HBA-JEK, LJP C.S.H.J.R. 69 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.H.J.R. 69 By: Junell Constitutional Revision, Select 5/4/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE In 1973, the 63rd Legislature created the Constitutional Revisions Commission composed of 37 public officials, lawyers, scholars, and citizens to assemble that same year and to submit recommendations on the constitutional revision to the legislature. The subsequent constitutional convention of the legislature in 1974 submitted a revised constitution to the public but voters rejected the proposal in 1975. C.S.H.J.R. 69 amends certain articles of the Texas Constitution regarding the Legislature, the judicial and executive branches, and ad valorem taxation and establishes the Texas Salary Commission subject to voter approval. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this resolution does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS C.S.H.J.R. 69 revises the Texas Constitution to restructure, modify, remove, and implement provisions. The Legislature C.S.H.J.R. 69 lengthens from four years to six years the terms of senators and lengthens from two years to four years the terms of representatives. The resolution provides for staggered terms, establishes procedures for representatives following an apportionment, and sets forth transitional provisions that expire January 1, 2005 (SECTIONS 1 and 2). The resolution prohibits a member of the legislature (member) from appearing before or having dealings with an executive or administrative unit of state government for compensation other than the emoluments of office (SECTION 3). The resolution sets forth provisions for the determination of the compensation of members, including the speaker of the house of representatives, by the Texas Salary Commission (salary commission) (SECTION 4). C.S.H.J.R. 69 authorizes the legislature to provide by law for an organizational assembly not earlier than the 45th day preceding the convening of a regular session to elect officers, organize, and adopt rules of procedure and joint rules (SECTION 5). The Executive Branch With certain exceptions, the resolution prohibits a constitutional elected officer of the executive branch from holding any other civil or corporate office or from having any other employment (SECTION 6). The Judicial Branch C.S.H.J.R. 69 requires the jurisdiction of all courts on the same level to be uniform statewide effective September 1, 2003. On that date, all statutes making exceptions from the uniform jurisdiction provided by law for the courts of any level are repealed. These provisions expire January 1, 2004 (SECTION 7). The resolution authorizes the legislature by law to provide for a jury in a criminal case to be informed about a law or other procedure that may affect the time that a person sentenced to incarceration will serve (SECTION 8). Taxes C.S.H.J.R. 69 authorizes the legislature to provide exemptions and other relief from ad valorem taxation in addition to that provided by the Texas Constitution (SECTION 9). The resolution prohibits a political subdivision of this state that did not impose an ad valorem tax on or before September 1, 2001, from imposing an ad valorem tax unless the qualified voters of the political subdivision approve the imposition of the tax. The resolution prohibits a political subdivision of this state from issuing general obligation bonds, except refunding bonds, unless the bonds are approved by the voters and prohibits a debt from being created by a political subdivision unless provision is made for paying the interest and principal of the debt when due (SECTION 10). Texas Salary Commission C.S.H.J.R. 69 establishes the nine-member salary commission to recommend the rate of compensation for elected and appointed officers of the executive branch, for judges of state district courts, and for judges and justices of appellate courts. The resolution sets forth the terms of salary commission members and requires the salary commission to set the salary of the members of the legislature, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the lieutenant governor (SECTION 12). FOR ELECTION This proposed constitutional amendment shall be submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 6, 2001. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.H.J.R.69 differs from the original by only amending certain articles of the Texas Constitution, whereas the original proposed a complete revision of the constitution. C.S.H.J.R. 69 differs from the original resolution by removing modifications to the Bill of Rights, Powers of Government, Voter Qualifications and Elections, Education, and General Provisions articles. The substitute removes provisions that set term limits for members of the legislature and prohibited a veto session from exceeding 15 consecutive days. The resolution also removes the provision that prohibited members of the legislature from representing clients before state agencies in an effort to avoid conflicts of interest. The substitute modifies provisions regarding the compensation of the speaker of the house of representatives and provisions regarding employment and compensation of other members of the legislature. C.S.H.J.R. 69 removes provisions that created the executive department of the governor and provided that the lieutenant governor receive the same salary as the governor while serving or acting as governor. The substitute removes provisions that modified the powers of the governor, including the power of the governor to represent the state before the courts, intervene in any legal action in which the state is a party, and grant reprieves relating to the execution of death sentences. The substitute removes provisions that merged the Court of Criminal Appeals and the Supreme Court into a single supreme court and increased the number of supreme court justices. The substitute adds provisions relating to the uniformity of the jurisdiction of courts and provisions regarding juries in criminal cases. C.S.H.J.R. 69 authorizes the legislature to provide exemptions and other relief from ad valorem taxation, while the original prohibited the levying of state ad valorem tax on real property or tangible personal property for a purpose other than the support of public free schools. The substitute removes provisions regarding state personal income tax, the execution of a budget, state debt, limit on state debt, limitations on certain appropriations, and the Texas growth fund. The substitute removes provisions regarding urban homesteads and an official oath for each state and local officer. The substitute also removes the definitions for "marriage" and "spouse" and the provision that specified that current wages are only subject to garnishment for the enforcement of court-ordered child support payments or spousal maintenance.