Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1797
By: McReynolds
Agriculture & Livestock


The 76th legislature established  the "Go Texan" Partner Program (GOTEPP),
a program of the Texas Department of Agriculture to increase consumer
awareness, expand the markets for, and  promote Texas agricultural
products.  House Bill 1797 amends provisions of GOTEPP to allow the program
to operate more efficiently. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the Department of Agriculture in
SECTION 2 (Section 12.0175, Agriculture Code) of this bill.  


House Bill 1797 amends the Agriculture Code to require the Department of
Agriculture (department) to encourage the promotion of agriculture,
horticulture, and related industries.  H.B. 1797 authorizes the department
to establish by rule a program to promote and market agricultural products
grown or processed in the state or products made from ingredients grown in
the state.   The bill deletes provisions regarding the membership fee for
the program and authorizes the department to adopt rules to administer the
program, including rules governing the use of any registered logo of the
department. The department is authorized to revoke or cancel a certificate
of registration or license issued under a program established by the
department if a participant fails to comply with a rule adopted by the

The bill adds equine species, livestock or poultry feed, livestock or
poultry by-products, wildlife processed for food or by-products, and
apicultural and silvicultural products into the definition of a "Texas
agricultural product" for the purposes of the 'Go Texan' Partner Program
(GOTEPP).  The bill authorizes the department to solicit and accept
donations.  The department is authorized to use funds in an amount not to
exceed $5,000 in a state fiscal year for the purchase of food and beverage
refreshments at "Go Texan" promotional events.  The bill provides that the
payment of administrative expenses under GOTEPP may not exceed 7 percent of
the amount of the legislative appropriation each biennium for GOTEPP.  The
bill also authorizes the department to sell or contract for the sale of "Go
Texan" promotional items and to use its Internet website to advertise and
sell those items.   Money received from the sale of promotional items is
required to be deposited to the credit of the GOTEPP account in the general
revenue fund.  The bill also modifies the composition of the GOTEPP
advisory board. 

H.B. 1797 amends the Transportation Code to require the Department of
Transport to issue specially designed license plates for farm vehicles,
passenger vehicles, and commercial motor vehicles to support the promotion
of Texas agricultural products.  


On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2001.