HBA-TBM S.B. 1020 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1020 By: Nelson Public Safety 5/9/2001 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Under current law, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is the only agency protected from liability when removing personal property from a roadway. Under normal circumstances, TxDOT officials arrive in a timely manner to remove the property. However, if TxDOT is delayed, traffic will back up while waiting for TxDOT officials to arrive. The back-up delays motorists, increases the risk of road accidents, and endangers law enforcement officials waiting at the scene. Senate Bill 1020 authorizes law enforcement agencies to remove personal property from roadways and protects them from liability while performing this function. 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 Senate Bill 1020 amends the Transportation Code to authorize a law enforcement agency (agency) to remove personal property without the owner or carrier's consent from a roadway or right-of-way if the agency determines that the property blocks the roadway or endangers public safety. The bill requires the owner and any carrier of the property removed to reimburse the agency for the cost of removal and disposition of the property. The bill provides that an agency is not liable for any damage to personal property that is removed unless it is done so recklessly or with gross negligence. An agency is also not liable for damage resulting from not moving the property. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.