SRC-JRN S.B. 937 75(R) BILL ANALYSIS Senate Research Center S.B. 937 By: Harris Intergovernmental Relations 3-30-97 Committee Report (Amended) DIGEST Currently, no state law exists for the creation of the Texas Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (commission). Twenty-seven states currently have advisory commissions on intergovernmental relations to provide information to their legislatures on state and local issues that affect the respective states. This bill creates the commission for purposes of providing a forum for discussion of intergovernmental issues; conducting and coordinating research on the issues; collecting and distributing information; and publishing and distributing research and conference reports. PURPOSE As proposed, S.B. 937 creates the Texas Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, which is required to provide a forum for discussion of intergovernmental issues; conduct and coordinate research; collect and distribute information; and publish and distribute research and conference reports. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY This bill does not grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, institution, or agency. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Title 1, Government Code, by adding Chapter 741, as follows: CHAPTER 741. TEXAS ADVISORY COMMISSION ON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS Sec. 741.001. DEFINITIONS. Defines "commission," and "local government." Sec. 741.002. ESTABLISHMENT. Establishes the Texas Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (commission) as an agency of the state. Sec. 741.003. PURPOSE AND FUNCTIONS. Sets forth the purpose, function and requirements of the commission. Sec. 741.004. COMPOSITION OF COMMISSION. Requires the composition of the commission to include seven members meeting certain requirements appointed by the governor, a member of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations appointed by the lieutenant governor, and a member of the House Committee on Urban Affairs or the House Committee on County Affairs appointed by the speaker of the house. Provides that service on the commission by a public official is an additional function and does not constitute the holding of a public office. Requires a member of the commission to serve a two-year term, which expires September 1 of each odd-numbered year. Authorizes the lieutenant governor or speaker, as applicable, to appoint any member who serves on a committee with jurisdiction relating to local government, if certain committees specified in this section do not exist. Sec. 741.005. ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION OF COMMISSION. Requires the members of the commission to elect a presiding officer and secretary for two-year terms. Requires the commission to hold at least one meeting every six months and at other times the presiding officer considers necessary. Requires an agency of the state and any local government to make available any information or document not confidential that is requested by the commission, and to cooperate with the commission in carrying out its functions. Sec. 741.006. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND STAFF. Requires the University of Texas at Arlington School of Urban and Public Affairs (school) to provide the commission with an executive director and other staff necessary to carry out its powers and duties. Requires the dean of the school to appoint the executive director of the commission, in consultation with the commission. Sec. 741.007. COMPENSATION AND EXPENSES. Prohibits a member of the commission from receiving a salary for service on the commission, but is entitled to reimbursement for travel and other necessary expenses incurred in performing duties of the commission. Sec. 741.008. CONTRACTS. Authorizes the commission to apply for, receive, and expend funds from certain entities. Requires funds received under this section to be managed by the school and to be maintained in the accounts of the University of Texas at Arlington. SECTION 2. Effective date: September 1, 1997. SECTION 3. Emergency clause. SUMMARY OF COMMITTEE CHANGES Amendment 1. Page 2, lines 23-24, replace "(3) collect and distribute information on intergovernmental issues; and" with "(3) a member of the House Committee on Urban Affairs or the House Committee on County Affairs appointed by the speaker of the house."