HBA-CCH H.B. 998 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 998 By: Hartnett Public Health 3/21/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE In 1997, the legislature established the animal friendly account to be administered by the Texas Department of Health (TDH) and funded by fees collected from the sale of "animal friendly" license plates. The purpose of the account is to make grants to organizations that sterilize animals at minimal or no cost. Current law provides that expenditures from the account can only be made after $500,000 has been credited to the account. The animal friendly advisory committee (committee), consisting of seven members that serve two-year terms, was established to assist the Texas Board of Health in developing guidelines for the expenditure of money credited to the account and to make recommendations regarding applications submitted for grants. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the "animal friendly" license plates are a popular theme license plate and the fund totals over $500,000. Increasing the term of each committee member to four years would enable them to gain greater expertise. House Bill 998 increases the term of committee members to four years and removes the provision that restricts TDH from making expenditures until $500,000 has been credited to the fund. 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 998 amends the Health and Safety Code to remove the provision that the Texas Department of Health is authorized to spend money credited to the animal friendly account only after at least $500,000 has been credited to the account. The bill increases the term each member of the animal friendly advisory committee serves from two to four years. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.