HBA-LJP S.B. 1646 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1646 By: Bernsen Natural Resources 5/8/2001 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The Texas Constitution authorizes the creation of groundwater conservation districts to plan, develop, and regulate the use of water. The Coastal Water Authority (authority) is a conservation and reclamation district established by the 60th Legislature that is located in a three-county area encompassing all of Harris County and parts of Chambers and Liberty counties. Senate Bill 1646 authorizes the authority to abandon certain canals, laterals, or ditches, modifies the residential qualifications of a person appointed to the board of directors of the authority, and authorizes the authority to issue refunding bonds. 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 1646 authorizes the Coastal Water Authority (authority), notwithstanding any previous obligation, to abandon, sell, release or deconstruct a canal, ditch, or lateral if: _such structures have not been used to transport or deliver water in five years; _ there are intervening gaps between the canal, ditch, or lateral and the authority's primary canal serving that canal, lateral, or ditch; or _an adjoining landowner has requested the abandonment, sale, release, or deconstruction of such structures without another adjoining landowner objecting within thirty day after notice of the proposed action by the authority. The bill authorizes the authority to issue refunding bonds to refund any authority bond or obligation in accordance with laws of the state, including certain bonds or other obligations that have been defeased by the authority by escrowing United States Government obligations. Beginning in the year 2005, a person appointed to the board of directors of the authority by the governor does not have to be a resident within the boundaries of the authority if the person is a resident within a specified area of Liberty County. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.