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Tax Collection Contracting - S.B. 461

by Senator Moncrief

House Sponsor: Representative Maxey

§ Enacts a Texas Performance Review recommendation to allow the comptroller to contract with vendors on a contingency basis to create an advanced database system to enhance state tax collections.

§ Allows the comptroller to contract with private companies on a contingency basis to perform out-of-state audits in states without comptroller field offices, in order to maximize collections from out-of-state businesses.

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Alcoholic Beverage Advertising - S.B. 484

by Senator Moncrief

House Sponsor: Representative Carter

§ Allows a retail establishment licensed by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) to have one sign containing the establishment's name at each entrance or side of the building, regardless of whether the name contains the words "beer," "wine," or "liquor."

_ Allows TABC to promulgate rules allowing for temporary billboards at charitable or civic events.

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Professional Engineers - S.B. 623

by Senator Ratliff, et al.

House Sponsor: Representative Uher

§ Updates the Texas Engineering Practice Act to make it more consistent with the national model law of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying and the practices of other state agencies, which includes instituting administrative penalties for certain violations.

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Aircraft Use in Advertising Alcoholic Beverages - S.B. 672

by Senator Armbrister

House Sponsor: Representative Goolsby

§ Allows an aircraft to be used in alcoholic beverage advertising or promotion.

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Governmental Actions that Constitute a Taking of Real Property - S.B. 1389

(Died in the House)

by Senator Lindsay

House Sponsor: Representative Hamric

§ Amends the definition of "taking" under the Texas Private Real Property Rights Preservation Act to exclude private real property which is not subject to the governmental action, but is merely near or adjacent to private real property that is the subject of such action.

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Coordination of Colonia Initiatives - S.B. 1514

by Senator Truan

House Sponsor: Representative Flores

§ Sets forth a system for coordination of colonia initiatives among the following state agencies: the Office of the Attorney General, the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Department of Health, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, the Texas Water Development Board, the University of Texas--Pan American, and the Texas Workforce Commission.

§ Requires the coordinator of colonia initiatives for the Office of the Attorney General to preside over the group of coordinators designated by the other state agencies for the coordination of colonia initiatives.

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Education Programs in Colonias - H.B. 540

by Representative Serna

Senate Sponsor: Senator Shapleigh

§ Authorizes the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to include educational curricula at self-help centers, which would provide monthly programs to inform individuals and families on their rights and responsibilities as property owners.

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Mandatory Boater Education for Young Boaters - H.B. 966

by Representative Oakley, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Barrientos, et al.

§ Prohibits a person who is under 16 years of age from operating a boat in public waters, unless the person is accompanied by a person at least 18 years of age; or is at least 13 years of age and has successfully completed a boater education course prescribed by the Parks and Wildlife Department.

§ Authorizes a justice to defer the imposition of a fine imposed upon a person who violates for the first time a provision relating to water safety. Requires the justice to require the person to successfully complete a boater education course. Requires the justice to waive imposition of a fine if the defendant successfully completes the course.

§ Requires violators of certain water safety provisions to pay a fine and successfully complete a boater education course.

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Destruction of Dangerous Dogs - H.B. 991

by Representatives Wohlgemuth and Culberson

Senate Sponsor: Senator Lindsay

§ Requires a justice of a municipal court to order the destruction of dogs deemed dangerous and which have caused seriously bodily injury. Requires a court to release the dog to its owner or duly authorized person if the court does not find destruction warranted.

§ Prohibits the destruction of the dog if:

§ a trespasser is less than eight years of age and the dog's enclosure was reasonably secure;

§ a person at least eight years of age trespassed in the enclosure and the dog was being used for protection of persons or property; and

§ the dog was being used for law enforcement purposes.

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Administration and Financing of Emergency Communications - H.B. 1324

by Representatives Carter and Keel

Senate Sponsor: Senator Cain

§ Authorizes the Advisory Commission on State Emergency Communications (advisory commission) to obtain a commercial license or sublicense to sell 9-1-1 or poison control public education and training materials in this or other states, and also to use all profits from the sales for purposes of the advisory commission.

§ Provides that certain information including information in address databases is confidential and not open for public inspection.

§ Provides for certain exemptions from liability for a service provider or third party for the release of information furnished by the service provider or third party in providing computerized 9-1-1 services.

§ Provides that certain information that relates to the verification or auditing of emergency service fees or surcharge remittances and that includes access line or market share information of an individual provider is confidential and not available for public inspection.

§ Requires the advisory commission to maintain and update at least annually a list of provisions or rules that have been adopted by emergency communication districts.

§ Provides that a 9-1-1 service provider is responsible for correctly billing and remitting applicable 9-1-1 fees, charges and surcharges and makes stipulations for erroneous billing or remittances made to the advisory commission, a regional planning commission, or an emergency communication district.

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Community Reinvestment Work Group - H.B. 1414

by Representative Van de Putte

Senate Sponsor: Senator Ellis

§ Creates a Community Reinvestment Work Group (group) to develop strategies to meet the reinvestment needs of low- and moderate-income communities statewide in conjunction with the Federal Community Reinvestment Act.

§ Develops statewide community reinvestment strategies using existing investment pools and other investment vehicles to leverage private capital from banks, insurance companies, and other entities for community development in the state.

§ Requires the group to:

§ explore innovative qualified investment strategies;

§ ensure to the extent possible that the strategies encourage financial institutions in this state to lend money to low-income and moderate-income families and individuals in the state;

§ coordinate its efforts to attract private capital through investments that meet the requirements of the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977;

§ ensure to the extent possible that the strategies augment existing Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 programs in the state, including the operation of local community development corporations.

§ Requires the group to submit a report each biennium to the legislature regarding the effectiveness of the group's strategies.

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Location of Missing Children Through Record Keeping - H.B. 1516

by Representative Thompson, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Harris

§ Provides a system for flagging the birth certificate and school records of missing children under the age of 11 in order to aid law enforcement agencies in locating missing children.

§ Requires a school, when enrolling a child under 11 years of age in the school for the first time, to obtain certain information including the names of the previous schools attended by the child, school records from the previous schools, and if the child was not born in the United States, a certified copy of the child's birth certificate or other reliable proof of the child's identity and age and a signed statement explaining the person's inability to produce a copy of the child's birth certificate.

§ Requires the school to notify a law enforcement agency if the above information is not provided within 31 days.

§ Requires law enforcement agencies to inform certain persons when the agency receives a report that a child under 11 years of age is missing. Requires a school, day care facility, or birth certificate agency to flag a child's record when the school, facility, or agency receives notice that the child is missing.

§ Requires a law enforcement agency, if a missing child was born in or attended a school or licensed day care facility in another state, to notify law enforcement or the missing and exploited children clearinghouse in each appropriate state regarding the missing child, and request the law enforcement agency or clearinghouse to contact the state birth certificate agency and each school or licensed day care facility the missing child attended to flag the missing child's records.

§ Sets forth procedures to be followed when a school, day care facility, or birth certificate agency receives a request concerning a flagged record.

§ Requires a law enforcement agency to inform certain persons of the return of a missing child under 11 years of age. Requires a school, day care facility, or birth certificate agency, upon receiving notification that a missing child has been returned, to remove the flag from the child's records.

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Texas Underground Facility Notification System -

H.B. 2295

by Representative Oakley, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Cain

§ Creates the Texas Underground Facility Notification Corporation (TUNC) to provide statewide underground facility notification services, and requires a Class A facility operator to pay TUNC a $50 fee for services to be performed during that calendar year.

§ Requires each operator of Class A underground facility to participate in a notification center, which must be capable of receiving emergency information 24 hours a day from excavators and disseminate the information to the appropriate operators and to all registered and affected notification centers.

§ Requires an excavator to make one telephone call to a notification center that is registered with TUNC, prior to an excavation. Requires the notification center to notify the proper underground facility operators that may have facilities in the vicinity of the proposed excavation operation. Requires the underground facility operators contacted by the notification center to mark the approximate location of their own underground facilities at or near the site of the proposed excavation if the operators believe that such markings are necessary. The markings required by this Act will allow an excavation to be made without damage to any underground facility, without interruption of utility service, and without danger to the excavator and the general public caused by underground facility damage.

§ Sets forth civil penalties for an excavator who violates this Act.

§ Provides that a person commits a Class B misdemeanor if the person, without authorization from the owner or operator of an underground facility, intentionally removes, damages, or conceals a marker or sign giving information about the location of the facility and notice of a criminal penalty.

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Employment Discrimination Based on Religion and Age - H.B. 3048

by Representative Hodge

Senate Sponsor: Senator Cain

§ Includes discrimination based on religion and age as an unlawful employment practice to conform the state's employment discrimination statutes with federal law.

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Disaster Response Legislation - H.B. 3074

By Representative Gray

Senate Sponsor: Senator Armbrister

§ Allows for the mitigation of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from disasters.

§ Sets forth provisions regarding the mitigation of disasters, rather than prevention of disasters.

§ Authorizes the governor, acting through members of the Emergency Management Council, to remove debris or wreckage from public or private land or water if it threatens public health or safety.

§ Provides that a county emergency management program is the first channel through which a municipal corporation shall request assistance when its resources are exceeded. Requires requests that exceed the county capability to be forwarded to the state as prescribed in the state emergency management plan.

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Home Equity Lending - H.J.R. 31

by Representative Patterson, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senators Patterson and Harris

§ Proposes a constitutional amendment permitting an encumbrance against homestead property for home equity loans. Ballot Date: November 4, 1997.

§ Allows a homeowner to borrow up to 80 percent of the fair market value of his or her home.

§ Requires home equity loan foreclosures to be reviewed by a state judge.

§ Allows reverse mortgages for people 55 years old or older.

§ Prohibits home equity loans secured against homesteads designated for agriculture, except for dairy farms.

§ Allows homeowners 12 days to back out of a home improvement loan, and an additional three days to back out of the home improvement contract.

§ Requires home equity loans to be closed at a lending institution, a lawyer's office, or a title company.