Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 10
By: Telford
County Affairs


Certain provisions relating to the Texas Historical Commission (THC) and
county historic commissions require updating.  House Bill 10 updates
certain provisions to clarify the relationship between THC and county
historic commissions to improve coordination and more effectively preserve
the historic cultural resources of Texas.   


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Historical Commission in
SECTION 5 (Section 442.017, Government Code) and SECTION 6 (Section
442.018, Government Code) of this bill.  


House Bill 10 amends the Local Government and Government codes to modify
provisions relating to the Texas Historical Commission (THC) and county
historical commissions (commission).   

The bill amends the Local Government Code to provide that when suggesting
programs for the preservation of a county's historic cultural resources,
THC must be consistent with the statewide preservation plan and is required
to consider the fiscal and human resources the county has to conduct the
program (Sec. 318.002).  The bill sets forth provisions regarding the
composition of a commission and the appointment of  commission members
(Sec. 318.003).  The bill requires the county judge to serve as the
commission chair during any interim period (Sec. 318.004).  The bill
changes the required number of meetings from at least one to at least four
per year for a commission and provides that all meetings of a commission
are required to be conducted in accordance with the open meetings law (Sec.

The bill provides that a commission should rather than shall institute and
carry out a continuing survey of the historic and archeological features of
the county and important endangered properties, and develop and maintain an
inventory of surveyed properties and districts in accordance with THC
standards.  A commission should establish a system for the periodic review
and assessment of designated properties and report the findings to THC
(Sec. 318.006).  The bill removes a commission's authority to designate a
historical trail and special areas of historic interest.  The bill provides
that a commission should strive to create countywide awareness and
appreciation of historic preservation and its benefits and uses (Sec.

The bill authorizes the commissioners court of a county to make agreements
with governmental agencies or private organizations and to appropriate
funds from the general fund of the county for the purpose of funding
specified projects relating to the commission's duties.  THC is authorized
to make grants available to a commission, subject to the budgetary
authority and approval of the commissioners court, to carry out those
duties (Sec. 318.009).  The bill requires a commission to review
applications for Official Texas Historical Markers (markers) and recommends
the establishment of a system to review, assess, and maintain the markers
(Sec. 318.010).   

 The bill sets forth provisions regarding to the creation of a plan by a
commission for the preservation of a county's historic resources and
provides that a commission should use THC's statewide preservation plan for
guidance (Sec. 318.0101).  The bill sets forth provisions for the
leadership and training of a commission (Sec. 318.0102).   

The bill amends the Government Code to authorize THC to accept a gift of
real property, historical or not, for preservation or sale (Section
442.005).  The bill requires THC to assist in the acquisition of artifacts
discovered in Texas that are significant in Texas or American history
(Section 442.0145).  The bill modifies provisions regarding the use of
money in the Texas preservation trust fund account (fund) and provides that
money deposited in the fund that is not used shall be unencumbered and
accrue to the benefit of the fund rather than being used for architectural
and archeological projects.  The bill adds two positions to the advisory
board, one being an archeologist and the other the director of a nonprofit
historic preservation organization (Sec. 442.015).  The bill provides that
THC should establish programs to identify and preserve abandoned cemeteries
and Texas Underground Railroad Historical Sites and authorizes THC to
accept gifts, grants, and donations, and authorizes the legislature to
appropriate money to THC to implement the program.  The bill authorizes THC
to adopt rules to implement the program (Secs. 442.017 and 442.018). The
bill sets forth provisions regarding the removal, relocation, or alteration
of a monument or memorial (Sec. 2166.501).   


September 1, 2001.