HBA-SEP C.S.H.B. 2690 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.H.B. 2690 By: Walker Natural Resources 4/4/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Under current law, the board of directors of a groundwater conservation district is authorized to set reasonable civil penalties for breach of district rules not to exceed the jurisdiction of a justice court, which is not to exceed $5,000. This amount may not be enough to deter a person or company that gains economic benefit in excess of $5,000 from the violation. Assessing a penalty equal to 115 percent of the economic benefit gained from the violation may better ensure that district rules are followed. C.S.H.B. 2690 authorizes a district to set penalties for a violation of district rules. 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. 2690 amends the Water Code to specify that the board of directors of a groundwater conservation district (district) is authorized, by rule, to set reasonable civil penalties for breach of any rule of the district. In addition to this penalty, the district is authorized to recover a penalty not to exceed 115 percent of the economic benefit gained from the violation. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.H.B. 2690 modifies the original to remove the provision authorizing the board of directors of a groundwater conservation district (district), by rule, to set reasonable civil penalties not to exceed $5,000 per day, per violation, with each day of a continuing violation representing a separate violation. The substitute also removes the provision requiring a court to grant recovery for costs incurred by a district before the court to a district that prevails in a case.