Austin, Texas
                    FISCAL NOTE, 77th Regular Session
                              April 2, 2001
          TO:  Honorable J.E. "Buster" Brown, Chair, Senate Committee on
               Natural Resources
        FROM:  John Keel, Director, Legislative Budget Board
       IN RE:  SB1627  by Wentworth (Relating to the creation of the
               atmosphere modification research program and center.), As
*  Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for    *
*  SB1627, As Introduced:  negative impact of $(7,193,588) through       *
*  the biennium ending August 31, 2003.                                  *
*                                                                        *
*  The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal      *
*  basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of    *
*  the bill.                                                             *
General Revenue-Related Funds, Five-Year Impact:
          *  Fiscal Year  Probable Net Positive/(Negative)   *
          *               Impact to General Revenue Related  *
          *                             Funds                *
          *       2002                         $(3,743,294)  *
          *       2003                          (3,450,294)  *
          *       2004                          (3,450,294)  *
          *       2005                          (3,450,294)  *
          *       2006                          (3,450,294)  *
All Funds, Five-Year Impact:
*Fiscal    Probable Savings/(Cost) from     Change in Number of State     *
* Year         General Revenue Fund           Employees from FY 2001      *
*                      0001                                               *
*  2002                      $(3,743,294)                            10.0 *
*  2003                       (3,450,294)                            10.0 *
*  2004                       (3,450,294)                            10.0 *
*  2005                       (3,450,294)                            10.0 *
*  2006                       (3,450,294)                            10.0 *
Technology Impact
The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) estimates it would need
computers for the additional staff and other peripherals, such as a
projector, scanners, and printers.  The TDA also estimates it would need
to purchase specialized analytical equipment and software for the
research program.  The estimated costs for all equipment would be
Fiscal Analysis
The bill would create an Atmosphere Modification Research Program, which
would be a competitive research grant program for faculty researchers at
Texas institutions of higher education.  The bill would require the Texas
Department of Agriculture to administer the program and require TDA to
establish an atmosphere modification research center at Texas Tech
University.  The bill would also require TDA to select a center director
from Texas Tech University faculty and any other personnel as determined
by TDA.

The bill would create the Atmosphere Modification Research Center Fund as
a trust fund with the Comptroller of Public Accounts, which consists of
gifts, grants, other donations, revenue from the operation of the
center; and Legislative appropriations.
The bill does not provide any appropriations for the program.  However,
for the purpose of this analysis, it is estimated the Texas Department of
Agriculture (TDA) would distribute $2,475,406 in grant funds each fiscal
year, which is comparable to a similar grant program operated by the
Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.

In addition, based on an estimate from TDA and Texas Tech University,
there would be a need for ten additional staff members.  This includes
one Program Specialist (annual cost of $72,196 including benefits) who
would administer the grant program.  There would also be a need for one
Director (annual cost of $128,280 including benefits) for the research
center and  five Scientists (annual cost of $448,980 including benefits)
to conduct research.  There would also be three Administrative
Technicians (annual cost of $115,452 including benefits) who would be
responsible for assisting the scientists and performing any
administrative duties.  It is also estimated there would be additional
operating expenses of $209,980 for travel, rent, maintenance and office

Although this bill allows for donations or revenue from the operation of
the center, the Comptroller of Public Accounts could not provide an
estimate or the amounts which might be collected or generated.
Local Government Impact
No fiscal implication to units of local government is anticipated.
Source Agencies:   304   Comptroller of Public Accounts, 551   Texas
                   Department of Agriculture, 733   Texas Tech University
LBB Staff:         JK, CL, GS