HBA-KMH H.B. 846 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 846 By: Lewis, Ron Natural Resources 1/26/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, Chapter 661, Government Code, requires all state agencies, including river authorities, to establish sick leave pools. Sick leave pools allow agency employees to voluntarily contribute sick leave to a pool for use by employees who have exhausted their sick leave. No explicit authority is provided to water districts, other than river authorities, to establish these pools. H.B. 846 provides permissive authority for sick leave pools for all water districts and authorities operating either under Chapter 36 or Chapter 49 of the Water Code. Chapter 36 of the Water Code was enacted in 1995 as a "stand alone" chapter for groundwater conservation districts. Section 36.052 provides that other laws governing the administration or operation of districts do not apply to Chapter 36 districts. Chapter 49 of the Water Code was enacted concurrently to provide administrative provisions for most water districts other than groundwater districts. H.B. 846 adds a provision to Chapter 49, Water Code, providing further clarification that it does not apply to districts governed under Chapter 36. Section 49.072, Water Code, passed in 1997, disqualifies a director of a district who becomes a candidate for another office. This provision is problematic as it relates to constitutional provisions for the removal and holdover of district directors (see Attorney General's Opinion No. DM-493). H.B. 846 repeals Section 49.072, Water Code. 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 36.068, Water Code, by adding Subsection (d), as follows: (d) Authorizes the board of directors of a district to establish a sick leave pool for employees of the district in the same manner as that authorized for the creation of a sick leave pool for state employees by Subchapter A, Chapter 661, Government Code. Currently, the term "district" is defined as any district or authority created by authority of either Sections 52(b)(1) and (2), Article III, or Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution, regardless of how created. Furthermore, the chapter notes that the term "district" shall not include any navigation district or port authority created under general or special law or any conservation and reclamation district created pursuant to Chapter 62, Acts of the 52nd Legislature, 1951 (Article 8280-141, V.T.C.S.). SECTION 2. Amends Section 49.001(1), Water Code, to exempt any conservation and reclamation district governed by Chapter 36 from application of this chapter unless a special law creating the district or amending the law creating the district states that this chapter applies to that district. Makes a conforming change. SECTION 3. Amends 49.002, Water Code, by adding Subsection (b), as follows: (b) Provides an exception to the application of this chapter to a district governed by Chapter 36 unless a special law creating the district or amending the law creating the district states that this chapter applies to that district. Makes a conforming change. SECTION 4. Amends Section 49.069, Water Code, by adding Subsection (d), as follows: (d) Authorizes the board to establish a sick leave pool for employees of the district in the same manner as that authorized for the creation of a sick leave pool for state employees by Subchapter A, Chapter 661, Government Code. SECTION 5. Amends Section 661.001(4), Government Code, to eliminate a river authority from the definition of a state agency. Redesignates Paragraph (E) to Paragraph (D). SECTION 6. Repealer: Section 49.072, Water Code. Currently, Section 49.072 provides that a person serving as director of a district who becomes a candidate for another office is no longer qualified to serve as director. SECTION 7. Effective date: September 1, 1999. SECTION 8. Emergency clause.