HBA-DMH S.B. 1182 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1182 By: Wentworth State Affairs 5/18/2001 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Under current law, certain categories of public information are accessible to the public and are not excepted from disclosure under public information law unless they are expressly confidential under other law. In a recent court case, the issue was raised as to whether or not a governmental body was required under public information provisions to disclose to the media a report prepared by a consulting expert in connection with pending and anticipated litigation. The Texas Supreme Court held that if documents are privileged or confidential under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure or the Texas Rules of Evidence, the documents are considered to be confidential under other law and do not have to be disclosed. Senate Bill 1182 modifies the categories of public information that are exempt from required disclosure to include certain litigation or settlement negotiations involving a governmental body and matters related to attorneyclient privilege. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY 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. ANALYSIS Senate Bill 1182 amends the Government Code to modify the categories of public information that are excepted from required disclosure to include a report, audit, evaluation, or investigation made of, for, or by a governmental body relating to litigation or settlement negotiations involving the state or a political subdivision, certain legal matters relating to an attorney's duty to a client under the Texas Rules of Civil Evidence, the Texas Rules of Criminal Evidence, and the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, or if the disclosure of the information is prohibited by court order. For purposes of state public information laws, the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the Texas Rules of Evidence, and the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct are not considered to be law that expressly makes information confidential. In addition, a state agency rule is considered to be law that expressly makes information confidential only if the agency has specific statutory authority to make the information confidential by rule. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.