TBM C.S.S.B. 637 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.S.B. 637 By: Armbrister Transportation 4/2/2001 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Under current law, the term local government pertains only to cities and counties. Local government corporations (LGCs) are used to pursue various economic development projects. For example, through LGCs the City of Houston is creating tax increment reinvestment zones, the Houston Housing Finance Corporation is financing moderate income housing, Ellington Field Airport is financing bonds for an aircraft repair facility, the Houston Convention Center is constructing a hotel, and Harris County is attracting development to various parts of the county. Because navigation districts are excluded from the definition of local government, the broader authority and flexibility that cities and counties enjoy through the use of LGCs is not available to the Port of Houston Authority. Texas port officials possess valuable expertise concerning the development and operation of ports. Authorizing navigation districts to incorporate will allow the Port of Houston Authority and other Texas ports to sell the expertise of their officials, which could nurture and expand trade with foreign and domestic ports and defray the costs taxpayers and customers incur from the temporary losses of such experts. Senate Bill 637 allows navigation districts to incorporate as local governments. 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 637 amends the Transportation Code to include a navigation district in the meaning of local government when referring to local government corporations (LGC). The bill provides that an LGC created by a navigation district must comply with all state law related to the design and construction of projects that applies to the navigation district that created the LGC. The bill prohibits an LGC formed by a navigation district from condemning a right-of-way through any part of an incorporated city or town without the consent of the governing body of that city or town. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.