Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2312
By: Bosse
Civil Practices


During the 76th legislative session, the legislature established an
administrative procedure for disputes arising on contract claims against
the state.  In February 2001 the Texas Supreme Court ruled in General
Services Commission v. Little-Tex Insulation Company Inc. that the
administrative procedure established by the legislature for certain breach
of contract claims against the state was intended to be the exclusive
method available for resolving those cases.  This decision narrowed the
ability of the legislature to waive sovereign immunity.  House Bill 2312
clarifies the ability of the legislature to waive sovereign immunity. 


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. 


House Bill 2312 amends the Government Code to exclude from the definition
of a contract, as it relates to the resolution of certain contract claims
against the state, any contract which does not include a provision stating
that a dispute resolution process must be used to attempt to resolve a
dispute arising under the contract.  The bill exempts from provisions
relating to the resolution of certain contract claims against the state a
contract executed or awarded on or before August 30, 1999.  The bill
prohibits the total amount recoverable on a claim for breach of contract
under such provisions from exceeding the balance due and owing on the
contract price, plus the amount or fair market value of orders or requests
for additional work made by a unit of state government, minus any amount
owed the unit of state government for work not performed under a contract.
The bill sets forth provisions reaffirming the authority of the legislature
to deny or grant a waiver of immunity to suit against a unit of state


On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2001.