Honorable Jim Pitts, Chair, House Committee on Appropriations
Ursula Parks, Director, Legislative Budget Board
HB14 by Pitts (relating to the fiscal transparency and accountability of certain entities responsible for public money.), Committee Report 1st House, Substituted
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The bill would amend the Education Code, Chapter 46 to require a school district or open-enrollment charter school to report data elements to the Texas Student Data System and provide a link to the Texas Student Data System on the district's or school's website. The bill would establish the Taxpayer Value and School Facilities Usage Advisory Committee to develop recommendations regarding the data that should be considered in evaluating a school district's or open-enrollment charter school's facility usage and taxpayer value with regard to school facility construction and renovation.
The bill would amend the Education Code, Chapter 51 to require each institution of higher education to post their most recent annual financial report and include a description of any debt issued by the university system for or on behalf of the institution during the fiscal year covered by the report.
The bill would amend the Government Code, Chapter 1202 by requring the Attorney General to submit financial information to the Bond Review Board (BRB) five days before approving public securities. In the event that bonds are approved and the fiscal information is not accurate or complete, the BRB will contact the issuer to seek additional information. If the issuer is not responsive to the BRB request, the bill would require the issuer to be added to a noncompliance list. The Attorney General would be prohibited from approving public securities submitted by an issuer so long as it remains on the noncompliance list.
The bill would amend the Government Code, Chapter 1231 to define the term local security as a public security other than a state security, revise the required debt statistics included in the Biennial Debt Statistics Report, and require the BRB to compile a Local Securities Annual Report that includes multiple local debt statistics such as debt outstanding. The bill would require the agency to publish the Biennial Debt Statistics Report online for all local securities for the preceding year.
The estimated total cost to comply with the provisions of the bill would be $537,000 in General Revenue in fiscal year 2014, and would range from $378,00 to $413,00 per year in General Revenue in subsequent fiscal years.
The Bond Review Board (BRB) estimates that it would need to review an additional 100 to 200 conduits and 4,250 transactions per fiscal year to comply with the bill. The agency would be required to submit information to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) prior to OAG approval of local security transactions; to produce an annual Local Securities Report and online statistics report; and include tax-supported debt per capita statistics for more than 4,500 local governmental entities. The BRB indicates a need to hire 4.0 additional full-time equivalent positions (FTEs) - two Financial Analyst III and two Accountant I - to handle the increase in transactions reviewed, ensure all issuers are compliant in sending debt data to BRB, and address any backlog necessary to compile the reports in a timely manner. The BRB estimates the costs associated with these additional FTEs would be approximately $338,182 in the first year and $308,182 in each subsequent fiscal year for salary, benefits and other operating costs. The agency estimates additional costs for software, as well as IT services and consulting fees of $198,950 in fiscal year 2014 and $70,000 in subsequent fiscal years.
Multiple agencies including the OAG, the Comptroller of Public Accounts, the Secretary of State, and several institutions of higher education indicate that any costs associated with the bill could be absorbed within each agency's existing resources. The Texas Education Agency, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the University of Texas System estimate there would be a minimal cost associated with implementing the provisions of the bill. It is assumed for the purposes of this analysis that those costs could be absorbed within existing resources.
720 The University of Texas System Administration, 768 Texas Tech University System Administration, 781 Higher Education Coordinating Board, 783 University of Houston System Administration, 302 Office of the Attorney General, 304 Comptroller of Public Accounts, 307 Secretary of State, 352 Bond Review Board, 701 Central Education Agency, 710 Texas A&M University System Administrative and General Offices, 758 Texas State University System, 769 University of North Texas System Administration
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