By:  Lucio, Shapleigh                                             S.B. No. 185

relating to the powers and duties of the border commerce coordinator. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Section 772.010, Government Code, as added by Chapters 429 and 1339, Acts of the 76th Legislature, Regular Session, 1999, is reenacted and amended to read as follows: Sec. 772.010. BORDER COMMERCE COORDINATOR. (a) The governor shall designate a border commerce coordinator in the governor's office or the office of the secretary of state as determined by the governor. The coordinator shall: (1) examine trade issues between the United States, Mexico, and Canada; (2) act as an ombudsman for government agencies within the Texas and Mexico border region to help reduce regulations by improving communication and cooperation between federal, state, and local governments; (3) study the flow of commerce at ports of entry between this state and Mexico, including the movement of commercial vehicles across the border,[;] and establish a plan to aid that commerce and improve the movement of those vehicles; (4) [(3)] work with federal officials to resolve transportation issues involving infrastructure, including roads and bridges, to allow for the efficient movement of goods and people across the border between Texas and Mexico; (5) [(4)] work with federal officials to create a unified federal agency process to streamline border crossing needs; (6) [(5)] work to increase funding for the North American Development Bank to assist in the financing of water and wastewater facilities; and (7) [(6)] explore the sale of excess electric power from Texas to Mexico. (b) The governor shall appoint a border commerce coordinator to serve at the will of the governor in the governor's office or in the office of the secretary of state and may select the secretary of state as the coordinator. (c) The coordinator shall work with local governments, metropolitan planning organizations, and other appropriate community organizations adjacent to the border of this state with the United Mexican States, and with comparable entities in Mexican states adjacent to that border, to address the unique planning and capacity needs of those areas. The coordinator shall assist those governments, organizations, and entities to identify and develop initiatives to address those needs. Before January 1 of each year, the coordinator shall submit to the presiding officer of each house of the legislature a report of the coordinator's activities under this subsection during the preceding year. (d) The coordinator shall: (1) work with private industry and appropriate entities of Texas and the United States to require that low-sulfur fuel be sold along highways in Texas carrying increased traffic related to activities under the North American Free Trade Agreement; and (2) work with representatives of the government of Mexico and the governments of those Mexican states bordering Texas to increase the use of low-sulfur fuel. SECTION 2. Chapter 772, Government Code, is amended by adding Sections 772.0101 and 772.0102 to read as follows: Sec. 772.0101. BORDER INSPECTION, TRADE, AND TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE. (a) The border commerce coordinator shall establish and appoint the members of the Border Inspection, Trade, and Transportation Advisory Committee. The members must include representatives of the Texas Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas, the Office of State-Federal Relations, the United States Department of Transportation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and other representatives of state and federal agencies involved in border crossing issues. Chapter 2110 does not apply to the size, composition, or duration of the Border Inspection, Trade, and Transportation Advisory Committee. (b) The coordinator shall work with the advisory committee to: (1) identify problems involved with border truck inspections and related trade and transportation infrastructure; and (2) develop recommendations for addressing those problems. (c) The coordinator shall work with the advisory committee and appropriate agencies of Texas, the United States, and Mexico to develop initiatives to mitigate congestion at ports of entry at the Mexican border by conducting in Mexico inspections of trucks entering Texas. In developing the initiatives, the coordinator shall give consideration to similar initiatives proposed or implemented at the border of the United States and Canada. (d) The coordinator shall report quarterly to the presiding officer of each house of the legislature on the findings and recommendations of the advisory committee. Sec. 772.0102. TRADE AND COMMERCE PLAN. (a) The border commerce coordinator shall develop, in conjunction with representatives of chambers of commerce, metropolitan planning organizations adjacent to the United Mexican States, and private industry groups, a comprehensive trade and commerce plan for the region designed to: (1) increase trade by attracting new business ventures; (2) support expansion of existing industries; and (3) address workforce training needs. (b) The plan must cover five-year, 10-year, and 15-year periods. (c) The coordinator shall work with industries and communities on both sides of the border to develop international industry cluster initiatives to capitalize on resources available in communities located adjacent to each other across the border. (d) The coordinator shall conduct annual conferences of interested persons, working with chambers of commerce and universities of this state along the Texas and Mexico border region, and shall host those conferences at no cost to the coordinator. The purposes of the conferences are to: (1) make the trade and commerce plan public; (2) report on updated findings and progress of implementation of the plan; and (3) develop new international industry cluster initiatives. SECTION 3. This Act takes effect only if a specific appropriation for the implementation of this Act is provided in S.B. No. 1 (General Appropriations Act), Acts of the 79th Legislature, Regular Session, 2005. If no specific appropriation is provided in the General Appropriations Act, this Act has no effect. SECTION 4. 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.
Amend S.B. No. 185 on page 3, between lines 5 and 6, by inserting new Subsection (e) to read as follows: (e) The coordinator shall initiate efforts to coordinate with counterpart officials of Mexican states bordering Texas to study and recommend the development of initiatives and agreements to address issues regarding but not limited to: (1) international infrastructure needs; (2) establishment of international transportation conferences; (2) completion of trade corridors, including the El Paso Del Norte International Trade Corridor and the I-69 Trade Corridor; (3) integration of services to develop stronger border inspection security, more efficient manufacturing transport, and key border crossings; and (4) higher education programs aimed at increasing the trade and transportation infrastructure capacity and human resources along this state's international border, including the use of international student exchange programs between institutions of higher education. Chavez