S.B. 553 78(R)    BILL ANALYSIS

S.B. 553
By: Janek
Committee Report (Unamended)


Senate Bill 553 validates the acts and proceedings of the governing boards
of navigation districts and public port authorities to avoid frivolous
lawsuits and ensure the timely completion of projects. 

Legislation equivalent to SB 553 has passed the Legislature four other
sessions.  This type of legislation is similar to that passed by Texas
cities.  SB 553 would prevent work stoppage on projects otherwise hampered
by minor technicalities. Validating technical errors in proceedings avoids
frivolous lawsuits and ensures the timely completion of projects.  Without
this protection, port contracts can be voided and projects stopped, likely
resulting in litigation.  In addition, it is plausible that SB 553 would
further assist ports through lower insurance costs and improved credit
ratings.  SB 553 affects actions taken before March 1, 2003; however, SB
553 does not pertain to pending litigation or criminal acts. 


It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any
additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or


Section 1.  DEFINITION:defines Texas ports as any Texas public port

 Section 2.  VALIDATION:this Act validates and confirms the following:
      (1)any act or governmental proceeding prior to March 1, 2003, not
previously excepted; 
      (2)any elected or appointed commissioner or other official of a port
prior to effective date of this Act not previously excepted; 
      (3)any bond or other obligation prior to effective date of this Act
not previously excepted, including any proceeding taken prior to the
effective date of this Act and related to such bond or other obligation,
regardless of whether such bond or other obligation is: 
       (A)payable from tax revenue or otherwise; or
       (B)issued on or before the effective date of this Act.

 Section 3.  APPLICABILITY:(a) This Act excludes the following:
       (1)litigation pending as of the effective date of this Act;
       (2)acts or proceedings related to conveyances by ports of real
property transferred to a port by the State if the  conveyance violated a
restriction or condition to the transfer; 
       (3)acts or proceedings in violation of Tex. Water Code   61.117,
relating to state retention of mineral rights on land leased to ports. 
      (b) This Act does not validate criminal acts.


September 1, 2003