79R9238 JJT-F

By:  Chisum                                                       H.B. No. 2417

relating to statutory authority for the legislature to make or reduce appropriations to certain governmental entities. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. GENERAL AUTHORITY. (a) Notwithstanding any statute to the contrary, the legislature, in its discretion, may determine the amount of each appropriation of state funds. The amounts required by statute for entities that receive state funds under Article VI of the General Appropriations Act, 79th Legislature, Regular Session, 2005, may be reduced or eliminated in order to achieve a balanced budget. (b) This section expires September 1, 2007. SECTION 2. ARTICLE VI AGENCY REDUCTION METHODS. Notwithstanding any other statute of this state, each state agency that receives funds under Article VI of the General Appropriations Act, 79th Legislature, Regular Session, 2005, is authorized to reduce expenditures by: (1) consolidating any reports or publications the agency is required to make and filing or delivering any of those reports or publications exclusively by electronic means; (2) extending the effective period of any license, permit, or registration the agency grants or administers; (3) entering into a contract with another governmental entity or with a private vendor to carry out any of the agency's duties; (4) providing that any communication between the agency and another person and any document required to be delivered to or by the agency, including any application, notice, billing statement, receipt, or certificate, may be made or delivered by electronic mail or through the Internet; and (5) adopting and collecting fees or charges to cover any costs the agency incurs in performing its lawful functions. SECTION 3. EROSION RESPONSE. Section 40.152, Natural Resources Code, is amended by adding Subsection (c) to read as follows: (c) Notwithstanding Subsection (a)(9), the legislature may appropriate to the General Land Office for erosion response projects under Subchapter H, Chapter 33, money from the fund in an amount that exceeds the amount of interest accruing to the fund annually. SECTION 4. REPEALER. Section 1, Chapter 200, Acts of the 78th Legislature, Regular Session, 2003, is repealed. SECTION 5. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2005.