Austin, Texas
May 23, 2013

Honorable Joe Straus, Speaker of the House, House of Representatives
Ursula Parks, Director, Legislative Budget Board
HB1090 by Martinez, "Mando" (Relating to the creation of Texas Task Force 1 Type 3 Rio Grande Valley.), As Passed 2nd House

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

The bill allows for the creation of a Texas Task Force 2 (Task Force 2) in a municipality with a population of more than 1.18 million and located predominantly in a county that has a total area of less than 1,000 square miles. During training or activation by the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) of Task Force 2, a member is considered to be covered in the same manner as an employee defined in Section 501.001 of the Labor Code for workers' compensation insurance coverage. The bill requires TDEM to reimburse the State Office of Risk Management (SORM) for any benefits paid on behalf of a covered member of Task Force 2. SORM anticipates it could accomplish the processing of benefits paid with current resources. 

The bill also establishes Texas Task Force 1 Type 3 (Task Force) Rio Grande Valley which would be a new search and rescue team operated by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). The training and assistance capabilities must be substantially equivalent to the training and assistance capabilities of Texas Task Force 1. The new Task Force headquarters would be located in the Rio Grande Valley and its members would be responsible for any costs and expenses related to the operation, training, and equipment of the Task Force. Its members would be mostly composed of fire fighters from fire departments in various municipalities. TEEX anticipates any costs associated with the establishment of the new Task Force could be absorbed within existing resources.

The bill requires the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to study the Task Force established by the bill. DPS shall report the results of the study to the legislature on or before the first anniversary of the effective date of this bill. It is anticipated that DPS could implement the study with current resources. The bill would also require TDEM to pay for any workers' compensation benefits paid by SORM for Texas Task Force 2.  It is assumed the costs, if any, associated with paying these claims could be absorbed within existing resources.

The bill 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, 2013.

Local Government Impact

It is assumed that any costs to establish a Texas Task Force 2 would be covered by the municipality creating the Texas Task Force 2.

Based on information provided by Texas A&M System, it is anticipated that members of the Texas Task Force 1 Type 3 (Task Force) would use the equipment from their respective local fire departments and any costs for the equipment would be covered by the local fire departments. TEEX estimates that the training costs would total $200,000 per year and anticipates that the local fire departments that employ the members of the Task Force would cover the costs of the training.

Source Agencies:
405 Department of Public Safety, 454 Department of Insurance, 479 State Office of Risk Management, 716 Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, 710 Texas A&M University System Administrative and General Offices
LBB Staff: