C.S.H.B. 649 78(R) BILL ANALYSIS C.S.H.B. 649 By: Keffer, Jim Land & Resource Management Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE H.B. 7 enacted by the 77th Legislature created the Office of Rural Community Affairs. H.B. 7 requires an annual meeting of agency heads to discuss rural issues. C.S.H.B. 649 includes agencies that were left out of H.B. 7 to the list of agencies required to attend the annual meeting and clarifies the purpose of the annual meeting. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Sections 487.054(a), Government Code, to clarify that the additional purpose of the annual meeting is to aid the Office of Rural Community Affairs in developing rural policy and compiling their annual report. Adds several agencies to the list of agencies required to attend the annual meeting. SECTION 2. Amends Subchapter C, Chapter 487, Government Code, by adding Sec. 487.0541 as follows: Creates an interagency work group to develop a process to allow agencies to work together on rural issues, discuss and coordinate programs and services offered to rural communities and residents, and develop regulatory and legislative recommendations that would eliminate duplication and combine program services. Requires the executive head of the agencies included under SECTION 1 to appoint a representative from the respective agency to serve as a member of an interagency work group. Requires the work group to meet at the call of the executive director of the Office of Rural Community Affairs. SECTION 3. Effective date. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2003 COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.S.B. 649 differs from the introduced bill as follows: Authorizes "designees" in addition to "agency heads" to meet in Austin for the annual meeting. Adds the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board to the list of agencies to attend the annual meeting. Opens the interagency work group to a representative of any agency that was not listed but would like to attend.