Senate Research CenterC.S.S.B. 970
78R14058 PAM-DBy: Shapleigh
Natural Resources
Committee Report (Substituted)


Currently, the West Texas desert area is a prime target for the illegal
harvesting of cacti and other succulents, which may damage the desert
ecosystem if certain actions are not taken.  C.S.S.B. 970 directs the
Texas Department of Agriculture to administer and adopt rules necessary to
enforce a system of inspections to ensure that each desert plant sold in
or leaving Texas has been legally harvested. 


Rulemaking authority is expressly granted to the Texas Department of
Agriculture in SECTION 1 (Section 122.002, Agriculture Code) of this bill. 


SECTION 1.  Amends Subtitle F, Title 5, Agriculture Code, by adding
Chapter 122, as follows: 


 Sec. 122.001.  DEFINITION.  Defines "desert plant."

Sec. 122.002.  ADMINISTRATION.  Requires the Texas Department of
Agriculture (TDA) to administer this chapter and adopt rules necessary for
its enforcement. 

Sec. 122.003.  REQUIREMENTS FOR SALE OR TRANSPORT.  Prohibits a person,
unless a desert plant is marked as provided by Section 122.005, from
certain acts. 

Sec. 122.004.  REGISTRATION REQUIRED.  (a)  Requires a person who grows or
harvests a desert plant for sale to register with TDA. 

(b)  Requires a person described by Subsection (a) to include certain
information with the registration information provided to TDA. 
Sec. 122.005.  MARKING OF DESERT PLANTS.  (a)  Requires a person subject
to Section 122.004 to mark each desert plant harvested for sale under this
chapter with an identification mark prescribed by TDA. 

(b)  Authorizes TDA to charge a fee for providing an identification mark
under this section.   
Sec. 122.006.  STOP-SALE ORDER.  Authorizes TDA, in enforcing this
chapter, to issue and enforce a written or printed order to stop the sale
of a desert plant or a shipment of desert plants that is not marked as
provided by Section 122.005.  Prohibits a person, if an order is issued,
from selling the plant or shipment until it has been properly inspected
and marked. 

Sec. 122.007.  AUTHORITY TO SEIZE PLANTS.  Authorizes TDA with or without
process, in enforcing this chapter, to seize a certain desert plant or a
certain shipment of desert plants.   
 Sec.  122.008.  PENALTY.  (a)  Provides that a person commits an offense
if the person advertises, sells, or offers for sale a desert plant or a
shipment of desert plants that is not clearly and distinctly marked as
inspected under Section 122.005. 
(b)  Provides that an offense under this section is punishable under
certain guidelines, including fines and imprisonment. 

SECTION 2.  Amends Section 12.020, Agriculture Code, by amending
Subsections (a) and (b) and adding Subsection (c-1), as follows: 

(a)  Authorizes TDA, if a person violates a provision of this code
described by Subsection (c) or (c-1) of this section or a rule or order
adopted by TDA under a provision of this code described by Subsection (c)
or (c-1) of this section, to assess an administrative penalty against the
person as provided by this section. 

 (b)  Makes a conforming change.

(c-1)  Provides that in addition to provisions described by Subsection
(c), Chapter 122 is subject to this section, and the applicable penalty
amount is $500.   

SECTION 3.  Requires TDA, not later than December 1, 2003, to adopt rules
to administer Chapter 122, Agriculture Code, as added by this Act. 
SECTION 4.  Effective date:  January 1, 2004.