HBA-ATS C.S.H.B. 1432 76(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.H.B. 1432 By: Grusendorf Public Safety 3/26/1999 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Texas law requires adult and juvenile sex offenders to register their names and addresses with the Department of Public Safety (department) and local police departments. Any person is entitled to obtain the criminal history records of sex offenders from the department. This information may be obtained by a written or electronic request. The department is authorized to charge a fee for each request. Currently, the department charges more for written inquiries than for inquiries submitted electronically through its website. Requests submitted through the website cost less because electronic submissions require less time and labor to handle than written requests. C.S.H.B. 1432 prohibits the Department of Public Safety from charging for processing an electronic inquiry for sex offender registration information if requested through the Internet. This bill also deletes public information from the type of information for which the department is authorized to charge a fee for processing an inquiry from a person who is not primarily a criminal justice agency. 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 Section 411.001, Government Code, by adding Subdivision (4), to define "Internet" as the largest nonproprietary nonprofit cooperative public computer network. SECTION 2. Amends Section 411.088, Government Code, as follows: (a) Deletes public information from the type of information for which the Department of Public Safety (department) is authorized to charge a fee for processing an inquiry from a person who is not primarily a criminal justice agency. Provides an exception in Subsection (b). Makes conforming changes. (b) Prohibits the department from charging for processing an electronic inquiry for information described as public under Article 62.08 (Central Database; Public Information), Code of Criminal Procedure, made through the use of the Internet. SECTION 3. Emergency clause. Effective date: upon passage. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.H.B. 1432 modifies the original bill in SECTION 2 by amending the proposed addition of Subsection (b) to Section 411.088 (Fees), Government Code, to strike "actual costs" from the prohibition against charging a person for processing an electronic inquiry for information described as public, made through the use of the Internet. Under the original bill, the Department of Public Safety was prohibited from charging actual costs for processing the electronic inquiry.