Senate Research Center

S.B. 911


By: Hinojosa


Water & Rural Affairs










The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has "continuing right of supervision" and oversight over water districts in accordance with the Water Code. Over the years TCEQ has lacked the statutory authority to properly investigate a water district that inadequately mismanaged its financial resources and procurement process. Deficiencies in the management of finances and operations hinder the district's ability to provide water services to its customers as well as cover its current liabilities and address future financial needs. S.B. 911 enhances TCEQ's statutory supervisory role after issues are raised by a district's annual audit report.


Continuing Right of Supervision: S.B. 911 adds language to clarify and amend TCEQ authority regarding water districts in Chapter 49 of the Water Code.


Confirmation and Director Election: S.B. 911 makes revisions to ensure that documents related to a district's confirmation elections are timely provided to TCEQ to allow TCEQ to timely respond to inquiries about these elections.


Review of Annual Audit Report: S.B. 911 amends the Water Code to specify that after reviewing a district's annual audit report, the executive director of TCEQ may request additional information from the district. This information must be provided within 60 days, unless extended by the executive director for good cause.


Access to and Maintenance of District Records: S.B. 911 specifies that the executive director may review and investigate a district's financial records and may conduct an on-site audit of a district's financial information.


S.B. 911 amends current law relating to the supervision of water districts by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.




This bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, institution, or agency.





SECTION 1. Amends Section 12.081(a), Water Code, as follows:


(a) Provides that the powers and duties of all districts and authorities created under Article III, Section 52 (Restrictions on Lending Credit or Making Grants by Political Corporations or Political Subdivisions; Authorized Bonds; Investment of Funds) and Article XVI, Section 59 (Conservation and Development of Natural Resources; Development of Parks and Recreational Facilities; Conservation and Reclamation Districts; Indebtedness and Taxation Authorized) of the Texas Constitution are subject to the continuing right of supervision of the State of Texas by and through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) or its successor, and that this supervision is authorized to include but is not limited to the authority to:


(1) inquire into the qualifications, rather than the competence, fitness, and reputation, of the officers and directors of any district or authority;


(2)�(4) makes no changes to these subdivisions;


(5) makes a nonsubstantive change to this subdivision;


(6) issue a permit under Chapter 361 (Solid Waste Disposal Act), Health and Safety Code, notwithstanding a district's rule or objection; and


(7) creates this subdivision from existing text and makes no further changes to this subdivision.


SECTION 2. Amends Sections 49.102(e) and (f), Water Code, as follows:


(e) Requires a copy of the order filed following an election on the creation of a district to be filed with TCEQ not later than the 30th day after the date of the election, rather than requiring a copy of the order to be filed with TCEQ.


(f) Requires that the order canvassing the results of the confirmation election that is required to contain a description of the district�s boundaries and to be filed with the executive director of TCEQ (executive director) and in the deed records of the county or counties in which the district is located to be filed not later than the 30th day after the date of the election.


SECTION 3. Amends Section 49.195(a), Water Code, as follows:


(a) Authorizes the executive director, after reviewing the audit report, to request additional information from the district. Requires the district to provide the additional information not later than the 60th day after the date the request was received, unless the executive director extends the time allowed for the district to provide additional information for good cause.


SECTION 4. Amends Section 49.196(a), Water Code, to authorize the executive director to review and investigate a district�s financial records and to conduct an on-site audit of a district�s financial information.


SECTION 5. Effective date: September 1, 2019.