JH H.B. 2750 75(R)    BILL ANALYSIS

H.B. 2750
By: Hinojosa
Committee Report (Amended)


Many firefighter and police officers have often responded to emergency
calls on incidents which would require an additional language.  Any
additional language skill becomes an essential tool in many emergency
situation.  This skills enables officers to address calls promptly and
accordingly. As result of this need, many participating cities have
adopted rules to increase compensation of officers for language skills by
examining their other than English language skill proficiency. 


Provides for certain municipal firefighters and police officers additional
wages for the use and fluency of an additional language skill other than


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


SECTION 1:  Amends Chapter 141 of the Local Government Code by adding
Subchapter C. to include: Additional wages for certain municipal
firefighters and police officers. 

Section 141.051.  (1)  Defines "additional language,"  by the fluency in a
other than English.
(2)  Defines "Firefighter, " as a full-time member of the municipal fire
department who performs the following: 
fire suppression, prevention, training, safety education, maintenance,
communications, medical emergency technology, photography, and
(3)  Defines "Police officer," as a member of a municipal police
department who is a licensed peace officer under Section 415.052,
Government  Code. 

Section 141.052 Entitles additional wages for firefighters or police
officers who provide the department with additional language skills and
the additional language is used outside of the course and scope of their
official job description. 

Section 141.053 Establishes  departmental guidelines.  The department
shall establish guidelines to determine types of additional language
skills and levels of frequency that require additional wages and
establishes appropriate levels of additional wages. 

Section 141.054 Imposes Civil Penalty for a department to require a
firefighter or police officer to use the additional language without
additional wages.  The department would be charged $500.00 for each day
the requirement is imposed without payment of additional wages. 

SECTION 2:  Amends section 143.113(c), of the Local Government Code to
read "shall" instead of "may" authorize additional funds for bilingual

SECTION 3:(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b)  of this section this
act takes effect September  1, 1997. 

(b)Section 141.054, Local Government Code as added by this act takes
effect January 1998. 

(c) Section The change in the law made by Section 141.054, Local
Government Code, applies only to the use of additional language skills on
or after January 1, 1998. 

SECTION 4:  Emergency clause; effective date: upon passage.


Committee Amendment No. 1 provides that a firefighter or police officer
must be a designated interpreter to receive additional wages, adds a
requiremnet that the fire or police department determine the number of
interpreters needed, and changes the civil penalty paid by a department
for failing to pay required additional wages from $500 per day to lost
wages, plus 5% interest.