Senate Research Center H.B. 828
AUTHOR'S/SPONSOR'S STATEMENT OF INTENT
Water districts may issue bonds to finance water and wastewater infrastructure projects and sell those bonds directly to the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). Subchapter F, Chapter 49, Water Code, governs the bond issuance process for water districts. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is required by Section 49.181, Water Code, to make a determination that the project is "feasible", but only on projects to be financed by bonds sold on the open market. TCEQ is not required to make a project feasibility determination if the project is to be funded by bonds issued to and approved by the Farmers Home Administration (FHA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the North American Development Bank (NAD Bank), or the TWDB. TWDB and TCEQ have an interagency letter of agreement requiring TWDB to review and process project plans and specifications for water facilities financed by the TWDB in a manner that will satisfy TCEQ's requirements.
During the 78th Legislature, Regular Session, 2003, two bills (H.B. 1541 and H.B. 1875) amended Section 49.181 (a), Water Code, which led to confusion over whether TCEQ needed to make project feasibility determinations on re-financing bond issuances on already-built projects originally financed by TWDB. Refinancing of bonds typically occurs after a water or wastewater infrastructure project has been completed, so there is little reason for TCEQ to make a project feasibility determination.
H.B. 828 clarifies that TCEQ does not have to make project feasibility determinations on refinancing bonds issued by water districts and sold to TWDB.
SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS
SECTION 1. Amends Section 49.181(a), Water Code, as amended by Chapters 248 and 608, Acts of the 78th Legislature, Regular Session, 2003, by providing that this section does not apply to refunding bonds issued to refund bonds described in Subdivision (3) [bonds issued to and approved by the Farmers Home Administration, the United States Department of Agriculture, the North American Development Bank, or the Texas Water Development Board].
SECTION 2. Effective date: upon passage or September 1, 2005.