HBA-CMT H.B. 370 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 370 By: Hinojosa County Affairs 3/18/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, a number of county records are deteriorating and are in need of preservation. House Bill 370 provides for a fee to be imposed for filing public documents in county clerk offices for the purpose of preserving, restoring, and managing certain county records. 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 370 amends the Local Government Code to authorize the commissioners court of a county to adopt by order in a public meeting 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 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 establishes procedures for the posting of notice that a fee has been established and the form in which the notice is to be written. 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. H.B. 370 requires that the records management and preservation fee be deposited in a separate records management and preservation account in the general fund of the county. The bill provides that the fee may be used only to provide funds for specific records management and preservation, including automation purposes. The bill requires the county clerk to prepare an annual written plan for funding the automation projects and records management and preservation services performed by the clerk and sets forth provisions regarding approval by the commissioners court of the plan and the county clerk's compliance with the plan. The provisions of this bill expire on September 1, 2008. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.