HBA-JEK S.B. 1179 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1179 By: Gallegos Urban Affairs 5/8/2001 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The City of Houston and the Houston Police Officers' Union entered into a meet and confer agreement in 1998 in accordance with state law regarding municipal civil service. The meet and confer agreement called for the development and implementation of alternative dispute resolution procedures for mediating disputes regarding police officers. Senate Bill 1179 incorporates procedures for the mediation of police officer disputes into the provisions regarding municipal civil service in a municipality of 1.5 million or more. 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 1179 amends the Local Government Code to authorize the head of a police department in a municipality with a population of 1.5 million or more to develop and implement an alternative dispute resolution program to refer to mediation certain disputes regarding police officers. The bill sets forth time limitations and deadlines for a dispute that is referred to mediation. S.B. 1179 provides that the conduct and demeanor of the mediator and the parties to a dispute during the course of a mediation are confidential, and sets forth provisions for disclosure of communication relevant to a dispute when such communication is admissible or discoverable in a separate proceeding. The bill also sets forth that it is prohibited to require a mediator to testify in a proceeding concerning information relating to or arising out of a mediation. S.B. 1179 provides that current law regarding public information applies to a final written agreement reached by mediation to which the police department or municipality is a signatory. The bill authorizes conflicts between the provisions of the bill and other legal requirements for the disclosure of communications or materials to be presented to a district court. The bill specifies that, except to the extent of any conflict with the provisions of the bill, the provisions regarding public information in alternative dispute resolution in the Government and Civil Practice and Remedies codes and police department rules apply to a mediation conducted under these provisions and that the confidentiality of certain records and communications applies to the communications, records, conduct, and demeanor of the mediator and the parties. The notice requirement for certain meetings or hearings does not apply to a meeting or hearing conducted under these provisions. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.