Law:Title 132. Occupational And Business Regulation (Texas)

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Chapter 19. Boat Or Motor Manufacturers, Distributors, And Dealers

Art. 8930. SELF-DIRECTED SEMI-INDEPENDENT AGENCY PROJECT ACT.

Short Title

Section 1.

This Act shall be known as the Self-Directed Semi-Independent Agency Project Act.

Agency Participation

Section 2.

The following agencies shall be part of the pilot project created by this Act:

(1) the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy;

(2) the Texas Board of Professional Engineers; and

(3) the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners.

Definition

Section 3.

In this Act, "project agency" means an agency listed in Section 2 of this Act.

Pilot Project

Section 4.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, each project agency shall become self-directed and semi-independent as specified in this Act. To allow the pilot project the opportunity to test the effectiveness of operating under the provisions of this Act, any Act of the 78th Legislature that relates to an agency included in Section 2 of this Act and that is inconsistent with being self-directed and semi-independent may be implemented on authorization by the governing board of the agency.

(b) Each project agency shall continue to be a state agency, as that term is defined in Section 2001.003(7), Government Code.

(c)  This Act is subject to Chapter 325, Government Code (Texas Sunset Act).  Unless continued in existence as provided by that chapter, this Act expires September 1, 2013.

General Duties of All Project Agencies

Section 5.

In addition to the duties enumerated in the enabling legislation specifically applicable to each project agency, each project agency shall have the duties prescribed by Sections 6 through 9 of this Act.

Budget

Section 6.

(a) A project agency shall adopt a budget annually using generally accepted accounting principles. The budget shall be reviewed and approved only by the project agency's governing board notwithstanding any other provision of law, including the General Appropriations Act. No costs shall be incurred by the general revenue fund. A project agency shall be responsible for all costs, both direct and indirect.

(b) A project agency shall keep financial and statistical information as necessary to disclose completely and accurately the financial condition and operation of the project agency.

(c) The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy shall annually remit $703,344 to the general revenue fund, the Texas Board of Professional Engineers shall annually remit $373,900 to the general revenue fund, and the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners shall annually remit $510,000 to the general revenue fund.

Audits

Section 7.

Nothing in this Act shall affect the duty of the State Auditor to audit a project agency. The State Auditor shall enter into a contract and schedule with each project agency to conduct audits, including financial reports and performance audits. Costs incurred in performing such audits shall be reimbursed by the project agency.

Reporting Requirements

Section 8.

(a) A project agency shall submit to the legislature and the governor by the first day of the regular session of the legislature a report describing all of the agency's activities in the previous biennium. The report shall include:

(1) an audit required by Section 7 of this Act;

(2) a financial report of the previous fiscal year;

(3) a description of any changes in licensing fees;

(4) a report on the number of examination candidates, licensees, certificate holders, and enforcement activities and any changes in those figures; and

(5) a description of all new rules adopted or repealed.

(b) In addition to the reporting requirements of Subsection (a) of this section, each project agency shall report annually, not later than November 1, to the governor, to the committee of each house of the legislature that has jurisdiction over appropriations, and to the Legislative Budget Board the following:

(1) the salary for all project agency personnel and the total amount of per diem expenses and travel expenses paid for all agency employees;

(2) the total amount of per diem expenses and travel expenses paid for each member of the governing body of each project agency;

(3) each project agency's operating plan and budget covering a two-year period; and

(4) a detailed report of all revenue received and all expenses incurred by the project agency in the previous 12 months.

Disposition of Fees Collected

Section 9.

If provided in a project agency's enabling legislation, the project agency shall collect a professional fee of $200 from its licensees annually which shall be remitted to the state. If provided in a project agency's enabling legislation, the project agency shall collect a scholarship fee of $10 annually from its licensees and shall remit it to the state.

General Powers of All Project Agencies

Section 10.

In addition to the powers enumerated in each project agency's enabling legislation, each project agency shall have the powers described in Sections 11 through 14 of this Act.

Ability to Contract

Section 11.

To carry out and promote the objectives of this Act, a project agency may enter into contracts and do all other acts incidental to those contracts that are necessary for the administration of its affairs and for the attainment of its purposes; provided, however, that any indebtedness, liability, or obligation of the project agency shall not:

(1) create a debt or other liability of the state or any other entity other than the project agency; or

(2) create any personal liability on the part of the members of the board of the project agency or its employees.

Property

Section 12.

A project agency may acquire by lease, and maintain, use, and operate, any real, personal, or mixed property necessary to the exercise of the powers, rights, privileges, and functions of the agency.

Suits

Section 13.

The office of the attorney general shall represent a project agency in any litigation. The attorney general may assess and collect from the project agency reasonable attorney's fees associated with any litigation under this section.

Fees and Disposition of Funds

Section 14.

(a) Subject to the limitations, if any, in the applicable enabling legislation, each project agency may set the amount of fees by statute or rule as necessary for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the project agency.

(b) All fees and funds collected by a project agency during the pilot project and any funds appropriated to the project agency shall be deposited in interest-bearing deposit accounts in the Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company. The comptroller shall contract with the project agency for the maintenance of the deposit accounts under terms comparable to a contract between a commercial banking institution and its customers.

(c) A project agency may retain each fiscal year an amount of fines and other revenue the project agency receives during the fiscal year as a result of enforcement actions that is equal to 20 percent of the total amount expended by the project agency during the previous fiscal year, not to exceed $1 million.

(d) At the end of each fiscal year 50 percent of the unexpended balance of the amount retained in Subsection (c) of this section shall be deposited to the credit of the general revenue fund.

Post-Participation Liability

Section 15.

(a) If a state agency no longer has status under this Act as a self-directed semi-independent project agency either because of the expiration of this Act or for any other reason, the agency shall be liable for any expenses or debts incurred by the agency during the time the agency participated in the pilot project. The agency's liability under this section includes liability for any lease entered into by the agency. The state is not liable for any expense or debt covered by this subsection, and money from the general revenue fund may not be used to repay the expense or debt.

(b) If a state agency no longer has status under this Act as a self-directed semi-independent project agency either because of the expiration of this Act or for any other reason, ownership of any property or other asset acquired by the agency during the time the agency participated in the pilot project, including unexpended fees in a deposit account in the Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company, shall be transferred to the state.

Open Government

Section 16.

Subject to the confidentiality provisions of a project agency's enabling legislation:

(1) meetings of the project agency are subject to Chapter 551, Government Code; and

(2) records maintained by the project agency are subject to Chapter 552, Government Code.

Membership in Employee Retirement System

Section 17.

Employees of the project agencies are members of the Employees Retirement System of Texas under Chapter 812, Government Code, and transition to independent status shall have no effect on their membership.

Gifts

Section 18.

(a) Notwithstanding other law, a project agency may not accept a gift, grant, or donation:

(1) from a party to an enforcement action; or

(2) to pursue a specific investigation or enforcement action.

(b) A project agency must:

(1) report each gift, grant, or donation that the agency receives as a separate item in the agency's detailed report under Section 8(b) of this Act; and

(2) include with the report a statement indicating the purpose for which each gift, grant, or donation was used.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1552, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Sec. 14 amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 939, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Sec. 15(b) amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 939, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Sec. 4(a) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 367, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 4(c) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 367, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 6(c) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 367, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 14(c) added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 367, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 14(d) added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 367, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 18 added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 367, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 928, Sec. 4.09, eff. June 15, 2007.

Chapter 20. Miscellaneous

Art. 9010. PEDDLING OF PRINTED MATTER BY DEAF OR MUTE PERSONS. It shall be unlawful for any person to peddle or use a finger alphabet card or other printed matter stating in effect that the person is deaf and/or mute, in a manner calculated to play upon the sympathy of another in the solicitation of a contribution or donation. Any person violating any provision hereof shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than sixty (60) days or by a fine of not less than Ten Dollars ($10) nor more than Fifty Dollars ($50), or by both imprisonment and fine.

Acts 1959, 56th Leg., p. 1066, ch. 487, Sec. 1.



Art. 9023d. DISPOSAL OF COMPUTER EQUIPMENT BY CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION. (a) In this article:

(1) "Computer equipment" includes computers, telecommunications devices and systems, automated information systems, and peripheral devices and hardware that are necessary to the efficient installation and operation of that equipment, but does not include computer software.

(2) "Charitable organization" has the meaning assigned by Section 84.003, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

(b) Except as provided by Subsections (c) and (d) of this article, a charitable organization that expends funds received from the state, whether by appropriation, grant, or otherwise, to purchase computer equipment may not dispose of or discard the equipment before the fourth anniversary of the date the organization purchased the equipment.

(c) This article does not prohibit:

(1) the sale or trade of computer equipment; or

(2) the disposal of equipment that is not operational.

(d) A charitable organization may dispose of computer equipment purchased with state funds within the four-year period after the date of purchase by donating the equipment to another charitable organization.

(e) This article applies only to computer equipment that a charitable organization purchases for at least $500.

(f) The comptroller shall adopt rules to implement this article.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1087, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Art. 9030. EXCURSION TRAIN OPERATORS; CERTIFICATION; LIMITATION OF LIABILITY.

Certification

Section 1.

(a) A person may apply to the comptroller for certification as an operator of an excursion train. The comptroller shall certify an applicant if the comptroller determines that the applicant will operate a passenger train that:

(1) is primarily used for tourism or public service; and

(2) leads to the promotion of the tourist industry in Texas.

(b) The comptroller may not certify a person under Subsection (a) of this section unless the person files with the comptroller evidence of insurance providing coverage for liability resulting from injury to persons or damages to property in the amount of at least $5,000,000 for the operation of the train.

(c) The comptroller may not certify an applicant under Subsection (a) of this section if the applicant or any person that owns an interest in the applicant also owns or operates a regularly scheduled passenger train service with interstate connections.

Limitation of Liability

Section 2.

(a) A person that is certified as an operator of an excursion train under Section 1(a) of this Act and maintains insurance in the minimum amount required under Section 1(b) of this Act is not liable for injury or damages over $5,000,000 resulting from a single occurrence.

(b) The limitation of liability under Subsection (a) of this section applies to the person certified as an operator under Section 1(a) of this Act, the owner of equipment used by the excursion train, the owner of track used by the excursion train, and the host carrier.

(c) The limitation of liability under Subsection (a) of this section does not apply if:

(1) the injury or damages result from intentional, malicious, or grossly negligent conduct; or

(2) at the time of the injury or damages the operator of the excursion train:

(A) failed to maintain insurance as required under Section 1(b) of this Act; or

(B) failed to comply with Section 5 of this Act.

Application

Section 3.

An application made under Section 1 of this Act must include:

(1) the name and address of each person who owns an interest of at least 10 percent in the applicant;

(2) an address in this state at which the excursion train is based;

(3) an operations plan including the route to be used and a schedule of operations and stops along the route; and

(4) evidence of insurance in an amount that meets the requirements of Section 1(b) of this Act.

Notice to Passengers

Section 4.

The operator of an excursion train that is certified under Section 1(a) of this Act shall:

(1) issue each passenger a ticket with the following statement in 12-point boldface type: "THE OPERATOR OF THIS TRAIN IS NOT LIABLE FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR WRONGFUL DEATH IN AN AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF $5,000,000"; and

(2) post notice near a passenger boarding area containing the same statement required in Subdivision (1) of this section in letters that are at least two inches high.

Restrictions

Section 5.

The operator of an excursion train that is certified under Section 1(a) of this Act may not carry:

(1) freight other than the personal luggage of the passengers or crew or supplies and equipment necessary to serve the needs of the passengers and crew;

(2) passengers who are commuting to work; or

(3) passengers who are traveling to their final destination solely for business or commercial purposes.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 910, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.


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