By Fraser S.B. No. 728
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
1-1 AN ACT
1-2 relating to implementation of a Texas courthouse preservation
1-4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
1-5 SECTION 1. Chapter 442, Government Code, is amended by
1-6 adding Sections 442.0081 through 442.0083 to read as follows:
1-7 Sec. 442.0081. HISTORIC COURTHOUSE PRESERVATION PROGRAM;
1-8 GRANTS AND LOANS. (a) The commission shall administer a historic
1-9 courthouse preservation program.
1-10 (b) An owner of a historic courthouse who is a county or
1-11 nonprofit organization may apply to the commission for a grant or
1-12 loan for a historic courthouse project. The commission by rule
1-13 shall determine the timing of and requirements for an application
1-14 for funding under the historic courthouse preservation program.
1-15 (c) The commission may grant or, subject to Section
1-16 442.0083, loan money to a county or nonprofit organization that
1-17 owns a historic courthouse, for the purpose of preserving or
1-18 restoring the courthouse, if the owner's application meets the
1-19 standards of the historic courthouse preservation program. In
1-20 considering whether to grant an application, the commission may
1-21 consider the preferences and factors listed in this section as well
1-22 as any other factors that it may provide by rule.
1-23 (d) In considering whether to grant an application, the
1-24 commission may give preference to:
2-1 (1) a proposed project to preserve or restore a
2-2 courthouse that is owned by the county and functioning as a
2-3 courthouse; and
2-4 (2) an owner that will provide or has provided at
2-5 least 15 percent of the project's costs, including:
2-6 (A) in-kind contributions; and
2-7 (B) previous expenditures for master planning
2-8 and renovations on the courthouse that are the subject of the
2-10 (e) The commission shall adopt rules regarding the way in
2-11 which it will consider the following factors in analyzing an
2-12 owner's contribution to project costs under Subsection (d)(2):
2-13 (1) the period during which past expenditures can be
2-15 (2) the amount of past expenditures that can be
2-17 (3) the owner's financial capacity to contribute; and
2-18 (4) the amount and type of in-kind contributions that
2-19 can be considered.
2-20 (f) In considering whether to grant an application, the
2-21 commission may also consider the following factors:
2-22 (1) the amount of money available for a grant or loan
2-23 and the percentage of the costs that the owner will contribute;
2-24 (2) whether the owner will contribute any in-kind
2-25 contribution such as labor or materials;
2-26 (3) the cost to preserve or restore the courthouse;
2-27 (4) the architectural style of the courthouse;
3-1 (5) the historic significance of the courthouse;
3-2 (6) the owner's master preservation plan;
3-3 (7) whether the owner is a county or nonprofit
3-4 organization; and
3-5 (8) any other factors that the commission by rule may
3-7 (g) The commission, after considering any recommendations
3-8 from the governor, lieutenant governor, or speaker of the house of
3-9 representatives, shall appoint a Texas Courthouse Preservation
3-10 Program Advisory Committee. The committee shall assist the
3-11 commission on matters relating to the historic courthouse
3-12 preservation program, receive input from the public about the
3-13 program, and perform additional functions assigned to it by
3-14 commission rule. The commission may reimburse a committee member's
3-15 travel expenses and provide a per diem for other expenses from
3-16 funds appropriated to the commission, but not from funds in the
3-17 historic courthouse preservation fund account created by this
3-18 chapter. Chapter 2110 applies to the committee. The commission by
3-19 rule shall determine the qualifications for membership on the
3-20 committee. The committee may include members such as:
3-21 (1) an elected county official;
3-22 (2) a member of a historical organization;
3-23 (3) a person with historical preservation knowledge
3-24 and experience; or
3-25 (4) a member of the general public.
3-26 (h) The commission shall adopt rules necessary to implement
3-27 the historic courthouse preservation program.
4-1 Sec. 442.0082. HISTORIC COURTHOUSE PROJECT; REQUIREMENTS.
4-2 (a) Before incurring any expenses payable from funds received from
4-3 the commission under the historic courthouse preservation program,
4-4 an owner must have a master preservation plan for its historic
4-5 courthouse project. The commission by rule shall establish
4-6 guidelines that set minimum standards for an owner's master
4-7 preservation plan.
4-8 (b) An owner that receives money under the historic
4-9 courthouse preservation program must use recognized preservation
4-10 standards for work on a historic courthouse project. The
4-11 commission by rule shall establish standards that ensure the
4-12 quality of work performed on a historic courthouse project.
4-13 (c) An owner that receives money under the historic
4-14 courthouse preservation program for a historic courthouse project
4-15 may use the money only for eligible preservation and restoration
4-16 expenses that the commission by rule shall prescribe. Eligible
4-17 expenses may include costs for:
4-18 (1) structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing
4-19 systems and weather protection and emergency public safety issues
4-20 not covered by insurance;
4-21 (2) code and environmental compliance, including
4-22 complying with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
4-23 and its subsequent amendments, Article 9102, Revised Statutes, and
4-24 other state laws relating to accessibility standards, hazardous
4-25 materials mitigation rules, and other similar concerns;
4-26 (3) replication of a missing architectural feature;
4-27 (4) removal of an inappropriate addition or
5-2 (5) restoration of a courtroom or other significant
5-3 public space in a functional and historically appropriate manner;
5-5 (6) alteration of the landscape to provide a more
5-6 historically appropriate setting for the courthouse.
5-7 (d) An owner's expenditure of money received under this
5-8 chapter for a historic courthouse project is subject to audit by
5-9 the state auditor in accordance with Chapter 321.
5-10 (e) The commission by rule shall provide for oversight
5-11 procedures on a project. These rules shall provide for reasonable
5-12 inspections by the commission as well as periodic reports by an
5-13 owner on a project's progress.
5-14 Sec. 442.0083. FUNDING FOR HISTORIC COURTHOUSE PRESERVATION
5-15 PROGRAM; HISTORIC COURTHOUSE PRESERVATION FUND ACCOUNT. (a) The
5-16 historic courthouse preservation fund account is a separate account
5-17 in the general revenue fund. The account consists of transfers
5-18 made to the account, payments on loans made under the historic
5-19 courthouse preservation program, grants and donations made for the
5-20 purposes of the historic courthouse preservation program, and
5-21 income earned on investments of money in the account.
5-22 Appropriations to the commission for the historic courthouse
5-23 preservation program shall be credited to the account. Payments on
5-24 loans made under the program and grants and donations to the
5-25 commission for the purpose of the program shall be deposited to the
5-26 credit of the account. Notwithstanding Section 404.071, income
5-27 earned on money in the account shall be deposited to the credit of
6-1 the account. Money in the account may only be appropriated for the
6-2 purpose of the historic courthouse preservation program.
6-3 (b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), the commission may
6-4 use money in the historic courthouse preservation fund account to
6-5 provide a grant or loan to a county or nonprofit organization that
6-6 owns a historic courthouse for a historic courthouse project. The
6-7 grant or loan may be in the amount and according to the terms that
6-8 the commission by rule shall determine.
6-9 (c) The commission may use money in the historic courthouse
6-10 preservation fund account to provide a loan under the historic
6-11 courthouse preservation program only to the extent that the
6-12 legislature provides in the General Appropriations Act that money
6-13 appropriated to the commission for the program may be used to make
6-15 (d) As a condition for providing the money under this
6-16 section, the commission may require creation of a conservation
6-17 easement in the property, as provided by Chapter 183, Natural
6-18 Resources Code, in favor of the state and may require creation of
6-19 other appropriate covenants in favor of the state. The commission
6-20 may take any necessary action to enforce repayment of a loan or any
6-21 other agreements made under this section and Sections 442.0081 and
6-23 (e) A grant for a historic courthouse project may not exceed
6-24 the greater of four million dollars or two percent of the amount
6-25 appropriated for implementing the historic courthouse preservation
6-26 program during the state fiscal biennium.
6-27 (f) Biennial appropriations to the commission for
7-1 administering the historic courthouse preservation program,
7-2 including providing oversight for historic courthouse projects, may
7-3 not exceed the greater of two million dollars or one percent of the
7-4 amount appropriated for implementing the historic courthouse
7-5 preservation program during the state fiscal biennium.
7-6 (g) The commission by rule may set a limit on the loan
7-7 amount for a historic courthouse project.
7-8 (h) The commission may accept a gift, grant, or other
7-9 donation for the historic courthouse preservation program or a
7-10 specific historic courthouse project.
7-11 SECTION 2. Section 442.001, Government Code, is amended to
7-12 read as follows:
7-13 Sec. 442.001. DEFINITIONS [
DEFINITION]. In this chapter:
7-14 (1) "Historic courthouse" means a county courthouse
7-15 that is at least 50 years old.
7-16 (2) "Historic courthouse project" means a project to
7-17 preserve or restore a historic courthouse.
7-18 (3) "Historic[ ,"historic] structure" means a structure
7-20 (A) [ (1)] is included on the National Register
7-21 of Historic Places;
7-22 (B) [ (2)] is designated as a Recorded Texas
7-23 Historic Landmark;
7-24 (C) [ (3)] is designated as a State Archeological
7-26 (D) [ (4)] is determined by the Texas Historical
7-27 Commission to qualify as eligible property under criteria for
8-1 inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places or for
8-2 designation as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark or as a State
8-3 Archeological Landmark;
8-4 (E) [ (5)] is certified by the Texas Historical
8-5 Commission to other state agencies as worthy of preservation; or
8-6 (F) [ (6)] is designated by an ordinance of a
8-7 municipality with a population of more than 1.5 million as
8-9 SECTION 3. The section heading to Section 442.008,
8-10 Government Code, is amended to read as follows:
8-11 Sec. 442.008. COUNTY [ HISTORIC] COURTHOUSES.
8-12 SECTION 4. (a) This Act takes effect September 1, 1999.
8-13 (b) Not later than November 1, 1999, the commission shall
8-14 adopt the rules required by Sections 442.0081, 442.0082, and
8-15 442.0083, Government Code, as added by this Act.
8-16 SECTION 5. The importance of this legislation and the
8-17 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
8-18 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
8-19 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
8-20 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.