HBA-MPA H.B. 1259 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1259 By: Wise Economic Development 3/4/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE While there are a number of key groups and organizations, both statewide and nationally that do excellent work on behalf of Hispanics and related border economic and other issues, there is no central agency, commission, or state office that acts as a clearinghouse of information, research, training, and resources on Hispanic and border issues specifically. One means of addressing the situation is the creation of a regional training and economic development center can be the focal point to provide research on environmental and economic development needs as well as employment skills and job training for local residents in the areas of public service, education, manufacturing, health care, transportation, warehousing, and construction. H.B. 1259 creates the Lower Rio Grande Valley Regional Training, Research and Economic Development Center to maximize trade between Texas and Mexico while undertaking research and training and the analysis of public policy addressing the economic needs of the border region. The center will utilize existing Texas A&M University facilities, and in cooperation with other entities carry out agreements to further these goals, seek funding from public and private sources, and make recommendations of how the future of the border region can be enhanced. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Chapter 88, Education Code, by adding Subchapter D, as follows: SUBCHAPTER D. LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY REGIONAL TRAINING, RESEARCH, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CENTER Sec. 88.301. DEFINITIONS. Defines "center" and "service area." Sec. 88.302. CREATION OF CENTER. Establishes the Lower Rio Grande Valley Regional Training, Research, and Economic Development Center (center) as a component of the Texas A&M University System (system). Requires that the center be located in the service area at a facility owned or operated by the system. Provides that the operating budget, staffing, and activities of the center are subject to approval of the board of regents of the system (board). Authorizes the board to assign responsibility for management of the center to any component institution of the system. Sec. 88.303. PURPOSE. Requires the center to develop a comprehensive approach to addressing the economic needs of the service area, to deliver human resource development for the service area's economic assets, to assist governmental entities in economic development collaborations, to establish forums to address related community issues, to serve as a training and research center for community development initiatives, to create collaborative resources for trade development; and to create integrated and environmental research services to enhance development initiatives. Sec. 88.304. COOPERATION WITH OTHER ENTITIES. Authorizes the center to execute and carry out affiliation or coordination agreements with other entities or institutions to establish or operate the center. Sec. 88.305. FUNDING. Authorizes the center to receive state appropriated funds as considered appropriate by the legislature. Sec. 88.306. GIFTS AND GRANTS. Authorizes the board to solicit, accept, and administer gifts and grants from any public or private source for the use and benefit of the center. Sec. 88.307. ADVISORY COMMITTEE. (a) Requires the board to appoint an advisory committee. Requires the advisory committee to make program priority recommendations to the board and serve as a resource group for the center. (b) Provides that the advisory committee consists of a representative of the system, the person responsible for the day-to-day operation of the center, and 12 members of the general public composed of three members from each county in the service area. (c) Requires the board, on the recommendation of the person responsible for operation of the center, to appoint public members of the advisory committee who have demonstrated an interest in the economic development of the service area. SECTION 2. Requires the board to establish the center no later than September 1, 2000. SECTION 3. Emergency clause. Effective date: upon passage.