combined single limits for personal injury, death or property damage. In addition committee amendment no. 1 changes the wording in Sec. 760.006 (a) to reaffirm that although the operator isn't liable for negligence unless a breech of duties outlined in Sec. 760.002 occurs, he or she may still be subjected to gross negligence, malice or intentional conduct standards.