HBA-CMT C.S.H.B. 2477 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.H.B. 2477 By: Counts County Affairs 4/12/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The Garza County Hospital District has been a source of controversy for the citizens of the county. The hospital changed its mode of operation from a hospital district to a health care center, which caused concern for the citizens of Garza County because they were being taxed by a hospital district but the hospital was not operating as a hospital. Some of the people in the county would like the Garza County Hospital District dissolved. To solve the controversy, a citizen advisory committee was formed to make recommendations to the board of directors of the hospital district. The committee submitted a list of recommendations to fix the existing problems of the hospital district. C.S.H.B. 2477 provides a means for the dissolution of the Garza County Hospital District and amends enabling legislation to meet current needs in the occurrence that the vote to dissolve the district fails. 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. ANALYSIS C.S.H.B. 2477 amends law to relating to the Garza County Health Care District (district). The bill provides that a regular election of the board of directors of the district (board) is required to be held on the first Saturday in May, rather than April of each year. The bill deletes the requirement for a petition by a person desiring the person's name to be printed on the ballot as a candidate for director and provides for an application to be filed at least 45 days before the election. The bill provides that a district is authorized to require a board member and a district administrator to execute a performance bond rather than a board member and administrator being required to execute a bond, and sets forth eligibility requirements for a person to be able to be considered for a board member position (SECTION 2). The bill deletes provisions relating to taxes imposed by the board and provides that the board is authorized to annually impose a property tax in an amount not to exceed the limit approved by the voters at the election authorizing the levy of taxes. The tax rate for all purposes is prohibited from exceeding 75 cents on each $100 valuation of all taxable property in the district. The bill prohibits the district from imposing taxes to pay the principal of or interest on revenue bonds. The bill authorizes the board to provide for the appointment of a tax assessor-collector for the district or contract for the assessment and collection of taxes. The bill sets forth provisions for the use of tax revenue (SECTION 4). The bill authorizes the board to issue general obligation bonds only if the bonds are authorized by a majority of the qualified voters of the district and sets forth provisions regarding the purposes for which such bonds may be issued. The district is authorized to issue revenue bonds for any health care purpose only if the bonds are authorized by a majority of the qualified voters of the district. The bill provides that the bonds are required to be payable from and secured by a pledge on all or part of the revenues derived from the operation of the district's health care system and may be additionally secured by a mortgage or deed of trust. The bonds of a district must mature no later than the 40th anniversary of the date of issuance and must bear a rate of interest that does not exceed the amount provided in the interest rate provisions of the Government Code. The bill deletes the provision that the board is prohibited from purchasing, constructing, or acquiring property in excess of $25,000 without submitting the vote to the qualified taxpaying voters of the district. The bill increases the amount from $1,000 to $15,000 for which the board is prohibited from entering into a contract calling for or requiring the expenditure or payment out of any fund or funds of the district without first submitting a proposed contract to competitive bidding (SECTION 5). The bill sets forth provisions regarding the powers of the board (SECTION 7). The bill deletes the requirement that the district file an annual independent audit to the comptroller of public accounts and at the office of the district no later than December 31st of each year. The bill provides that a proposed budget hearing is to be held after notice of the hearing is published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in accordance with the provisions relating to open meetings (SECTION 8). The bill authorizes the board to borrow money at a rate not to exceed the maximum annual percentage rate allowed by law for district obligations at the time of the loan. The bill sets forth provisions for what the district is authorized to pledge to a secure a loan and for time when a loan is required to mature. The bill sets forth provisions for the dissolution of the district (SECTION 15) EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.H.B. 2477 modifies the original bill by replacing references to "health care" district with "district." The substitute adds criteria for a person to be eligible to serve as a member of the board of directors (board) of the Garza County Health Care District (district). The substitute decreases the time in which notice of the time and place of any meeting is required to be given to all directors from no less than 7 days to at least 72 hours before a meeting (SECTION 2). The substitute removes the provision that the term of a contract to provide administrative and other personnel for the operation of the facilities is prohibited from exceeding 25 years from the date on which the contract is entered and replaces it with the provision that such a contract is prohibited from exceeding 5 years. The substitute adds that the board is authorized to transfer district facilities by lease for a term not to exceed 20 years. The substitute decreases the percentage of registered voter's signatures needed to request an election for the dissolving of the district from 15 percent to 10 percent. The substitute adds provisions relating to the dissolution of the district.