By Solis of Cameron H.B. No. 3505 76R8791 KLA-D A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 1-1 AN ACT 1-2 relating to the creation and operation of health services 1-3 districts; granting the power of eminent domain and the authority 1-4 to issue bonds. 1-5 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: 1-6 SECTION 1. Subtitle D, Title 4, Health and Safety Code, is 1-7 amended by adding Chapter 287 to read as follows: 1-8 CHAPTER 287. HEALTH SERVICES DISTRICTS 1-9 SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS 1-10 Sec. 287.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter: 1-11 (1) "Board" means the board of directors of a 1-12 district. 1-13 (2) "District" means a health services district 1-14 created under this chapter. 1-15 (3) "Director" means a member of the board. 1-16 Sec. 287.002. DISTRICT AUTHORIZATION. A health services 1-17 district may be created and established and, if created, must be 1-18 maintained, operated, and financed in the manner provided by this 1-19 chapter. 1-20 (Sections 287.003-287.020 reserved for expansion) 1-21 SUBCHAPTER B. CREATION OF DISTRICT 1-22 Sec. 287.021. CREATION BY CONTRACT. (a) Except as provided 1-23 by Subsection (b), two or more political subdivisions of this 1-24 state, including a hospital district, may create a health services 2-1 district by adopting concurrent orders. 2-2 (b) A county that is in the service area of a hospital 2-3 district may not be a party to the creation of a health services 2-4 district or to a contract with a health services district. The 2-5 hospital district that serves the county may create and contract 2-6 with the health services district for its service area. 2-7 (c) A concurrent order to create a health services district 2-8 must: 2-9 (1) be approved by the governing body of each 2-10 political subdivision; 2-11 (2) contain identical provisions; and 2-12 (3) define the boundaries of the district to be 2-13 coextensive with the combined boundaries of each creating political 2-14 subdivision. 2-15 Sec. 287.022. CONTRACT TERMS. (a) A political subdivision 2-16 that creates a district under this chapter shall contract with the 2-17 district to provide, at a minimum, the health care services the 2-18 political subdivision is required to provide by law or under the 2-19 constitution. A contract with a political subdivision that created 2-20 the health services district under this chapter must: 2-21 (1) state the term of the contract, not to exceed six 2-22 years; 2-23 (2) specify the purpose, terms, rights, and duties of 2-24 the district, as authorized by this chapter; 2-25 (3) specify the financial contributions to be made by 2-26 each party to the contract to fund the district, as described by 2-27 Section 287.024; and 3-1 (4) specify the land, buildings, improvements, 3-2 equipment, and other assets owned by a party to the contract that 3-3 the district will be required to manage and operate. 3-4 (b) Chapter 791, Government Code, does not apply to a 3-5 contract made under this chapter. 3-6 Sec. 287.023. PURPOSE AND DUTIES. A health services 3-7 district shall: 3-8 (1) provide health care services to indigent residents 3-9 of the district; 3-10 (2) provide health care services to non-indigent 3-11 residents of the district on a sliding-fee scale; 3-12 (3) manage the funds contributed to the district by 3-13 each political subdivision that contracts with the district; 3-14 (4) manage and operate the land, buildings, 3-15 improvements, equipment, and other assets for which the district 3-16 assumes responsibility for management and operation under the 3-17 contract or that are acquired by the district; and 3-18 (5) plan and coordinate with public and private health 3-19 care providers and entities for the long-term provision of health 3-20 care services to residents of the district. 3-21 Sec. 287.024. FUNDING. (a) Each political subdivision that 3-22 contracts with the district shall contribute to the district for 3-23 its operation: 3-24 (1) a specified dollar amount from or a percentage of 3-25 the contracting entity's operating budget and reserves; 3-26 (2) state assistance received under Chapter 61; 3-27 (3) federal matching funds received under the Medicaid 4-1 disproportionate share program; and 4-2 (4) any funds received under the Agreement Regarding 4-3 Disposition of Settlement Proceeds dated July 18, 1998, or July 24, 4-4 1998, and filed in the United States District Court, Eastern 4-5 District of Texas, in the case styled The State of Texas v. The 4-6 American Tobacco Company, et al., No. 5-96CV-91. 4-7 (b) The district shall maintain an accounting of the funds 4-8 received from each political subdivision that contracts with the 4-9 district. 4-10 (c) The district may commingle and administer the financial 4-11 contributions of all parties to the contract for district purposes. 4-12 (Sections 287.025-287.040 reserved for expansion) 4-13 SUBCHAPTER C. DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION 4-14 Sec. 287.041. BOARD OF DIRECTORS. (a) Each political 4-15 subdivision that creates the district shall appoint two directors 4-16 to the board. 4-17 (b) In addition to the directors appointed to the board 4-18 under Subsection (a), the political subdivisions shall agree on and 4-19 collectively appoint one additional director. 4-20 (c) Directors serve staggered two-year terms, with as near 4-21 as possible to one-half of the directors' terms expiring each year. 4-22 Sec. 287.042. QUALIFICATIONS FOR OFFICE. (a) To be 4-23 eligible to serve as a director, a person must be: 4-24 (1) a resident of the political subdivision that 4-25 appoints the person, if the person is appointed under Section 4-26 287.041(a); or 4-27 (2) a resident of the district if the person is 5-1 appointed under Section 287.041(b). 5-2 (b) An employee of the district may not serve as a director. 5-3 Sec. 287.043. BOND. (a) Before assuming the duties of the 5-4 office, each director must execute a bond for $5,000 payable to the 5-5 district, conditioned on the faithful performance of the person's 5-6 duties as director. 5-7 (b) The bond shall be kept in the permanent records of the 5-8 district. 5-9 (c) The board may pay for directors' bonds with district 5-10 funds. 5-11 Sec. 287.044. BOARD VACANCY. A vacancy in the office of 5-12 director shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner 5-13 as the original appointment. 5-14 Sec. 287.045. OFFICERS. (a) The board shall elect from 5-15 among its members a president and a vice president. 5-16 (b) The board shall appoint a secretary who need not be a 5-17 director. 5-18 Sec. 287.046. OFFICERS' TERMS; VACANCY. (a) Each officer 5-19 of the board serves for a term of one year. 5-20 (b) The board shall fill a vacancy in a board office for the 5-21 unexpired term. 5-22 Sec. 287.047. COMPENSATION. (a) Directors and officers 5-23 serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for actual 5-24 expenses incurred in the performance of official duties. 5-25 (b) Expenses reimbursed under this section must be: 5-26 (1) reported in the district's minute book or other 5-27 district records; and 6-1 (2) approved by the board. 6-2 Sec. 287.048. VOTING REQUIREMENT. A majority of the members 6-3 of the board voting must concur in a matter relating to the 6-4 business of the district. 6-5 Sec. 287.049. ADMINISTRATOR, ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR, AND 6-6 ATTORNEY. (a) The board may appoint qualified persons as 6-7 administrator of the district, assistant administrator, and 6-8 attorney for the district. 6-9 (b) The administrator, assistant administrator, and attorney 6-10 serve at the will of the board. 6-11 (c) The administrator, assistant administrator, and attorney 6-12 are entitled to compensation as determined by the board. 6-13 (d) Before assuming the administrator's duties, the 6-14 administrator shall execute a bond payable to the health services 6-15 district in an amount not less than $5,000 as determined by the 6-16 board, conditioned on the faithful performance of the 6-17 administrator's duties under this chapter. The board may pay for 6-18 the bond with district funds. 6-19 Sec. 287.050. APPOINTMENTS TO STAFF. The board may: 6-20 (1) appoint to the staff any doctors the board 6-21 considers necessary for the efficient operation of the district; 6-22 and 6-23 (2) make temporary appointments the board considers 6-24 necessary. 6-25 Sec. 287.051. TECHNICIANS, NURSES, AND OTHER DISTRICT 6-26 EMPLOYEES. (a) The district may employ technicians, nurses, 6-27 fiscal agents, accountants, architects, additional attorneys, and 7-1 other necessary employees. 7-2 (b) The board may delegate to the administrator the 7-3 authority to employ persons for the district. 7-4 Sec. 287.052. GENERAL DUTIES OF ADMINISTRATOR. The 7-5 administrator shall: 7-6 (1) supervise the work and activities of the district; 7-7 and 7-8 (2) direct the general affairs of the district, 7-9 subject to the limitations prescribed by the board. 7-10 Sec. 287.053. RETIREMENT BENEFITS. The board may provide 7-11 retirement benefits for employees of the district by: 7-12 (1) establishing or administering a retirement 7-13 program; or 7-14 (2) electing to participate in the Texas County and 7-15 District Retirement System or in any other statewide retirement 7-16 system in which the district is eligible to participate. 7-17 (Sections 287.054-287.070 reserved for expansion 7-18 SUBCHAPTER D. POWERS AND DUTIES 7-19 Sec. 287.071. RESPONSIBILITY OF GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY. On 7-20 creation of a district, a county, municipality, hospital district, 7-21 or other governmental entity in which the district is located shall 7-22 transfer to the district: 7-23 (1) management and operation of any land, buildings, 7-24 improvements, and equipment related to the hospital system located 7-25 wholly in the district that are owned by the county, municipality, 7-26 hospital district, or other governmental entity in which the 7-27 district is located, as specified in the contract with the 8-1 political subdivisions that created the district; and 8-2 (2) operating funds and reserves for operating 8-3 expenses and funds that have been budgeted by the county, 8-4 municipality, hospital district, or other governmental entity in 8-5 which the district is located to provide medical care for residents 8-6 of the district, as specified in the contract with the political 8-7 subdivisions that created the district. 8-8 Sec. 287.072. DISTRICT RESPONSIBILITIES. On creation of a 8-9 district, the district assumes the duties required under Section 8-10 287.023 and any additional duties specified in the contract with 8-11 the political subdivisions that created the district. 8-12 Sec. 287.073. MANAGEMENT, CONTROL, AND ADMINISTRATION. The 8-13 board shall manage, control, and administer the hospital system and 8-14 the funds and resources of the district that are transferred under 8-15 Section 287.071. 8-16 Sec. 287.074. DISTRICT RULES. The board may adopt rules 8-17 governing the operation of the district and the duties, functions, 8-18 and responsibilities of district staff and employees. 8-19 Sec. 287.075. METHODS AND PROCEDURES. The board may 8-20 prescribe: 8-21 (1) the method of making purchases and expenditures by 8-22 and for the district; and 8-23 (2) accounting and control procedures for the 8-24 district. 8-25 Sec. 287.076. HOSPITAL PROPERTY, FACILITIES, AND EQUIPMENT. 8-26 (a) The board shall determine: 8-27 (1) the type, number, and location of buildings 9-1 required to establish and maintain an adequate hospital system; and 9-2 (2) the type of equipment necessary for hospital care. 9-3 (b) The board may: 9-4 (1) acquire property, facilities, and equipment for 9-5 the district for use in the hospital system; 9-6 (2) mortgage or pledge the property, facilities, or 9-7 equipment acquired as security for the payment of the purchase 9-8 price; 9-9 (3) transfer by lease to physicians, individuals, 9-10 companies, corporations, or other legal entities or acquire by 9-11 lease district hospital facilities; 9-12 (4) sell or otherwise dispose of property, facilities, 9-13 or equipment acquired by the district; and 9-14 (5) contract with a state agency to provide facilities 9-15 and health care services. 9-16 Sec. 287.077. CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS. (a) The board may 9-17 enter into construction contracts for the district. 9-18 (b) The board may enter into construction contracts that 9-19 involve spending more than $10,000 only after competitive bidding 9-20 as provided by Subchapter B, Chapter 271, Local Government Code. 9-21 (c) Chapter 2253, Government Code, as it relates to 9-22 performance and payment bonds, applies to construction contracts 9-23 let by the district. 9-24 Sec. 287.078. DISTRICT OPERATING AND MANAGEMENT CONTRACTS. 9-25 The board may enter into operating or management contracts relating 9-26 to hospital facilities owned by the district or for which the 9-27 district assumes responsibility for managing and operating under 10-1 the terms of the contract with the political subdivisions that 10-2 created the district. 10-3 Sec. 287.079. EMINENT DOMAIN. (a) A district may exercise 10-4 the power of eminent domain to acquire a fee simple or other 10-5 interest in property located in the territory of the district if 10-6 the property interest is necessary to the exercise of the rights or 10-7 authority conferred by this chapter. 10-8 (b) A district must exercise the power of eminent domain in 10-9 the manner provided by Chapter 21, Property Code, but the district 10-10 is not required to deposit in the trial court money or a bond as 10-11 provided by Section 21.021(a), Property Code. 10-12 (c) In a condemnation proceeding brought by a district, the 10-13 district is not required to: 10-14 (1) pay in advance or give bond or other security for 10-15 costs in the trial court; 10-16 (2) give bond for the issuance of a temporary 10-17 restraining order or a temporary injunction; or 10-18 (3) give bond for costs or supersedeas on an appeal or 10-19 writ of error. 10-20 Sec. 287.080. EXPENSES FOR MOVING FACILITIES OF RAILROADS OR 10-21 UTILITIES. If, in exercising the power of eminent domain, the 10-22 board requires relocating, raising, lowering, rerouting, changing 10-23 the grade, or altering the construction of any railroad, highway, 10-24 pipeline, or electric transmission and electric distribution, 10-25 telegraph, or telephone lines, conduits, poles, or facilities, the 10-26 district must bear the actual cost of relocating, raising, 10-27 lowering, rerouting, changing the grade, or altering the 11-1 construction to provide comparable replacement without enhancement 11-2 of a facility, after deducting the net salvage value derived from 11-3 the old facility. 11-4 Sec. 287.081. PAYMENT FOR HEALTH CARE SERVICES. (a) The 11-5 district without charge shall supply to a patient residing in the 11-6 district the care and treatment that the patient or a relative of 11-7 the patient who is legally responsible for the patient's support 11-8 cannot pay. 11-9 (b) Not later than the first day of each operating year, the 11-10 district shall adopt an application procedure to determine 11-11 eligibility for assistance that complies with Section 61.053. 11-12 (c) The administrator of the district may have an inquiry 11-13 made into the financial circumstances of: 11-14 (1) a patient residing in the district and admitted to 11-15 a district facility; and 11-16 (2) a relative of the patient who is legally 11-17 responsible for the patient's support. 11-18 (d) On finding that a patient or a relative of the patient 11-19 legally responsible for the patient's support can pay for all or 11-20 any part of the care and treatment provided by the district, the 11-21 administrator shall report that finding to the board, and the board 11-22 shall issue an order directing the patient or the relative to pay 11-23 the district each week a specified amount that the individual is 11-24 able to pay. 11-25 (e) The board may adopt a sliding-fee scale for health care 11-26 services provided to a patient who can pay for some, but not all, 11-27 of the care and treatment provided by the district. 12-1 (f) Notwithstanding Section 61.036, a county that created 12-2 and contracted with the district may credit a district expenditure 12-3 for the care and treatment of a county resident who qualifies for 12-4 payment on the sliding-fee scale adopted under Subsection (e) 12-5 toward eligibility for state assistance even if the resident does 12-6 not meet the eligibility standards under Chapter 61. 12-7 (g) The administrator may collect money owed to the district 12-8 from the estate of a patient or from that of a relative who was 12-9 legally responsible for the patient's support in the manner 12-10 provided by law for collection of expenses in the last illness of a 12-11 deceased person. 12-12 (h) If there is a dispute relating to an individual's 12-13 ability to pay or if the administrator has any doubt concerning an 12-14 individual's ability to pay, the board shall call witnesses, hear 12-15 and resolve the question, and issue a final order. An appeal from 12-16 a final order of the board must be made to a district court in the 12-17 county in which the district is located, and the substantial 12-18 evidence rule applies. 12-19 Sec. 287.082. REIMBURSEMENT FOR SERVICES. (a) The board 12-20 shall require reimbursement from a county, municipality, or public 12-21 hospital located outside the boundaries of the district for the 12-22 district's care and treatment of a sick, diseased, or injured 12-23 person of that county, municipality, or public hospital as provided 12-24 by Chapter 61. 12-25 (b) The board shall require reimbursement from the sheriff 12-26 or police chief of a county or municipality for the district's care 12-27 and treatment of a person confined in a jail facility of the county 13-1 or municipality who is not a resident of the district. 13-2 (c) The board may contract with the state or federal 13-3 government for the state or federal government to reimburse the 13-4 district for treatment of a sick, diseased, or injured person. 13-5 Sec. 287.083. SERVICE CONTRACTS. The board may contract 13-6 with a municipality, county, special district, or other political 13-7 subdivision of the state or with a state or federal agency for the 13-8 district to: 13-9 (1) furnish a mobile emergency medical service; or 13-10 (2) provide for the investigatory or welfare needs of 13-11 inhabitants of the district. 13-12 Sec. 287.084. GIFTS AND ENDOWMENTS. On behalf of the 13-13 district, the board may accept gifts and endowments to be held in 13-14 trust for any purpose and under any direction, limitation, or 13-15 provision prescribed in writing by the donor that is consistent 13-16 with the proper management of the district. 13-17 Sec. 287.085. AUTHORITY TO SUE AND BE SUED. The board may 13-18 sue and be sued on behalf of the district. 13-19 (Sections 287.086-287.100 reserved for expansion 13-20 SUBCHAPTER E. DISSOLUTION OF DISTRICT 13-21 Sec. 287.101. DISSOLUTION. A district shall be dissolved if 13-22 the contract with the political subdivisions that created the 13-23 district expires and is not renewed. 13-24 Sec. 287.102. TRANSFER OF ASSETS AFTER DISSOLUTION. (a) If 13-25 the district is dissolved, the board shall: 13-26 (1) transfer the land, buildings, improvements, 13-27 equipment, and other assets acquired by the district to the county 14-1 or other governmental entity in which the property is located; or 14-2 (2) administer the property, assets, and debts in 14-3 accordance with Section 287.103. 14-4 (b) If the district transfers its land, buildings, 14-5 improvements, equipment, and other assets to a county or other 14-6 governmental entity, the county or entity assumes all debts and 14-7 obligations of the district related to the land, buildings, 14-8 improvements, equipment, or assets at the time of the transfer, and 14-9 the district is dissolved. 14-10 Sec. 287.103. ADMINISTRATION OF PROPERTY, DEBTS, AND ASSETS 14-11 AFTER DISSOLUTION. (a) If the district does not transfer its 14-12 land, buildings, improvements, equipment, and other assets to a 14-13 county or another governmental entity in the district, the board 14-14 shall continue to control and administer the property, debts, and 14-15 assets of the district until all funds have been disposed of and 14-16 all district debts have been paid or settled. 14-17 (b) If, after administering the property and assets, the 14-18 board determines that the district's property and assets are 14-19 insufficient to pay the debts of the district, the district shall 14-20 transfer the remaining debts to the political subdivisions that 14-21 created the district in proportion to the funds contributed to the 14-22 district by that political subdivision. 14-23 (c) If, after administering the property and assets, the 14-24 board determines that unused funds remain, the board shall transfer 14-25 the unused funds to the political subdivisions that created the 14-26 district in proportion to the funds contributed to the district by 14-27 each political subdivision. 15-1 Sec. 287.104. ACCOUNTING. After the district has paid all 15-2 its debts and has disposed of all its assets and funds as 15-3 prescribed by Sections 287.102 and 287.103, the board shall provide 15-4 an accounting to each political subdivision that created and 15-5 contracted with the district. The accounting must show the manner 15-6 in which the assets and debts of the district were distributed. 15-7 (Sections 287.105-287.120 reserved for expansion 15-8 SUBCHAPTER F. DISTRICT FINANCES 15-9 Sec. 287.121. FISCAL YEAR. (a) The district operates on 15-10 the fiscal year established by the board. 15-11 (b) The fiscal year may not be changed if revenue bonds of 15-12 the district are outstanding or more than once in a 24-month 15-13 period. 15-14 Sec. 287.122. ANNUAL AUDIT. (a) The board annually shall 15-15 have an audit made of the financial condition of the district. 15-16 (b) A copy of the audit must be provided to each political 15-17 subdivision that created and contracted with the district. 15-18 Sec. 287.123. DISTRICT AUDIT AND RECORDS. The annual audit 15-19 and other district records are open to inspection during regular 15-20 business hours at the principal office of the district. 15-21 Sec. 287.124. ANNUAL BUDGET. (a) The administrator of the 15-22 district shall prepare a proposed annual budget for the district. 15-23 (b) The proposed budget must contain a complete financial 15-24 statement, including a statement of: 15-25 (1) the outstanding obligations of the district; 15-26 (2) the amount of cash on hand to the credit of each 15-27 fund of the district; 16-1 (3) the amount of money received by the district from 16-2 all sources during the previous year; 16-3 (4) the amount of money available to the district from 16-4 all sources during the ensuing year; 16-5 (5) the amount of the balances expected at the end of 16-6 the year in which the budget is being prepared; and 16-7 (6) the estimated amount of revenues and balances 16-8 available to cover the proposed budget. 16-9 Sec. 287.125. NOTICE; HEARING; ADOPTION OF BUDGET. (a) The 16-10 board shall hold a public hearing on the proposed annual budget. 16-11 (b) The board shall publish notice of the hearing in a 16-12 newspaper of general circulation in the district not later than the 16-13 10th day before the date of the hearing. 16-14 (c) Any resident of the district is entitled to be present 16-15 and participate at the hearing. 16-16 (d) At the conclusion of the hearing, the board shall adopt 16-17 a budget by acting on the budget proposed by the administrator. 16-18 The board may make any changes in the proposed budget that in its 16-19 judgment the interests of the residents of the district demand. 16-20 (e) The budget is effective only after adoption by the 16-21 board. 16-22 Sec. 287.126. AMENDING BUDGET. After adoption, the annual 16-23 budget may be amended on the board's approval. 16-24 Sec. 287.127. LIMITATION OF EXPENDITURES. Money may not be 16-25 spent for an expense not included in the annual budget or an 16-26 amendment to it. 16-27 Sec. 287.128. SWORN STATEMENT. As soon as practicable after 17-1 the close of the fiscal year, the administrator shall prepare for 17-2 the board a sworn statement of the amount of money that belongs to 17-3 the district and an account of the disbursements of that money. 17-4 Sec. 287.129. SPENDING AND INVESTMENT LIMITATIONS. (a) 17-5 Except for construction contracts under Section 287.077(a) or as 17-6 provided by Sections 287.142 and 287.143, the district may not 17-7 incur a debt payable from revenues of the district other than the 17-8 revenues on hand or to be on hand in the current and immediately 17-9 following fiscal year of the district. 17-10 (b) The board may invest operating, depreciation, or 17-11 building reserves only in funds or securities specified by Article 17-12 836 or 837, Revised Statutes. 17-13 Sec. 287.130. DEPOSITORY. (a) The board shall name at 17-14 least one bank to serve as depository for district funds. 17-15 (b) District funds, other than those invested as provided by 17-16 Section 287.129(b) and those transmitted to a bank of payment for 17-17 bonds or obligations issued or assumed by the district, shall be 17-18 deposited as received with the depository bank and must remain on 17-19 deposit. This subsection does not limit the power of the board to 17-20 place a portion of district funds on time deposit or to purchase 17-21 certificates of deposit. 17-22 (c) Before the district deposits funds in a bank in an 17-23 amount that exceeds the maximum amount secured by the Federal 17-24 Deposit Insurance Corporation, the bank must execute a bond or 17-25 other security in an amount sufficient to secure from loss the 17-26 district funds that exceed the amount secured by the Federal 17-27 Deposit Insurance Corporation. 18-1 Sec. 287.131. AD VALOREM TAXATION. A district may not 18-2 impose an ad valorem tax. 18-3 (Sections 287.132-287.140 reserved for expansion 18-4 SUBCHAPTER G. BONDS 18-5 Sec. 287.141. GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS. A district may not 18-6 issue general obligation bonds. 18-7 Sec. 287.142. REVENUE BONDS. (a) The board may issue 18-8 revenue bonds to: 18-9 (1) purchase, construct, acquire, repair, equip, or 18-10 renovate buildings or improvements for district purposes; 18-11 (2) acquire sites to be used for district purposes; or 18-12 (3) acquire and operate a mobile emergency medical 18-13 service to assist the district in carrying out its purposes. 18-14 (b) The bonds must be payable from and secured by a pledge 18-15 of all or part of the revenues derived from the operation of the 18-16 district's hospital system. The bonds may be additionally secured 18-17 by a mortgage or deed of trust lien on all or part of district 18-18 property. 18-19 (c) The bonds must be issued in the manner provided by 18-20 Sections 264.042, 264.043, 264.046, 264.047, 264.048, and 264.049 18-21 for issuance of revenue bonds by county hospital authorities. 18-22 Sec. 287.143. REFUNDING BONDS. (a) Refunding bonds of the 18-23 district may be issued to refund an outstanding indebtedness the 18-24 district has issued or assumed. 18-25 (b) The bonds must be issued in the manner provided by 18-26 Chapter 784, Acts of the 61st Legislature, Regular Session, 1969 18-27 (Article 717k-3, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes). 19-1 (c) The refunding bonds may be sold and the proceeds applied 19-2 to the payment of outstanding indebtedness or may be exchanged in 19-3 whole or in part for not less than a similar principal amount of 19-4 outstanding indebtedness. If the refunding bonds are to be sold 19-5 and the proceeds applied to the payment of outstanding 19-6 indebtedness, the refunding bonds must be issued and payments made 19-7 in the manner provided by Chapter 503, Acts of the 54th 19-8 Legislature, Regular Session, 1955 (Article 717k, Vernon's Texas 19-9 Civil Statutes). 19-10 Sec. 287.144. INTEREST AND MATURITY. District bonds must 19-11 mature not later than the 50th anniversary of the date of their 19-12 issuance and must bear interest at a rate not to exceed that 19-13 provided by Chapter 3, Acts of the 61st Legislature, Regular 19-14 Session, 1969 (Article 717k-2, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes). 19-15 Sec. 287.145. EXECUTION OF BONDS. The president of the 19-16 board shall execute the bonds in the name of the district, and the 19-17 secretary of the board shall countersign the bonds in the manner 19-18 provided by the Texas Uniform Facsimile Signature of Public 19-19 Officials Act (Article 717j-1, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes). 19-20 Sec. 287.146. APPROVAL AND REGISTRATION OF BONDS. (a) 19-21 District bonds are subject to the same requirements with regard to 19-22 approval by the attorney general and registration by the 19-23 comptroller as the law provides for approval and registration of 19-24 bonds issued by counties. 19-25 (b) On approval by the attorney general and registration by 19-26 the comptroller, the bonds are incontestable for any cause. 19-27 Sec. 287.147. BONDS AS INVESTMENTS. District bonds and 20-1 indebtedness assumed by the district are legal and authorized 20-2 investments for: 20-3 (1) banks; 20-4 (2) savings banks; 20-5 (3) trust companies; 20-6 (4) savings and loan associations; 20-7 (5) insurance companies; 20-8 (6) fiduciaries; 20-9 (7) trustees; 20-10 (8) guardians; and 20-11 (9) sinking funds of municipalities, counties, school 20-12 districts, and other political subdivisions of the state and other 20-13 public funds of the state and its agencies, including the permanent 20-14 school fund. 20-15 Sec. 287.148. BONDS AS SECURITY FOR DEPOSITS. District 20-16 bonds are eligible to secure deposits of public funds of the state 20-17 and of municipalities, counties, school districts, and other 20-18 political subdivisions of the state. The bonds are lawful and 20-19 sufficient security for deposits to the extent of their value if 20-20 accompanied by all unmatured coupons. 20-21 Sec. 287.149. TAX STATUS OF BONDS. Because the district 20-22 created under this chapter is a public entity performing an 20-23 essential public function, bonds issued by the district, any 20-24 transaction relating to the bonds, and profits made in the sale of 20-25 the bonds are free from taxation by the state or by any 20-26 municipality, county, special district, or other political 20-27 subdivision of the state. 21-1 SECTION 2. This Act takes effect September 1, 1999. 21-2 SECTION 3. The importance of this legislation and the 21-3 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an 21-4 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the 21-5 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several 21-6 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.