Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 370
By: Hinojosa
County Affairs


Prior to the 77th Legislature, a number of county records were
deteriorating and were in need of preservation.  House Bill 370 provides
for a fee to be imposed for filing public documents in county clerk offices
in counties adjacent to an international boundary for the purpose of
preserving, restoring, and managing certain county records.  


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 370 amends the Local Government Code to authorize the
commissioners court of a county adjacent to an international border to
adopt as part of the county's annual budget a records archive fee of not
more than $5 for the preservation and restoration services performed by the
county clerk in connection with maintaining a county clerks record archive.
The fee must be set and itemized in the county's budget as part of the
budget preparation process.  The fee is required to be paid at the time a
person, excluding a state agency, presents a public document to the county
clerk for recording or filing.  The fee is to be deposited in a separate
records archive account in the general fund of the county.  The bill
requires the county clerk to prepare an annual written plan for funding the
preservation and restoration of the county clerk's records archive, and
sets forth provisions regarding approval by the commissioners court of the
plan and the county clerk's compliance with the plan.  The bill sets forth
publishing requirements for the commissioners court to give notice of a
hearing on the proposed plan. The fee is to be used only for the
preservation and restoration of the county clerk's archive and is
prohibited from being used to purchase, lease, or develop computer software
to geographically index public records, but can be used to index public
records by lot and block description on microfilm.  Any excess funds
generated from the collection of a fee remaining after completion of a
county records archive preservation and restoration project are to be used
only for specific records management and preservation purposes. 

The provisions of this bill expire on September 1, 2008.

September 1, 2001.