HBA-NMO H.B. 2547 76(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2547 By: Williams Energy Resources 7/22/1999 Enrolled BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE In 1985, the 68th Texas Legislature enacted legislation creating the Geo-Technology Research Institute to assist in the development of the Texas oil and gas industry. Prior to the 76th Legislature, expansion of the institute's charter may have been needed to address environmental and information technology challenges facing today's oil and gas industry. H.B. 2547 specifies that the research consortium where the institute is located includes the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Rice University, and the University of Houston. This bill also modifies the institute's duties to include analysis among basic and applied research; deletes language addressing the exact direction of this research and analysis; amends the availability of research results; and amends the scope of the institute's authority to receive federal and state government funds and its use of state funds. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 149.002, Education Code, to specify that the Houston Advanced Research Center, a research consortium and the location of the Geo-Technology Research Institute (institute), includes the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Rice University, and the University of Houston. SECTION 2. Amends Section 149.004, Education Code, to require the institute to conduct analysis, in addition to basic and applied research, in geoscience, rather than geophysics, in geo-technology, and in related fields. Provides that this research and analysis includes the implementation of technology and development of integrated databases, rather than the discovery of new reserves and development of technology that increases the production potential of oil and natural gas. Requires that results of the research be made available to state agencies, rather than the General Land Office and the Railroad Commission of Texas, to other public bodies and officials, to industry, and to private citizens, rather than groups. SECTION 3. Amends Sections 149.005(a) and (c), Education Code, to include in the funds that the institute is authorized to receive from the federal or state government, direct appropriations; an agreement under Chapter 771 (Interagency Cooperation Act) or 791 (Interlocal Cooperation Contracts), Government Code; or a contract under Subtitle D (State Purchasing and General Services), Title 10, Government Code, including funds received as a vendor in a proprietary purchase made under Section 2155.067 (Proprietary Purchases), Government Code. Provides that the use of state funds by the institute is limited to expenditures for basic and applied research and analysis, excluding construction costs, rather than costs for construction, operation, or maintenance of facilities. SECTION 4.Emergency clause. Effective date: upon passage.