HBA-CBW H.B. 2853 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2853 By: Bosse State Affairs 3/21/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE 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. 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 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. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect on the 91st day after adjournment.