By Bosse H.B. No. 1406 75R4779 DWS-F A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 1-1 AN ACT 1-2 relating to collection by water and sewer utilities of voluntary 1-3 contributions on behalf of certain emergency services. 1-4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: 1-5 SECTION 1. Subchapter E, Chapter 13, Water Code, is amended 1-6 by adding Section 13.143 to read as follows: 1-7 Sec. 13.143. VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS. (a) A utility may 1-8 implement as part of its billing process a program under which the 1-9 utility collects from its customers a voluntary contribution, 1-10 including a voluntary membership or subscription fee, on behalf of 1-11 a volunteer fire department or an emergency medical service. 1-12 (b) A utility that collects contributions under this section 1-13 shall provide each customer at the time that the customer first 1-14 becomes a customer, and at least annually thereafter, a written 1-15 statement: 1-16 (1) describing the procedure by which the customer may 1-17 make a contribution with the customer's bill payment; 1-18 (2) designating the volunteer fire department or 1-19 emergency medical service to which the utility will deliver the 1-20 contribution; 1-21 (3) informing the customer that a contribution is 1-22 voluntary; and 1-23 (4) describing the deductibility status of the 1-24 contribution under federal income tax law. 2-1 (c) A billing by the utility that includes a voluntary 2-2 contribution under this section must clearly state that the 2-3 contribution is voluntary and that it may be deducted from the 2-4 billed amount. 2-5 (d) The utility shall promptly deliver contributions that it 2-6 collects under this section to the designated volunteer fire 2-7 department or emergency medical service, except that the utility 2-8 may keep from the contributions an amount equal to the lesser of: 2-9 (1) the utility's expenses in administering the 2-10 contribution program; or 2-11 (2) five percent of the amount collected as 2-12 contributions. 2-13 (e) Amounts collected under this section are not rates and 2-14 are not required to be shown in tariffs filed with the regulatory 2-15 authority. 2-16 SECTION 2. All acts of a utility before the effective date 2-17 of this Act to implement a program described by Section 13.143, 2-18 Water Code, as added by this Act, are validated as of the dates on 2-19 which they occurred. 2-20 SECTION 3. The importance of this legislation and the 2-21 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an 2-22 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the 2-23 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several 2-24 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended, 2-25 and that this Act take effect and be in force from and after its 2-26 passage, and it is so enacted.