Austin, Texas
                    FISCAL NOTE, 76th Regular Session
                              April 9, 1999
          TO:  Honorable Bill Carter, Chair, House Committee on Urban
        FROM:  John Keel, Director, Legislative Budget Board
       IN RE:  HB 1132  by Hinojosa (Relating to certain municipal
               firefighters and police officers entitled to additional
               wages.), Committee Report 1st House, Substituted
*  No fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.                    *
Local Government Impact
The bill would allow municipalities to pay additional wages to
firefighters and police officers providing a service to the department
that uses additional language skills that are outside the course and
scope of the firefighter or police officer's scope of employment
indicated by an official job description. The amount of appropriate
additional pay would be determined by each fire or police department and
would be based on the type of language skills possessed and the officer
or firefighter's fluency level.

According to the Comptroller's office, the bill would have no fiscal
impact on the states five largest cities (Houston, Dallas, San Antonio,
El Paso and Austin), since each of these cities already provides
additional compensation for the use of a foreign language. For example,
the City of Austin pays additional wages totaling $243,300 per year for
foreign language use: $174,000  for 116 police officers, or 10.7 percent
of the police force; $69,300 for 77 firefighters, or 8.7 percent of
firefighters. The City of San Antonio pays additional wages totaling
$583,800 per year for foreign language use: $291,000 for 485 police
officers, or 24.4 percent of the police force; $292,800 for 488 or 35.9
percent of firefighters.

A municipality which does not already provide additional compensation for
firefighters and police officers could incur additional wage costs if
the municipality would chose to offer such benefits. The cost would
depend on the number of police officers and firefighters, the percent
with foreign language skills and the amount of additional wages
determined appropriate by the fire and police departments.
Source Agencies:   304   Comptroller Of Pub Accts
LBB Staff:         JK, TL