Law:Title 6. Public Officers And Employees. Subtitle B. State Officers And Employees from Chapter 660. Travel Expenses (Texas)

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Subtitle B. State Officers And Employees

Contents

Chapter 660. Travel Expenses

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  660.001.  Short Title.

This chapter may be cited as the Travel Regulations Act.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.



Section  660.002.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Appropriated funds" means funds appropriated under the General Appropriations Act.

(2)  "Board" means a board, commission, committee, council, governing body, or similar entity in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of state government that is composed of two or more members.

(3)  "Cancellation charge" means a fee, charge, or payment that a provider of travel services assesses or retains because of the cancellation of a travel reservation or other travel plan.

(4)  "Chief administrator of a state agency" means:

(A)  an elected state official, including a member of a board whose membership is elected by vote of the people but excluding a member of the legislature;

(B)  an appointed state official, including an individual whose appointment as a state official has not yet been confirmed by the senate;

(C)  the director of a legislative interim committee or board;

(D)  the chief administrator of a state hospital or special school;

(E)  the chief administrator of an institution of higher education;

(F)  a first assistant, chief deputy, chief clerk, or similar individual employed by a state agency who is specifically authorized by law to act for the individual's superior; and

(G)  the individual who has the daily responsibility for managing the operations of a state agency that is governed by a part-time board.

(5)  "Commercial lodging establishment" means:

(A)  a motel, hotel, inn, apartment, house, or similar establishment that provides lodging to the public for pay; or

(B)  a person or establishment that provides lodging for pay that the comptroller determines to have a sufficient number of the characteristics of a commercial lodging establishment for purposes of this chapter.

(6)  "Commercial transportation company" means a person that offers to the public to transport people or goods for pay.

(7)  "Designated headquarters" means:

(A)  the area within:

(i)  the boundaries of the incorporated municipality in which the state employee's place of employment is located; or

(ii)  a five-mile radius of the state employee's place of employment, if the state employee's place of employment is located within an unincorporated area; and

(B)  any area completely surrounded by the incorporated municipality in which the state employee's place of employment is located.

(8)  "Disability" means a physical or mental impairment of an individual that substantially limits one or more major life activities of the individual.

(9)  "Duty point" means the destination, other than a place of employment, to which a state employee travels to conduct official state business. If the destination is outside the employee's designated headquarters, the duty point is:

(A)  the incorporated municipality in which the destination is located; or

(B)  the area within a five-mile radius of the destination if the destination is located in an unincorporated area.

(10)  "Incidental expense" means an expense incurred while traveling on official state business. The term includes a mandatory insurance or service charge and an applicable tax. The term does not include:

(A)  a meal, lodging, or transportation expense, including a tax on a meal;

(B)  a personal expense;

(C)  an expense that a person would incur regardless of whether the person is traveling on official state business; or

(D)  a tip or gratuity.

(11)  "Institutional funds" has the meaning assigned by Section 51.009, Education Code.

(12)  "Institution of higher education" has the meaning assigned by Section 61.003, Education Code.

(13)  "Key official" means a chief administrator of a state agency or a person holding a position that has been designated as exempt from the position classification plan in accordance with the General Appropriations Act or by the governor under Chapter 654.

(14)  "Lease" means a contract with a term of at least one month that gives the lessee possession and use of property or equipment while the lessor retains ownership of the property or equipment.

(15)  "Place of employment" means the office or other location at which a state employee most frequently conducts official state business.

(16)  "Prospective state employee" means an individual that a state agency considers for employment with the agency. The term includes a state employee of a state agency who is considered for employment by another state agency.

(17)  "Receipt" means the tangible or electronically stored version of an invoice, ticket, bill, document, or other item that the comptroller accepts as proof that a travel expense has been incurred by a state employee.

(18)  "Rented or public conveyance" means a motor vehicle, train, aircraft, boat, or bicycle that a state employee rents or pays a fare to use for a period of less than one month.

(19)  "State agency" means:

(A)  a unit of state government that uses appropriated funds to pay or reimburse a travel expense of a state employee;

(B)  the Teacher Retirement System of Texas; or

(C)  the Employees Retirement System of Texas.

(20)  "State employee" means a person employed by a state agency. The term includes a key official unless this chapter specifically provides otherwise.

(21)  "Travel expense" means a meal, lodging, transportation, or incidental expense.

(22)  "Unit of state government" includes an institution of higher education.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.003.  Applicability.

(a) This chapter, the General Appropriations Act, and the rules adopted by the comptroller under this chapter govern the procedures, amounts, timing, limits, required documentation, permissible payees, distinctions among different types of state employees, and all other details concerning travel expense payments or reimbursements by a state agency.

(b)  Except as provided by Subsections (c) and (d), this chapter and the travel provisions of the General Appropriations Act apply to a travel expense only to the extent that appropriated funds are used to pay or reimburse the expense.

(c)  This chapter and the travel provisions of the General Appropriations Act apply to a travel expense paid or reimbursed by the Employees Retirement System of Texas or the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, regardless of whether the funds used to make the payment or reimbursement are appropriated funds.

(d)  A law outside this chapter that states that this chapter, the travel provisions of the General Appropriations Act, or both, apply to a travel expense prevails over a provision to the contrary in this chapter.

(e)  A state agency may pay or reimburse a travel expense only if:

(1)  the expense is reasonable and necessary;

(2)  the purpose of the travel clearly involves official state business and is consistent with the agency's legal authority;

(3)  the expense and the travel during which the expense is incurred comply with:

(A)  this chapter;

(B)  the rules adopted by the comptroller under this chapter; and

(C)  the travel provisions of the General Appropriations Act; and

(4)  for travel outside the state, the travel is approved in advance in accordance with the policy of the state agency that proposes to pay or reimburse the expense.

(f)  A travel expense may be paid or reimbursed according to the requirements of an applicable federal law or regulation, and this chapter does not apply to the extent necessary to avoid conflict with an applicable federal law or regulation.

(g)  A state agency may pay or reimburse a travel expense for the rental, lease, or operation of aircraft only if the transportation under the rental, lease, or operation meets the criteria provided by Section 2205.036.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 280, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  660.004.  Travel Expenses Paid Or Reimbursed By Institutions Of Higher Education.

(a) This chapter does not apply to a travel expense to the extent an institution of higher education pays or reimburses the expense from institutional funds.

(b)  The governing board of an institution of higher education shall adopt rules as necessary to administer and control travel expense payments and reimbursements that are exempt from this chapter under Subsection (a).

(c)  Funds appropriated for the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute of The University of Texas of the Permian Basin may be used to pay for costs associated with the institute's educational programs for public secondary and university-level students, including registration fees, ground or air transportation, lodging, meals, training costs, and related expenses.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 585, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  660.005.  Maximum Travel Expenses.

The maximum amount a state agency spends for travel expenses during a fiscal year may not exceed any limitation on total agency travel expenses provided by the General Appropriations Act.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 280, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  660.006.  Travel Of Prospective State Employees.

(a) A state agency that provides advance authorization to a prospective state employee to visit the agency for an interview or other employment evaluation may:

(1)  reimburse the prospective state employee for a travel expense incurred as a result of visiting the agency; or

(2)  pay a vendor for a travel expense incurred by the prospective state employee as a result of visiting the agency.

(b)  A state agency shall treat a prospective state employee as a state employee for the purposes of reimbursing or paying a travel expense of the prospective state employee. The amount of the payment or reimbursement is limited to the amount that may be paid or reimbursed for travel expenses incurred by an individual who holds the position for which the prospective state employee is being considered.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.007.  Conservation Of Funds.

(a) A state agency shall minimize the amount of travel expenses paid or reimbursed by the agency. The agency shall ensure that each travel arrangement is the most cost effective considering all relevant circumstances.

(b)  A state agency may specify a travel expense payment or reimbursement rate that is less than the maximum rate specified in this chapter or the travel provisions of the General Appropriations Act. The lower rate applies only to a travel expense incurred after the agency has notified the affected individuals in writing about the rate. The agency is solely responsible for enforcing the rate.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.008.  Travel Expenses Incurred While On Leave.

A state agency may pay or reimburse a state employee for a travel expense the employee incurs while using personal or compensatory leave if:

(1)  the leave is used while the employee is away from the employee's designated headquarters;

(2)  the primary purpose of the employee's being away is to conduct official state business; and

(3)  the agency determines that returning the employee to the employee's designated headquarters while using the leave would not be cost effective or would be impracticable.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.009.  Inability To Perform Official State Business.

A state agency may pay or reimburse a state employee for a travel expense the employee incurs as a result of attempting to conduct official state business if:

(1)  the employee is unable to conduct the business because of a natural disaster or other natural occurrence; and

(2)  the expense would be payable or reimbursable had the official state business been conducted.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.010.  Travel Expenses Incurred To Obtain Medical Care.

As additional compensation to a state employee, a state agency may pay or reimburse the employee for a travel expense the employee incurs while obtaining medical care for the employee if:

(1)  the expense is incurred outside the employee's designated headquarters;

(2)  the purpose of the employee traveling outside the employee's designated headquarters was to conduct official state business;

(3)  waiting to receive the care until the employee returns to the employee's designated headquarters would be unreasonable; and

(4)  the expense is paid or reimbursed only to the extent it would have been paid or reimbursed had it been incurred while conducting official state business.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.011.  Travel Expenses Incurred To Attend Funeral.

As additional compensation to a state employee, a state agency may reimburse the employee for or pay a travel expense the employee incurs while attending the funeral of an individual who was a state employee, a board member, or a member of the legislature if:

(1)  the agency determines that the employee's attendance at the funeral is appropriate under the circumstances; and

(2)  the expense is paid or reimbursed only to the extent it could have been paid or reimbursed had it been incurred while conducting official state business.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.012.  Travel Expenses Incurred Returning To Designated Headquarters.

(a) A state agency that requires a state employee on personal or compensatory leave to return to the employee's designated headquarters from another location may pay or reimburse the employee for a travel expense incurred by the employee while traveling to the headquarters. The agency may pay or reimburse a travel expense incurred by the employee while traveling back to the location at which the employee was staying while on leave or, when appropriate, to the proper location on the employee's itinerary, if the employee resumes the leave.

(b)  A state agency may pay or reimburse a state employee for a travel expense incurred when the employee returns, before official state business is completed, from a duty point to the employee's designated headquarters because of an illness or a personal emergency.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.013.  Travel Expenses Incurred By Employees Of Other Agencies.

A state agency may pay or reimburse a travel expense incurred by another state agency's employee if the employee incurred the expense while providing services to the paying or reimbursing agency.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.014.  Payments To Credit Card Issuers And Travel Agents.

(a) If a state agency may directly pay a commercial lodging establishment or a commercial transportation company under this chapter, the agency may instead pay a credit card issuer or a travel agency for the lodging or transportation.

(b)  The documentation required for direct payment to a commercial lodging establishment or commercial transportation company is also required for payment to a credit card issuer or a travel agency.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.015.  Cancellation Charges.

A state agency may pay or reimburse a state employee for a cancellation charge if:

(1)  the charge is incurred for a reason related to official state business or to official state business that could not be conducted because of a natural disaster or other natural occurrence; or

(2)  the charge is:

(A)  related to a transportation expense that was paid in advance to obtain lower rates; and

(B)  incurred because the employee was unable to use the transportation because of an illness or a personal emergency.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.016.  Prohibition Against Accepting Money Or Travel Expense Reimbursements From Certain Persons.

(a) Unless authorized by law, a state employee may not accept money for wages or for a travel expense reimbursement from a person that the employee's employing state agency intends to audit, examine, or investigate or is auditing, examining, or investigating.

(b)  A state employee who violates Subsection (a) shall forfeit the money or travel expense reimbursement to the state.

(c)  Subsections (a) and (b) are in addition to any other prohibitions, penalties, and forfeitures imposed or required by other law.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.017.  Excess Reimbursements.

A state employee who receives a reimbursement for a travel expense that exceeds the amount the employee may receive under this chapter or the travel provisions of the General Appropriations Act shall immediately return the amount of the excess.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.018.  Multiple Advances Or Reimbursements For A Travel Expense.

A state employee may not accept a reimbursement or advance for a travel expense from more than one source. A state employee who anticipates receiving or actually receives a reimbursement or advance for a travel expense from a person other than a state agency may seek an advance or reimbursement for the expense from a state agency only to the extent that the amount of the employee's advance or reimbursement from the other source is less than the amount of the total expense incurred.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section 660.019.  Deadline For Reimbursing Expenses.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), not later than the 45th day after the date a state employee submits a request for reimbursement of travel expenses, a state agency shall reimburse the state employee for reimbursable travel expenses incurred by the state employee if the state employee submits the request for reimbursement in accordance with:

(1)  the state agency's policies and procedures for travel expense reimbursement; and

(2)  state travel rules.

(b)  If there is a bona fide dispute between the state agency and the state employee relating to the travel expenses, the state agency shall reimburse the state employee for reimbursable travel expenses incurred by the state employee not later than the 30th day after the date the dispute is resolved.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 551, Sec. 1, eff. June 16, 2007.



Subchapter B. Administrative Provisions

Section  660.021.  Rules.

The comptroller shall adopt rules for the effective and efficient administration of this chapter and the travel provisions of the General Appropriations Act.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.024.  Advance Approval For Certain International Travel.

(a) The chief administrator of a state agency must give advance written approval for any travel related to official state business for which a reimbursement for travel expenses is claimed or for which an advance for travel expenses to be incurred is sought.  The advance written approval may be communicated electronically.

(b)  Subsection (a) applies to a travel expense only if it is incurred while traveling to, in, or from a destination that is not in:

(1)  the United States;

(2)  a possession of the United States;

(3)  Mexico; or

(4)  Canada.

(c)  The chief administrator of a state agency may designate an employee of the agency to provide the approval required by this section.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1367, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  660.025.  Advance Payment Procedure. (a)

The comptroller by rule shall establish a procedure by which travel expense money may be advanced to a state employee. The procedures must be consistent with Section 403.248.

(b)  Money may not be advanced to a state employee for a travel expense unless the expense is payable or reimbursable under this chapter, the travel provisions of the General Appropriations Act, and the rules adopted by the comptroller under this chapter.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.027.  Vouchers.

(a) The comptroller may issue a warrant or initiate an electronic funds transfer to pay or reimburse a travel expense only if a state agency submits to the comptroller a voucher that requests the payment or reimbursement.

(b)  A voucher submitted under Subsection (a) is valid only if:

(1)  the state agency submitting the voucher approves it in accordance with Chapter 2103 and, if required by law, certifies the voucher; and

(2)  the state employee who incurred the travel expense or, if the employee is unavailable, another individual acceptable to the comptroller approves the description, information, and documentation required by Subsection (d) in writing or electronically, except that the employee's approval is not required if another person is required by law to provide the approval.

(c)  A voucher must be submitted in the manner required and on the form adopted by the comptroller. The comptroller may require the voucher to be submitted electronically as authorized by Chapter 2103.

(d)  A voucher must be supported by:

(1)  a description of the official state business performed; and

(2)  the information and documentation that the comptroller considers necessary for the comptroller to determine compliance with this chapter, the travel provisions of the General Appropriations Act, and the rules adopted by the comptroller under this chapter.

(e)  The comptroller may require a state agency to provide to the comptroller the description, information, and documentation required under Subsection (d):

(1)  on the form adopted by the comptroller under Subsection (c);

(2)  electronically;

(3)  by submitting receipts or other documents; or

(4)  by any combination of Subdivisions (1), (2), and (3).

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1367, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  660.028.  Audits. (a) The Comptro

ller shall audit a voucher either before or after the comptroller issues a warrant or initiates an electronic funds transfer in response to the voucher. The audit must be conducted in accordance with Sections 403.011(12), 403.071, and 403.079.

(b)  If the comptroller audits a state agency's voucher after the comptroller issues a warrant or initiates an electronic funds transfer in response to the voucher, the comptroller may require the agency to maintain in its files the description, information, and documentation relating to the travel expense paid or reimbursed by the voucher until the comptroller audits the voucher.

(c)  If a state agency pays or reimburses a travel expense without first submitting a voucher to the comptroller, the comptroller may audit the payment or reimbursement for compliance with this chapter and the travel provisions of the General Appropriations Act.  The comptroller may report the results of the audit to the governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, the state auditor, and the Legislative Budget Board.  The state agency shall cooperate with the comptroller and make available the description, information, and documentation required by the comptroller at the time and in the manner required by the comptroller.

(d)  The comptroller may require a state agency to maintain in its files the description, information, and documentation regarding a travel expense payment or reimbursement for the period required by the comptroller.

(e)  The comptroller may require or authorize the description, information, and documentation relating to a travel expense payment or reimbursement to be maintained in paper form or electronically.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1367, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  660.029.  Knowledge Of Travel Procedures.

(a) A state agency shall instruct its state employees about this chapter, the travel provisions of the General Appropriations Act, and the rules adopted by the comptroller under this chapter.

(b)  A state agency's failure or inability to instruct a state employee as required by Subsection (a) does not excuse or justify the employee's failure to comply with applicable laws or rules.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.030.  Examination Of Vouchers And Expense Reimbursement Forms.

(a) In this section, "travel expense" includes tuition and fees for training, seminars, and conferences.

(b)  The comptroller periodically shall examine the vouchers and other expense reimbursement forms submitted by a state agency for payment of a travel expense payable under this chapter to determine compliance with Section 660.003(e) and:

(1)  whether the travel expenses were incurred in the conduct of official state business;

(2)  whether the state-business-related activities conducted during the travel were necessary to perform the state business;

(3)  whether the travel was necessary to perform the state business conducted; and

(4)  in a case in which vouchers or other expense reimbursement forms have been submitted for more than one individual for the same or similar travel, whether the number of individuals traveling was necessary to perform the state business.

(c)  The comptroller shall develop procedures for examining travel vouchers and other expense reimbursement forms.

(d)  This section does not apply to a travel expense described by Subchapter H. This subsection does not exempt a travel expense under Subchapter H from an audit required by Section 660.028.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 280, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 785, Sec. 20, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Subchapter C. Transportation By Personal Motor Vehicle

Section  660.041.  Reimbursement Requirement.

(a) A state employee is entitled to be reimbursed as provided by this subchapter for the employee's use of a personally owned or leased motor vehicle.

(b)  A state employee may not be reimbursed under this subchapter for an expense other than mileage, tolls, and parking.

(c)  A state employee may not be reimbursed for mileage incurred in traveling between the employee's residence and place of employment in a personally owned or leased motor vehicle unless the travel:

(1)  is necessitated by extraordinary circumstances; and

(2)  occurs outside the hours the employee is working.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 280, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  660.042.  Amount Of Reimbursement.

A mileage reimbursement may not exceed the product of:

(1)  the applicable mileage reimbursement rate as established by the legislature in the travel provisions of the General Appropriations Act; and

(2)  the number of miles traveled as limited by this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.043.  Determination Of Reimbursable Mileage.

(a) The number of miles traveled that are eligible for reimbursement under this subchapter may not exceed the number of miles of the most cost-effective reasonably safe route between the origin of the state employee's travel and the final duty point of the state employee.  If a state employee conducts official state business at duty points between the origin of the state employee's travel and the final duty point, the most cost-effective reasonably safe route between the origin and the final duty point shall include the intermediate duty points.

 

Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 317, Sec. 1

 

(b)  In determining the most cost-effective reasonably safe route for purposes of Subsection (a), a state agency may consider:

(1)  the route that provides the shortest distance between the origin of the state employee's travel and the final duty point;

(2)  the route that provides the quickest drive time between the origin of the state employee's travel and the final duty point; and

(3)  the route that provides the safest road conditions between the origin of the state employee's travel and the final duty point.

 

Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1367, Sec. 4

 

(b)  For the purpose of Subsection (a), the shortest route between two points is presumed to be the most cost-effective route.  A longer route may be considered the most cost-effective route only if:

(1)  the documentation states that the longer route is more cost effective;

(2)  the documentation provides a reasonable justification for that statement; and

(3)  the statement and justification are made by the chief administrator of the state agency making the reimbursement or by the chief administrator's designee.

(c)  The number of miles traveled that are eligible for reimbursement under this subchapter may be determined by an employee's vehicle odometer reading or by a readily available electronic mapping service.

 

Text of subsection as repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 317, Sec. 3

Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1367, Sec. 4

Without reference to the amendment of this subsection, this subsection was repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 317, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.

 

(d)  If the number of miles between points is not shown in the guide, the mileage incurred while traveling between those points is not reimbursable unless:

(1)  the documentation itemizes the mileage on a point-to-point basis; and

(2)  the mileage is reasonable.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 317, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 317, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1367, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  660.044.  Use Of Single Motor Vehicle By Multiple Employees.

(a) If two, three, or four state employees who are employed by the same state agency travel on the same dates with the same itinerary to conduct the same official state business, only one of the employees may be reimbursed for mileage.

(b)  If more than four state employees who are employed by the same state agency travel on the same dates with the same itinerary to conduct the same official state business, a state agency may reimburse for mileage only on the basis of one motor vehicle for each four employees and for any fraction in excess of a multiple of four employees.

(c)  Subsections (a) and (b) do not apply to a group of state employees if the chief administrative officer of the state agency that employs the employees determines before travel that it is not feasible for the employees to travel together in the same motor vehicle. This determination may be made only for reasons related to official state business.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Subchapter D. Transportation By Personal Aircraft

Section  660.071.  Reimbursement Requirement.

A state employee, a key official, a member of a board, or a member of the legislature is entitled to be reimbursed as provided by this subchapter for use of an aircraft owned or leased by the employee, official, or member.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 280, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  660.072.  Amount Of Reimbursement.

A reimbursement under this subchapter may not exceed the product of:

(1)  the aircraft mileage reimbursement rate established in the travel provisions of the General Appropriations Act; and

(2)  the highway mileage between the designated headquarters and duty point of the state employee, key official, or member of a board.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.073.  Aircraft Mileage Reimbursement Rate.

The travel provisions of the General Appropriations Act may establish different aircraft mileage rates:

(1)  for travel in:

(A)  a single-engine aircraft;

(B)  a twin-engine aircraft; and

(C)  a turbine-powered aircraft; and

(2)  for travel by:

(A)  a state employee;

(B)  a key official;

(C)  a member of a board; and

(D)  a member of the legislature.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.074.  Group Travel.

(a) This section applies only if a key official, member of a board, or member of the legislature travels with another official or member in an aircraft owned or leased by the other official or member.

(b)  In addition to the amount entitled to be reimbursed under Section 660.071, the key official, member of a board, or member of the legislature who owns or leases the aircraft is entitled to an amount equal to the amount that would have been paid or reimbursed to each passenger had the passenger incurred the contract airfare, if the passenger's agency is subject to rules adopted under Section 2171.055, or the average coach airfare, if the passenger's agency is not subject to those rules, instead of traveling on the aircraft. The total reimbursement to the official or member may not exceed the total cost of the trip.

(c)  The lessee of the aircraft may require the reimbursement to be paid to the vendor providing the leased aircraft instead of the lessee.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 280, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  660.075.  Aircraft Leased From Certain Persons.

A key official, member of a board, or member of the legislature is entitled to reimbursement under this subchapter for use of an aircraft leased from a proprietorship, partnership, or corporation in which the official or member has an interest.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 280, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Subchapter E. Transportation By Rented Or Public Conveyance

Section  660.091.  General Provision.

A state agency shall pay as provided by this subchapter the expense of transporting a state employee by rented or public conveyance in the course of conducting state business.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.092.  Payment And Reimbursement Methods.

(a) A state agency may pay an expense under this subchapter by:

(1)  reimbursing the employee as provided by Subsection (b);

(2)  directly paying the expense as provided by Subsection (c); or

(3)  directly paying the expense in advance of travel as provided by Subsection (d).

(b)  If a state agency reimburses a state employee, the agency shall submit receipts to the comptroller on request in the manner required by the comptroller. A state agency is not required to submit receipts for mass transit, taxi, or limousine fares.

(c)  A state agency may request a commercial transportation company to furnish transportation to the agency's state employees and to bill the agency monthly for that transportation. The state agency shall require the company to submit an invoice to the agency listing the points of origin and destination for each trip and the taxes charged. The agency shall submit those invoices to the comptroller on request and in the manner required by the comptroller.

(d)  A state agency may directly pay a commercial transportation company before the travel of a state employee if the payment would result in a lower transportation expense. The comptroller may adopt rules that authorize advance payments in other circumstances.

(e)  If a reimbursement to a state employee for a transportation expense would not be authorized, a direct payment to a commercial transportation company for the same expense is prohibited.

(f)  A state agency may not pay or reimburse the expense of transporting a state employee by rented or public conveyance if the transportation is provided by a person who is not a commercial transportation company.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.093.  Commercial Air Transportation.

The amount that a state agency pays or reimburses for a state employee to travel between points by commercial airline may not exceed the lowest rate available. First class airfare may be paid or reimbursed only if it is the only available airfare. Business class airfare may be paid or reimbursed only if a lower airfare is not available.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.094.  Limousine Transportation.

A state agency may pay for or reimburse a state employee for travel by limousine only if it is the least costly transportation available considering all relevant circumstances.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 280, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Subchapter F. Meal, Lodging, And Incidental Expenses

Section  660.111.  Reimbursement Requirement.

A state employee is entitled to be reimbursed as provided by this subchapter for a meal, lodging, or incidental expense incurred by the employee.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.112.  Amount Of Reimbursement.

A reimbursement under this subchapter may not exceed:

(1)  the limits established by the travel provisions of the General Appropriations Act for meal and lodging expenses; and

(2)  the amount of incidental expenses actually incurred by the state employee.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.113.  Restricted Reimbursements.

(a) A state agency may not reimburse a state employee for a lodging expense incurred at a place that is not a commercial lodging establishment.

(b)  A state agency may not reimburse a state employee for a meal or lodging expense the employee incurs while traveling outside the employee's designated headquarters for less than six consecutive hours unless the employee is a chief administrator of a state agency or the travel provisions of the General Appropriations Act authorize the reimbursement.

(c)  A state agency may not reimburse a state employee for a meal expense incurred within the employee's designated headquarters unless the expense is:

(1)  mandatory; and

(2)  connected with training, a seminar, or a conference.

(d)  A state agency may reimburse a state employee for a meal expense incurred while traveling without an overnight stay away from the employee's designated headquarters only if the chief administrator of the agency authorizes the reimbursement.

(e)  A state agency may not reimburse a state employee for the purchase of an alcoholic beverage, unless the employee is a peace officer who purchased the beverage as a purchase of evidence in an administrative or criminal case.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.114.  Direct Payments To Commercial Lodging Establishments.

(a) A state agency may request that a commercial lodging establishment bill the agency directly for a lodging expense. A state agency shall submit receipts regarding the expense to the comptroller on request in the manner required by the comptroller.

(b)  If a direct payment to a commercial lodging establishment is authorized under this section, any meal expenses incurred at the establishment may be paid directly to the establishment. A state agency shall submit receipts about the expenses to the comptroller on request in the manner required by the comptroller.

(c)  If a reimbursement to a state employee for a lodging or meal expense would not be authorized, a direct payment to a commercial lodging establishment for the expense is prohibited.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.115.  Receipts.

(a) Except as provided by Subsections (b) and (c), a state employee who requests reimbursement for a lodging expense must submit a lodging receipt to the comptroller at the time and in the manner required by the comptroller.

(b)  A chief administrator of a state agency who is not a member of a board is not required to submit a lodging receipt to the comptroller.

(c)  A member of a board is not required to submit a lodging receipt to the comptroller if:

(1)  the membership of the board is elected by vote of the people; or

(2)  the member serves on the board full-time and is paid a salary for that service.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.116.  Hotel Occupancy And Similar Taxes.

(a) A state employee is entitled to be reimbursed for a state, county, or local hotel occupancy tax or any similar tax imposed by a law of this state, another state, or a foreign nation.

(b)  A state employee is entitled to be reimbursed for a hotel occupancy or similar tax from which the employee is legally exempt only if the employee properly claims the exemption and the commercial lodging establishment refuses to honor the exemption.

(c)  If a state agency directly pays a commercial lodging establishment under Section 660.114, the agency may directly pay a hotel occupancy or similar tax to the establishment.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.117.  Apartment Or House Rental Expenses.

An apartment or house rental expense may be reimbursed or paid only if:

(1)  the purpose of the rental is the conservation of funds; and

(2)  the reimbursement or payment and the rental comply with the rules adopted by the comptroller under this chapter.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.118.  Incidental Expenses.

A state agency may reimburse a state employee for an incidental expense incurred by the employee only in accordance with rules adopted by the comptroller under this chapter.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Subchapter G. Special Travel Expense Provisions

Section  660.141.  Reimbursement In Certain Circumstances Involving Lower Airfares.

The comptroller by rule shall allow extra travel time to be claimed for computation of reimbursable travel expenses if a state employee obtains an airfare that is lower than the fare that would have been paid for travel for the same purpose but for a shorter period pursuant to this chapter, the result is a cost saving to the state, and the employee's additional absence is determined by the employing agency not to be detrimental.

Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 280, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  660.142.  Board Members.

This chapter applies to a payment or reimbursement of a travel expense incurred by a member of a board only if Subchapter C, Chapter 659, or other applicable law authorizes the payment or reimbursement.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.143.  Travel By Persons With Disabilities.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a state agency may reimburse a state employee with a disability for attendant care and other necessary expenses incurred when the employee travels inside or outside the employee's designated headquarters. An expense incurred when traveling between a residence and a place of employment may be reimbursed only as provided by law for state employees without disabilities.

(b)  If the airfare is medically necessary, a state agency may reimburse a state employee with a disability for the first or business class airfare of:

(1)  the employee; and

(2)  the attendant of the employee.

(c)  Instead of reimbursing a state employee for attendant care and other necessary expenses, a state agency may:

(1)  reimburse the attendant for those expenses; or

(2)  pay a commercial transportation company or commercial lodging establishment directly if the expenses are for transportation or lodging.

(d)  If this chapter, the travel provisions of the General Appropriations Act, or a rule adopted by the comptroller under this chapter conflicts with a requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Section 12101 et seq.), a federal regulation adopted under that Act, or another applicable federal law or regulation, the federal law or regulation controls to the extent of the conflict.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.144.  Death Of State Employees.

(a) A state agency may pay or reimburse the expense of preparing and transporting the remains and personal property of a state employee who dies while conducting official state business outside the employee's designated headquarters.

(b)  The agency may pay or reimburse the expense of transporting the remains and personal property either to the employee's designated headquarters or to another location designated by the executor or administrator of the employee's estate. If the remains and personal property are transported to a location other than the employee's designated headquarters, the amount of the agency's payment or reimbursement may not exceed the amount that would have been paid had the remains and personal property been transported to the designated headquarters.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.145.  Travel Expenses Of Threatened State Employees And Their Families.

(a) A state agency may pay or reimburse a travel expense incurred by a state employee who serves in a law enforcement, investigative, or similar capacity if the employee is threatened as a result of the employee's official duties.

(b)  A state agency may pay or reimburse a travel expense incurred by the family of a state employee who serves in a law enforcement, investigative, or similar capacity if the family is threatened as a result of the employee's official duties.

(c)  A travel expense is payable or reimbursable under this section even if it is incurred within a state employee's designated headquarters.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.146. 

 CONFLICTS WITH OTHER

Subchapter

S. In the event of a conflict between this subchapter and another provision of this chapter, this subchapter controls.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  660.147.  Training Seminars.

(a) To reduce travel expenditures, each state agency shall use interactive television, video conference technology, and telephone conferences to the greatest extent possible.

(b)  A state agency may not pay or reimburse a state employee for a travel expense associated with a training seminar conducted by the agency for its employees unless the chief administrator of the agency or the administrator's designee certifies in the supporting documentation that the agency:

(1)  does not possess interactive television or video conference facilities at the designated headquarters of the employees attending the seminar;

(2)  cannot purchase or lease such facilities at a cost less than the total travel expenses associated with the seminar; and

(3)  does not have access to another agency's facilities at the same location.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 280, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1367, Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter H. Travel By Certain Persons

Section  660.201.  Applicability.

This subchapter applies to the extent it is inconsistent with or supplementary to a provision in another part of this chapter. Sections 660.003(e)(4) and (g) do not apply to travel by members and employees of the legislature.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 280, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  660.202.  Members Of The Legislature.

(a) A member of the legislature is entitled to be reimbursed for meal, lodging, and incidental expenses incurred while traveling on legislative business or on the business of a board, council, committee, or commission on which the member sits. The rate of reimbursement is determined by resolution of each house as either:

(1)  the maximum out-of-state meals and lodging rate under rules issued by the comptroller based on federal travel regulations for the location at which the expenses are incurred; or

(2)  the actual amount of the expenses incurred.

(b)  If expenses for meals, lodging, or incidentals are incurred in a location for which the federal travel regulations have not established a maximum per diem rate, the rate for purposes of Subsection (a)(1) is the lowest maximum per diem rate for the state or country in which the expenses are incurred.

(c)  A member of the legislature is entitled to be reimbursed for the member's use of personally owned or leased motor vehicles and the use of rented or public conveyances at the same rate as is provided in the General Appropriations Act for state employees, except that the member may only receive mileage reimbursement for the most cost-effective route between the origin of the member's travel and the final duty point.

(d)  Rates of reimbursement for a member of the legislature's use of personally owned or leased motor vehicles, rented or public conveyances, or personally owned or leased aircraft apply whether a trip includes travel to or from the city of Austin.

(e)  During a legislative session, a member of the legislature is entitled to be reimbursed for transportation expenses, including mileage, at the same rate that is provided by the General Appropriations Act for state employees.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 280, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 317, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  660.203.  Travel By Certain Officers And Employees.

(a) An individual is entitled to reimbursement for the actual expense of meals and lodging incurred while performing the duties of the individual's office or employment if the individual is:

(1)  a judicial officer;

(2)  a chief administrative officer of a state agency, subject to Subsection (c);

(3)  the executive director of the Texas Legislative Council;

(4)  the secretary of the senate;

(5)  a member of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, the Texas Workforce Commission, the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, or the Sabine River Compact Administration; or

(6)  a full-time member of a board and receives a salary from the state for service on that board.

(b)  The governor's spouse is entitled to reimbursement for actual travel expenses incurred while performing duties at the direction of the governor.

(c)  A member of a board whose membership is not elected by vote of the people is not a chief administrative officer for the purposes of this section.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 280, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1158, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  660.204.  Travel By Legislative Employees.

A state employee employed by the legislature or an agency in the legislative branch of state government may be reimbursed for the actual expense of meals and lodging as determined by the employing house of the legislature or agency.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 280, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  660.205.  Representation Of State.

(a) A state employee who is designated by the governor to represent the state at a governmental meeting or conference held outside the state is entitled to reimbursement for the actual expense of meals, lodging, and incidentals during the trip.

(b)  A travel expense described by Subsection (a) is reimbursable from appropriations to the state agency by which the designee is employed.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 280, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  660.206.  Representation Of Certain Officers And Employees.

(a) A state employee who is designated by a member of the legislature, a judicial officer, a chief administrator of a state agency, the executive director of the Texas Legislative Council, the secretary of the senate, or a board member to represent the designating party at a particular meeting or conference is entitled to reimbursement for the actual expense of meals and lodging on the trip.

(b)  A member of the legislature, a judicial officer, a chief administrator of a state agency, the executive director of the Texas Legislative Council, the secretary of the senate, and a board member may authorize a state employee traveling with the authorizing party to a particular meeting or conference to receive reimbursement for the actual expense of the employee's meals and lodging on the trip.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 280, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  660.207.  Aircraft Pilots.

An aircraft pilot who conveys state officers or employees on official business is entitled to reimbursement for the actual expense of meals and lodging on the trip in accordance with Section 660.206(b). The pilot is not subject to Section 660.113(b).

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 280, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  660.208.  Advance Approval Required.

Reimbursement of actual expenses under Section 660.205 or 660.206 may not be made unless the chief administrator of the appropriate state agency gives advance written approval of the reimbursement and estimates the approximate cost of the travel.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 280, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section 660.209.  State Emergency Services Personnel.

(a) In this section, "emergency services personnel" includes firefighters, police officers and other peace officers, emergency medical technicians, emergency management personnel, and other individuals who are required, in the course and scope of their employment, to provide services for the benefit of the general public during emergency situations.

(b)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or the General Appropriations Act, a state employee who is emergency services personnel and who is deployed to a temporary duty station to conduct emergency or disaster response activities is entitled to reimbursement for the actual expense of lodging when there is no room available at the state rate within reasonable proximity to the employee's temporary duty station.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1280, Sec. 4.02, eff. September 1, 2009.


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