Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2853
By: Bosse
State Affairs


During the interim between the 76th and 77th legislative sessions, the
House Select Committee on Judicial Interpretations of Law (committee),
aided by the legal division of the Texas Legislative Council (council),
conducted a study on the decisions of Texas appellate courts over the
preceding five years to identify decisions that, in the opinion of the
committee, signaled problems with the implementation of legislative intent,
identified statutes as unconstitutional, expressly suggested legislative
action, found statutes to be conflicting, or found statutes to be
ambiguous.  In the committee's report to the 77th Legislature, the
committee recommended that the council undertake a similar study each
interim and report to the legislature.  The 76th Legislature passed
legislation providing for the collection and analysis by the council of
statistical and demographic information and requiring state agencies to
cooperate in the gathering of information and the production of reports.
The legislation authorized council staff to obtain access for this purpose
to information that is confidential under other law, including
student-identifiable information subject to federal law governing student
records. However, the attorney general issued an opinion stating that
federal law does not permit access for this purpose. House Bill 2853
requires the council to conduct a continuing study of judicial decisions
during each interim  and conforms council access to student records to
those uses authorized by federal law. 


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. 


House Bill 2853 amends the Government Code to require the Texas Legislative
Council (council) to conduct a continuing study of judicial decisions and,
before each legislative session, prepare and deliver to the appropriate
standing committees of each house of the legislature a report identifying
recent decisions in which courts have:  

  _clearly failed to implement legislative purposes;

  _found two or more statutes to be in conflict;

  _held a statute unconstitutional;

  _expressly found a statute to be ambiguous;

  _expressly suggested legislative action; or

  _changed a common law doctrine.

The bill provides that  for the  purposes of evaluating federal and state
supported education programs, or other appropriate purposes as authorized
by federal law governing education records, employees of the  council are
considered state school officials. 


On passage, or if the Act does not  receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect on the 91st day after adjournment.