HBA-JEK, CCH C.S.H.B. 998 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.H.B. 998 By: Hartnett Public Health 4/12/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) 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 more than $500,000. Increasing the term of each committee member to four years would enable them to gain greater expertise. C.S.H.B. 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 C.S.H.B. 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, and extends the terms of the four members whose terms were to expire on January 31, 2003, to three-year terms that expire on January 31, 2004. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.H.B. 998 differs from the original bill by extending the terms of the four members of the animal friendly advisory committee (committee) that were to expire on January 31, 2003, to three-year terms that expire on January 31, 2004. The substitute provides that members of the committee serve staggered four-year terms and that the terms expiring on January 31 of each even-numbered year be as near as possible to onehalf of the total number of membership terms. The original provided that the terms of four members expired on January 31 of every other odd-numbered year and that the terms of the remaining members expired on January 31 of every other even-numbered year.