HBA-TBM C.S.S.B. 697 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.S.B. 697 By: Wentworth Licensing & Administrative Procedures 5/8/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, licensed professional engineers are one of the few professional or occupational groups in Texas that do not have mandatory continuing education requirements. Under current law, the Texas Board of Professional Engineers (board) is authorized to administer a continuing education program, but participation is voluntary. C.S.S.B. 697 authorizes the board by rule to require continuing education for a licensed professional engineer, and to adopt rules regarding registration of engineering firms that are sole proprietorships. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Board of Professional Engineers in SECTION 1 (Section 8, Article 3271a, V.T.C.S.), SECTION 2 (Section 13, Article 3271a, V.T.C.S.), and SECTION 3 (Section 16.1, Article 3271a, V.T.C.S.) of this bill. ANALYSIS C.S.S.B. 697 amends The Texas Engineering Practice Act to authorize the Texas Board of Professional Engineers (board) by rule to require continuing education for persons regulated by the board. The bill prohibits rules adopted from requiring a license holder to obtain more than eight hours of continuing education in one year. The bill requires that rules adopted permit a license holder to certify at the time the license is renewed that the license holder has complied with the board's continuing education requirements. The bill requires that rules adopted permit a license holder to receive continuing education credit for education, technical, ethical, or professional management activities related to the practice of engineering. The bill authorizes the board at the request of any person to review a proposal for the procurement of services issued by a governmental entity and issue a finding regarding whether the services are within the scope of the practice of professional engineering. The bill authorizes the board by rule to adopt a registration fee for a sole proprietorship that is equal to half of the registration fee for other engineering firms, and by rule to adopt a system under which the registration of a sole proprietorship expires on the same date the sole proprietor's license expires. The bill provides that The Texas Engineering Practice Act does not apply to a sole proprietorship, firm, partnership, joint stock association, corporation, other business entity or the entity's employees or contractors to the extent the entity's products or services: _are provided or sold to an agency or department of the United States government or the government of a foreign country and involve the design, development, production, sale, or provision of defense products or services; _consist of or support commercial aircraft and the entity holds a certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration; or _consist of space vehicles or space services that are subject to licensing or regulation by an agency or department of the United States government or are for sale or use outside the United States. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.S.B. 697 differs from the original bill by authorizing the Texas Board of Professional Engineers to adopt rules regarding registration of engineering firms that are sole proprietorships. The substitute also sets forth entities to which The Texas Engineering Practice Act does not apply.