2011 SAFE-D Fall Workshop - 82nd Legislature Laws Affecting ESDs


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PowerPoint giving a general overview of the changes in laws affecting ESDs as a result of the passage of bills by the 82nd Texas Legislature in 2011.

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2011 SAFE-D Fall Workshop - 82nd Legislature Laws Affecting ESDs

  1. 1. 82nd Texas Legislative Session<br />Laws Affecting Emergency Services Districts<br />2011 SAFE-D Fall WorkshopSeptember 30, 2011<br />
  2. 2. Bills of Interest<br />SB 917 – ESD Omnibus Bill<br />SB 100 – MOVE Act Implementation<br />SB 326 – Goods-In-Transit<br />HB 628 – Local Government Contracts<br />SB 1477 – Benefits for ESD Military<br />
  3. 3. SB 917<br />Author: Senator Jeff Wentworth<br />House Sponsor: Representative Doug Miller <br />Effective Date: June 17, 2011. <br />
  4. 4. SB 917<br />Overlapping Districts<br />Consolidation of Districts<br />Fireworks Regulation<br />Commissioner Training<br />Removal of Commissioners<br />Budget and Tax Rate Process<br />Audit Filing<br />775.085 Loans<br />Chapter 776 ESDs Converted to 775<br />
  5. 5. Overlapping Districts (SB 917)<br />Adds requirements for proposed districts whose territories overlap existing districts (excluding districts in counties of >3M people) <br />County Commissioners Court(s) in the proposed district required to send a petition copy to the existing district. <br />before the election, existing district board must adopt a statement detailing the types of services it will provide in the overlapping territory if the proposed district is created.<br />
  6. 6. Overlapping Districts (SB 917)<br />Amends Chapter 775.0205, which prohibited the most recently created district from providing duplicative services in territory overlapping another district effective the date the most recent district was created:<br />Eliminates the prohibition <br />adds a reference to the statement of services that the existing district is required to adopt<br />effectively allowing the existing district to continue providing any services until the newly created district assumes its obligations<br />
  7. 7. Overlapping Districts (SB 917)<br />Authorizes a person to serve as commissioner of two districts with overlapping territory, and specifies that the person:<br />may be compensated for serving on only one of the boards; and<br />may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in performing duties for both boards.<br />
  8. 8. Service Contracts (SB 917)<br />Authorizes board to contract with local governments, including other districts, to provide necessary staff, facilities, equipment, programs, or services<br />Provides that a person acting under a contract under this authorization is not holding more than one office of emolument, honor, trust or profit.<br />Addresses liability issues and mechanisms for transferring liability between contracting entities.<br />
  9. 9. Consolidation (SB 917)<br />The voters in every district included in a proposed merger were required to approve the merger in order for any merger to take place and the tax rates of merging districts were reduced to the lowest level authorized in a district that was merged. The amendment provides the following:<br />Every district whose voters approve the consolidation will be consolidated, notwithstanding that voters in one or more of the other districts proposed to be consolidated decline to approve the consolidation.<br />Those districts whose voters do not approve the consolidation will not be included in the consolidated district. <br />
  10. 10. Consolidation (SB 917)<br />Before consolidation, participating districts must:<br />determine that the consolidation will provide for the more efficient and economical provision of services by the districts<br />adopt a joint order that includes: <br />the new name and territory included in the consolidated district; the date of consolidation<br />if the maximum ad valorem tax rate differs among the districts, a statement that consolidation will only take place if voters approve an equalized tax rate<br />a statement that consolidation will only take place if the residents in the district and at least one other district approve <br />
  11. 11. Consolidation (SB 917)<br />Commissioners are will be appointed (or designated by statute in cases where existing commissioners had been elected) if the boards of the consolidated districts do not appoint five commissioners by the 31st day after the adoption of the joint order<br />The required ballot language was amended to incorporate the changes to the requirements set forth above as well as specifying the terms to be served by the commissioners<br />
  12. 12. Consolidations (SB 917)<br />If the districts have different maximum ad valorem tax rates:<br />The district with the lowest maximum ad valorem tax rate must order an election to authorize the imposition of a tax at the maximum rate authorized in the district with the higher maximum rate.<br />If a majority of the voters do not favor the increase, consolidation does not take place.<br />If the districts have differing sales and use tax rates:<br />The consolidated district must designate the territory of the former districts as sub-districts.<br />The board must continue to impose the existing sales and use taxes.<br />The board must send to the comptroller a copy of the joint order and a map of the consolidated district that shows the territories of the sub-districts.<br />The sub-districts or consolidated district are not prohibited from holding a sales and use tax election to alter the sales and use tax rate.<br />
  13. 13. Fireworks (SB 917)<br />A district may not regulate the sale, use or transportation of fireworks, except as provided in Section 775.0363.<br />That Section provides that a district may adopt rules that are the same as or less stringent than those adopted or enforced by the commissioner of insurance and the state fire marshal relating to retail fireworks stands, fireworks bulk manufacturing and storage facilities, fireworks sales buildings, or any other structure used in public pyrotechnic displays.<br />
  14. 14. Training (SB 917)<br />Requires at least six hours of certified continuing education at least once in a two-year period and carry forward not more than three hours from one period to the next.<br />Provides that, for purposes of removal of a commissioner, “incompetency” includes failure to comply with training requirements.<br />
  15. 15. Removal (SB 917)<br />Appointed Commissioners<br />Language specifies that the section does not apply unless adopted by the county commissioners court of the county by resolution.<br /> Adds as grounds for removal of an appointed board member:<br />incompetency<br />official misconduct<br />misconduct<br />Removal deliberation is made subject to 551.0745, Government Code (providing for closed meeting to discuss certain personnel matters).<br />Opportunity is provided for the board member to show cause why the board member should not be removed.<br />
  16. 16. Removal (SB 917)<br />Elected Commissioners<br />Section requires use of the procedures set forth in the Local Government Code for removing county officers.<br />Provides the grounds for removal:<br />incompetency<br />official misconduct<br />intoxication<br />misconduct<br />
  17. 17. Budget and Tax Rate (SB 917)<br />Prohibits the board from setting the tax rate for a fiscal year beforeadopting the budget.<br />
  18. 18. Audits (SB 917)<br />If a district fails to complete and file the required audit report by September 1 and a county auditor is not ordered to prepare the report, the board president and treasurer are automatically removed and the commissioners’ court is required to fill the vacancies.<br />Only applies to district in a single county, and not in Harris County.<br />
  19. 19. 775.085 Loans (SB 917)<br />Clarifies that loans under 775.085 are not subject to the requirement to hold an election to approve bonds and notes.<br />
  20. 20. 776 ESDs Conversion (SB 917)<br />Repealed Chapter 776 of the Texas Health & Safety Code and converted all of the districts operating under that chapter to districts operating under Chapter 775 of the same code.<br />
  21. 21. Other Legislation<br />
  22. 22. SB 100<br />Implements Federal MOVE Act<br />Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act<br />Electronic Ballot Transmission and Ballot Tracking for Military and Overseas Voters<br />
  23. 23. SB 100<br />Applies to:<br />Elections with Federal Office<br />Elections to fill vacancy in State Legislature<br />Any election held jointly with above<br />
  24. 24. SB 100<br />Affects:<br />Runoff Election Timing<br />Deadline for Ordering Elections<br />May Uniform Election Date<br />
  25. 25. SB 100<br />Prior to SB 100, primary elections and any related runoff would have been concluded by the time the May uniform election date arrived. <br />Moving the primary runoff to the fourth Tuesday in May causes the May uniform election date to fall between the primary and the primary runoff.<br />Early voting for the primary runoff begins only two days after the current uniform election date. <br />
  26. 26. SB 100<br />This creates logistical problems with regard to reprogramming electronic voting systems between elections, among other things. <br />Counties are not required to contract with political subdivisions for election services.<br />BUT…<br />
  27. 27. SB 100<br />County Election Administrator initially opposed continuing to provide election services<br />Recently, many have decided to provide those service anyway<br />Some costs will increase for more equipment and personnel<br />
  28. 28. SB 326<br />Goods-In-Transit<br />Must Hold Public Hearing regarding taxation of Goods-In-Transit<br />No notice requirements specified<br />Can take official action after hearing and before end of tax year<br />After 10/1/11 and before 12/31 of tax year<br />
  29. 29. SB 326<br />“Goods‑in‑transit”<br />Tangible personal property<br />Stored (pursuant to a contract for delivery) at public warehouse facilities<br />Warehouse not owned or controlled by the owner of the personal property<br />Transferred to another location within 175 days<br />Excludes oil, natural gas, petroleum products, aircraft, dealer’s inventory (motor vehicle, vessel, outboard motor, and heavy equipment), and retail manufactured housing inventory.<br />
  30. 30. HB 628<br />Creates Government Code Chapter 2267 related to government contracts for public works<br />Repeals alternative bidding procedures in Subchapter H, Chapter 271, Local Government Code<br />
  31. 31. HB 628<br />Public works include buildings and other public facilities<br />Prevails over any other laws related to public works contracts<br />
  32. 32. HB 628<br />Competitive Bidding<br />Competitive Sealed Proposals<br />Construction Manager-Agent Method (“CMA”)<br />Construction Manager-At-Risk Method (“CMAR”)<br />Design-Build Contracts<br />Job Order Method<br />Government Code Chapter 2267<br />
  33. 33. SB 1477<br />Allows differential pay and extension of insurance benefits to person called to active duty<br />Members of State Military Forces<br />Reserve in US Armed forces<br />Board must adopt uniform policy<br />Military Pay must be less than District pay<br />Differential pay plus military pay may not exceed District pay<br />
  34. 34. Questions?<br />
  35. 35. 82nd Texas Legislative Session<br />John J. CarltonThe Carlton Law Firm, P.L.L.C.2705 Bee Cave Road Suite 110Austin, Texas 78746(512) 614-0901john@carltonlawaustin.com<br />