S.B. No. 678
  relating to coordinated county transportation authorities.
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter C, Chapter 460, Transportation Code,
  is amended by adding Section 460.1041 to read as follows:
  CERTAIN AGREEMENTS. (a)  This section applies only to public
  passenger rail services provided:
               (1)  under an agreement between an authority created
  before January 1, 2005, and a railroad for the provision of public
  passenger rail services through the use of the railroad's
  facilities; and
               (2)  on freight rail lines and rail rights-of-way that
                     (A)  located in the Interstate 35W/Interstate 35
  corridor; or
                     (B)  a northern extension of existing passenger
  rail service provided by the authority in the Interstate 35E
         (b)  The aggregate liability of an authority and a railroad
  that enter into an agreement to provide public passenger rail
  services, and the governing boards, directors, officers,
  employees, and agents of the authority and railroad, may not exceed
  $125 million for all claims for damages arising from a single
  incident involving the provision of public passenger rail services
  under the agreement.
         (c)  Subsection (b) does not affect:
               (1)  the amount of damages that may be recovered under
  Subchapter D, Chapter 112, or the federal Employers' Liability Act
  (45 U.S.C. Section 51 et seq.); or
               (2)  any immunity, limitation on damages, limitation on
  actions, or other limitation of liability or protections applicable
  under other law to an authority or other provider of public
  passenger rail services.
         (d)  The limitation of liability provided by this section
  does not apply to damages arising from the wilful misconduct or
  gross negligence of the railroad.
         (e)  An authority shall obtain or cause to be obtained
  insurance coverage for the aggregate liability stated in Subsection
  (b) with the railroad as a named insured.
         SECTION 2.  Section 460.107(c), Transportation Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (c)  If an authority, through the exercise of eminent domain,
  makes any relocation necessary, [the] relocation assistance
  [costs] shall be provided [paid] by the authority as provided by
  Section 21.046, Property Code.
         SECTION 3.  Section 460.406(c), Transportation Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (c)  The board of directors may authorize the negotiation of
  a contract without competitive sealed bids or proposals if:
               (1)  the aggregate amount involved in the contract is
  less than the greater of:
                     (A)  $50,000 [or less]; or
                     (B)  the amount of an expenditure under a contract
  that would require a municipality to comply with Section
  252.021(a), Local Government Code;
               (2)  the contract is for construction for which not
  more than one bid or proposal is received;
               (3)  the contract is for services or property for which
  there is only one source or for which it is otherwise impracticable
  to obtain competition;
               (4)  the contract is to respond to an emergency for
  which the public exigency does not permit the delay incident to the
  competitive process;
               (5)  the contract is for personal or professional
  services or services for which competitive bidding is precluded by
               (6)  the contract, without regard to form and which may
  include bonds, notes, loan agreements, or other obligations, is for
  the purpose of borrowing money or is a part of a transaction
  relating to the borrowing of money, including:
                     (A)  a credit support agreement, such as a line or
  letter of credit or other debt guaranty;
                     (B)  a bond, note, debt sale or purchase, trustee,
  paying agent, remarketing agent, indexing agent, or similar
                     (C)  an agreement with a securities dealer,
  broker, or underwriter; and
                     (D)  any other contract or agreement considered by
  the board of directors to be appropriate or necessary in support of
  the authority's financing activities;
               (7)  the contract is for work that is performed and paid
  for by the day as the work progresses;
               (8)  the contract is for the lease or purchase of an
  interest in land;
               (9)  the contract is for the purchase of personal
  property sold:
                     (A)  at an auction by a state licensed auctioneer;
                     (B)  at a going out of business sale held in
  compliance with Subchapter F, Chapter 17, Business & Commerce Code;
                     (C)  by a political subdivision of this state, a
  state agency, or an entity of the federal government;
               (10)  the contract is for services performed by persons
  who are blind or have severe disabilities [severely disabled
               (11)  the contract is for the purchase of electricity;
               (12)  the contract is one for an authority project and
  awarded for alternate project delivery using the procedures under
  Subchapters E, F, G, and I, Chapter 2269 [2267], Government Code[,
  as added by Chapter 1129 (H.B. 628), Acts of the 82nd Legislature,
  Regular Session, 2011]; or
               (13)  the contract is for fare enforcement officer
  services under Section 460.1092.
         SECTION 4.  (a)  Section 460.1041, Transportation Code, as
  added by this Act, applies only to a cause of action that accrues on
  or after September 1, 2015.
         (b)  The change in law made by this Act to Section
  460.107(c), Transportation Code, applies only to a condemnation
  proceeding in which the petition is filed on or after September 1,
  2015, and to any property condemned through the proceeding. A
  condemnation proceeding in which the petition is filed before
  September 1, 2015, and any property condemned through the
  proceeding are governed by the law in effect immediately before the
  effective date of this Act, and that law is continued in effect for
  that purpose.
         SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2015.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 678 passed the Senate on
  April 30, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
  Secretary of the Senate    
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 678 passed the House on
  May 13, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 139, Nays 5, two
  present not voting.
  Chief Clerk of the House