By:  Armbrister, Truan                                 S.B. No. 834

                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

                                       AN ACT

 1-1     relating to the authority of a county to operate a water or sewer

 1-2     utility in unincorporated areas of a county, including the

 1-3     authority to issue bonds and to acquire property through eminent

 1-4     domain.


 1-6           SECTION 1.  Subchapter B, Chapter 412, Local Government Code,

 1-7     is amended by adding Section 412.016 to read as follows:

 1-8           Sec. 412.016.  COUNTY WATER AND SEWER SYSTEM.  (a)  Except as

 1-9     provided by this section, a county may acquire, own, or operate a

1-10     water or sewer utility system to serve an unincorporated area of

1-11     the county in the same manner and under the same regulations as a

1-12     municipality under Chapter 402.

1-13           (b)  A county may issue bonds payable solely from the revenue

1-14     generated by the water or sewer utility system, and such revenue

1-15     bonds and notes of the county shall not be deemed an indebtedness,

1-16     a liability, a general, special, or moral obligation, or a pledge

1-17     or loan of the faith or credit or taxing power of the state, the

1-18     county, or any other political subdivision or governmental unit,

1-19     nor shall such revenue bonds and notes constitute an indebtedness

1-20     within the meaning of any constitutional or statutory debt

1-21     limitation or restriction or an agreement, obligation, or

1-22     indebtedness of the county or the state within the meaning of any

1-23     constitutional or statutory provision.  Nothing in this subsection

 2-1     shall be construed to mean that a county is authorized to issue

 2-2     general obligation bonds payable from ad valorem taxes for the

 2-3     purpose of acquiring, owning, or operating a water or sewer utility

 2-4     system to serve an unincorporated area of the county, a county

 2-5     being specifically prohibited from issuing general obligation bonds

 2-6     payable from ad valorem taxes for such purposes.

 2-7           (c)  A county may acquire any interest in property necessary

 2-8     to operate a system authorized by this section through any means,

 2-9     including eminent domain.  A county shall not exercise the power of

2-10     eminent domain inside the corporate limits of a municipality.

2-11           (d)  A county must comply with all requirements of a public

2-12     utility under Chapter 13, Water Code.

2-13           SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1997.

2-14           SECTION 3.  The importance of this legislation and the

2-15     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

2-16     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

2-17     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

2-18     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.

2-19                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENT NO. 1

2-20           Amend S.B. 834 as follows:

2-21           (1)  On page 1, lines 11 and 12 strike "]Lin the same manner

2-22     and under the same regulations as a municipality under Chapter 402  ;

2-23           (2)  On page 1, line 9 insert the following between "county"

2-24     and "may":

2-25           "with a population of 225,000 or more, which is located

 3-1     adjacent to a county with a population of 2.8 million or more,".

 3-2                                                        Lewis of Tarrant