BILL ANALYSIS

 

 

 

S.B. 2243

By: Hinojosa

Transportation

Committee Report (Unamended)

 

 

 

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

 

In 1968, the federal government began requiring new international bridges to obtain presidential permits. In 1995, the State of Texas established a similar requirement for political subdivisions and private entities to obtain approval from the Texas Transportation Commission before constructing or financing the construction of a bridge over the Rio Grande. While current statute requires a political subdivision to obtain this approval for the construction of a new bridge, there is no exemption from this requirement for the reconstruction or improvement of bridges that have already received the permit. S.B. 2243 seeks to address this issue by providing an exemption from commission approval for the reconstruction or improvement of an existing bridge.

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE IMPACT

 

It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly create a criminal offense, increase the punishment for an existing criminal offense or category of offenses, or change the eligibility of a person for community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision.

 

RULEMAKING AUTHORITY

 

It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution.

 

ANALYSIS

 

S.B. 2243 amends the Transportation Code to exempt a political subdivision authorized to construct or finance the construction of a bridge over the Rio Grande from the requirements to obtain approval from the Texas Transportation Commission and from the United States under federal law for the construction of the bridge and to submit to the commission a report that details the feasibility, location, economic effect, and environmental impact of the bridge and any other required information if the project meets the following criteria:

         the project is for the reconstruction, improvement, expansion, or maintenance of an existing bridge; and

         the project has received approval from the United States under federal law authorizing the project.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE

 

On passage, or, if the bill does not receive the necessary vote, September 1, 2021.