By: Ellis, et al. S.B. No. 482
  relating to the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission.
         SECTION 1.  Subtitle D, Title 4, Government Code, is amended
  by adding Chapter 449 to read as follows:
         Sec. 449.001.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
               (1)  "Commission" means the Texas Holocaust and
  Genocide Commission.
               (2)  "Genocide" means any of the following acts
  committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national,
  ethnical, racial, or religious group as such:
                     (A)  killing members of the group;
                     (B)  causing serious bodily or mental harm to
  members of the group;
                     (C)  deliberately inflicting on the group
  conditions of life calculated to bring about the group's physical
  destruction in whole or in part;
                     (D)  imposing measures intended to prevent births
  within the group; or
                     (E)  forcibly transferring children of the group
  to another group.
               (3)  "Holocaust" means the killing of approximately six
  million Jews and millions of other persons during World War II by
  the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazis) and Nazi
  collaborators as part of a state-sponsored, systematic program of
  genocide and other actions of persecution, discrimination,
  violence, or other human rights violations committed by the Nazis
  and Nazi collaborators against those persons.
         Sec. 449.002.  SUNSET PROVISION. The Texas Holocaust and
  Genocide Commission is subject to Chapter 325 (Texas Sunset Act).  
  Unless continued in existence as provided by that chapter, the
  commission is abolished and this chapter expires September 1, 2021.
         Sec. 449.003.  ADMINISTRATIVE ATTACHMENT. The commission is
  administratively attached to the office of the secretary of state.
         Sec. 449.004.  COMPOSITION OF COMMISSION. (a)  The
  commission is composed of 18 members as follows:
               (1)  15 public members appointed as follows:
                     (A)  five public members appointed by the
                     (B)  five public members appointed by the
  lieutenant governor; and
                     (C)  five public members appointed by the speaker
  of the house of representatives; and
               (2)  three ex officio members as follows:
                     (A)  the commissioner of education;
                     (B)  the commissioner of higher education; and
                     (C)  the executive director of the Texas Veterans
         (b)  The speaker of the house of representatives shall
  designate a member of the house and the lieutenant governor shall
  designate a member of the senate to advise the commission.
  VACANCY. (a)  A person appointed as a public member of the
  commission must be a resident of this state.
         (b)  Public members of the commission must include:
               (1)  persons who have served prominently as leaders of
  or spokespersons for public or private organizations that serve
  members of religious, ethnic, national heritage, or social groups
  that were subjected to the Holocaust or other genocides;
               (2)  persons who have significant professional
  experience in the field of Holocaust or genocide education;
               (3)  persons who represent liberators of Holocaust or
  other genocide victims; and
               (4)  persons who have demonstrated a significant,
  particular interest in Holocaust or genocide education.
         (c)  Appointments of public members to the commission shall
  be made:
               (1)  without regard to the race, color, disability,
  sex, religion, age, or national origin of an appointee; and
               (2)  so that each geographic area of this state is
  represented on the commission.
         (d)  The original appointing authority shall fill any
  vacancy in an appointed position on the commission for the
  unexpired portion of the term.
  OF REPRESENTATIVE. (a)  An ex officio member of the commission
  vacates the person's position on the commission if the person
  ceases to hold the position that qualifies the person for service on
  the commission.
         (b)  An ex officio member may designate a representative to
  serve on the commission in the member's absence. A representative
  designated under this subsection must be an officer or employee of
  the state agency that employs the ex officio member.
         Sec. 449.007.  REMOVAL OF PUBLIC MEMBER. (a)  It is a ground
  for removal of a public member from the commission if the member:
               (1)  is ineligible for public membership under Section
               (2)  cannot because of illness or disability discharge
  the member's duties for a substantial part of the term for which the
  member is appointed; or
               (3)  is absent from more than three consecutive
  regularly scheduled commission meetings that the member is eligible
  to attend during a calendar year unless the absence is excused by
  majority vote of the commission.
         (b)  The validity of an action of the commission is not
  affected by the fact that it is taken when a ground for removal of a
  commission member exists.
         (c)  If a member of the commission has knowledge that a
  potential ground for removal exists, the member shall notify the
  presiding officer of the commission of the potential ground. The
  presiding officer shall then notify the governor and the attorney
  general that a potential ground for removal exists.
         Sec. 449.008.  TERM OF PUBLIC MEMBER. (a)  A public member
  of the commission serves a term of four years.
         (b)  A public member is eligible for reappointment to another
  term or part of a term.
         (c)  A public member may not serve more than two consecutive
  terms.  For purposes of this prohibition, a member is considered to
  have served a term only if the member has served more than half of
  the term.
         Sec. 449.009.  OFFICERS; SUBCOMMITTEES.  (a)  The governor
  shall designate a public member of the commission as presiding
  officer to serve in that capacity at the pleasure of the governor.
         (b)  The presiding officer of the commission may appoint a
  subcommittee for any purpose consistent with the duties of the
  commission under this chapter.
         Sec. 449.010.  COMPENSATION; EXPENSES. (a)  A public member
  of the commission is not entitled to compensation but is entitled to
  reimbursement for the travel expenses incurred by the member while
  transacting commission business, as provided by the General
  Appropriations Act.
         (b)  An ex officio member's service on the commission is an
  additional duty of the underlying position that qualifies the
  member for service on the commission. The entitlement of an ex
  officio member to compensation or to reimbursement for travel
  expenses incurred while transacting commission business is
  governed by the law that applies to the member's service in that
  underlying position, and any payment to the member for either
  purpose must be made from money that may be used for the purpose and
  is available to the state agency that the member serves in that
  underlying position.
  (a)  The commission shall meet at least quarterly at the times and
  places in this state that the commission designates.
         (b)  Seven voting members of the commission constitute a
  quorum for transacting commission business.
         (c)  An ex officio member of the commission may not vote on
  commission business.
         (d)  The commission shall develop and implement policies
  that provide the public with a reasonable opportunity to appear
  before the commission and speak on any issue under the jurisdiction
  of the commission.
         Sec. 449.012.  COORDINATOR. The office of the secretary of
  state shall provide one part-time employee to serve as the
  coordinator for the commission to transact commission business.
  [Sections 449.013-449.050 reserved for expansion]
         Sec. 449.051.  ADVISORY STATUS OF COMMISSION. (a)  In
  implementing its powers and duties under this chapter, the
  commission functions only in an advisory capacity.  Membership on
  the commission does not constitute a public office.
         (b)  Chapter 2110 does not apply to the commission.
  (a)  The commission shall:
               (1)  provide advice and assistance to public and
  private primary and secondary schools and institutions of higher
  education in this state regarding implementation of Holocaust and
  genocide courses of study and awareness programs;
               (2)  meet with appropriate representatives of public
  and private organizations, including service organizations, to
  provide information on and to assist in planning, coordinating, or
  modifying Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness
               (3)  determine which, if any, existing Holocaust or
  other genocide memorials, exhibits, or other resources could be
  included in or used to support Holocaust and genocide courses of
  study and awareness programs;
               (4)  compile a list of volunteers, such as Holocaust or
  other genocide survivors, liberators of concentration camps,
  scholars, and members of the clergy, who have agreed to share, in
  classrooms, seminars, exhibits, or workshops, their verifiable
  knowledge and experiences regarding the Holocaust or other
               (5)  coordinate events in this state memorializing the
  Holocaust and other genocides on January 27, International
  Holocaust Remembrance Day, on the Days of Remembrance established
  by the United States Congress, or on any other day designated by the
  commission for that purpose; and
               (6)  solicit volunteers to participate in
  commemorative events designed to enhance public awareness of the
  continuing significance of the Holocaust and other genocides.
         (b)  In implementing Subsection (a)(3), the commission may
  contact and cooperate with:
               (1)  existing public or private Holocaust or other
  genocide resource organizations, including the United States
  Holocaust Memorial Museum;
               (2)  other museums, centers, and organizations based in
  this state;
               (3)  state agencies that carry out the educational
  functions of the state delegated under the Education Code,
  including the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Higher Education
  Coordinating Board; and
               (4)  members of the United States Congress and of the
  legislature of this state.
         (c)  The commission shall adopt rules as necessary for its
  own procedures.
         (d)  The commission may appoint advisory committees to
  advise the commission.
         Sec. 449.053.  FUNDING. (a)  The commission may accept
  gifts and grants from a public or private source for the commission
  to use in performing the commission's powers and duties under this
         (b)  The secretary of state may provide staff and may support
  functions and activities of the commission from money available to
  the secretary of state that may be used for this purpose.  The
  legislature may also specifically appropriate money to the
  secretary of state to provide staff and to otherwise support
  functions and activities of the commission.
         SECTION 2.  As soon as practicable after the effective date
  of this Act, appointments of public members shall be made to the
  Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission as provided by Chapter 449,
  Government Code, as added by this Act.  Notwithstanding Section
  449.008, Government Code, as added by this Act, the terms of initial
  public members appointed to the Texas Holocaust and Genocide
  Commission expire February 1, 2015.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.