2011 SAFE-D Fall Workshop - Changes Affecting Chapter 776 ESDs now operating under Chapter 775

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PowerPoint giving a general overview of the changes in authority for ESDs that were created under Ch. 776 of the Tex. Health & Safety Code upon conversion of those districts to operations under Ch. 775 of the same code as a result of the passage of SB 917 by the 82nd Texas Legislature in 2011.

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2011 SAFE-D Fall Workshop - Changes Affecting Chapter 776 ESDs now operating under Chapter 775

  1. 1. I USED TO BE 776; NOW I’M 775. WHAT THE HECK?2011 SAFE-D Fall WorkshopSeptember 30, 2011<br />
  2. 2. Changes in Law Affecting Former Chapter 776 ESDs Now Operating under Chapter 775<br />Senate Bill 917 was passed by the 81st Legislature signed into law by Governor Perry and became effective June 17, 2011. Part of Senate Bill 917 repealed Chapter 776 of the Texas Health & Safety Code and converted all of the emergency services districts operating under that chapter to districts operating under Chapter 775. The authority given to districts under Chapter 775 is slightly different than the authority under Chapter 776. <br />
  3. 3. Changes in Law Affecting Former Chapter 776 ESDs Now Operating under Chapter 775<br />The different requirements that Chapter 775 imposes on former 776 districts are below (Emphasis has been added to those items that would apply to a district that only provides emergency medical services):<br />Clarifies that annexation and removal of ESD territory by a City does not diminish or impair bonds and other debt (775.022);<br />Provides the ability for a district to consolidate with another district, subject to certain election requirements (775.024) ;<br />Provides the ability to contract for law enforcement services to enforce fire code or to commission or employ a peace officer (775.031) ; <br />Provides protection from liability for an act or omission of an employee or volunteer actions taken in the course of duties that does not violate another law and is not willful or wantonly negligent (775.033); <br />
  4. 4. Changes in Law Affecting Former Chapter 776 ESDs Now Operating under Chapter 775<br />Imposes requirements that board members be 18, residents of Texas and either a qualified voter in the District or own land in the District, and authority for board member to hold over in office if the member is disqualified as a result of annexation by a city (775.034) ;<br />Provides the ability to adopt and enforce a fire code (775.036) ;<br />Imposes a requirement to publish notice of administrative office location (775.036) ;<br />Provides the ability of board members to receive compensation or per diem for service (775.038);<br />
  5. 5. Changes in Law Affecting Former Chapter 776 ESDs Now Operating under Chapter 775<br />Imposes requirement that board members comply with conflict of interest statutes set forth in the Local Government Code 171 (775.038) ;<br />Provides the ability to charge reasonable fees for providing services (775.040) ;<br />Provides the ability to collect delinquent fees through court proceedings (775.041) ;<br />Provides the ability of board of commissioners to remove a commissioner for failure to attend sufficient number of meetings (775.042) ;<br />
  6. 6. Changes in Law Affecting Former Chapter 776 ESDs Now Operating under Chapter 775<br />Provides the ability of voters to petition for election to reduce tax rate (775.075 ); <br />Provides the ability to impose a sales and use tax in 1/8 percent increments instead of 1/2 percent increments, and ability to collect sales and use tax in portions of district not already at local 2% sales tax cap as a result of other taxing jurisdictions (775.0751) ;<br />Authorizes the county auditor to access district's books and records and audit the district if the district fails to complete an audit, and imposes a requirement for a district to file annual audit with the county by June 1 (775.082) ;<br />
  7. 7. Changes in Law Affecting Former Chapter 776 ESDs Now Operating under Chapter 775<br />Raises the threshold for bidding from $25,000 to $50,000, and provides exemptions from bidding for purchases of vehicle fuel, firefighter bunker gear, insurance coverage and repairs funded by payment from insurance claims (775.084) ;<br />Provides the ability to construct projects using alternative bidding procedures found in Local Government Code, Chapter 271, Subchapter H (775.084) ;<br />
  8. 8. Changes in Law Affecting Former Chapter 776 ESDs Now Operating under Chapter 775<br />Provides the ability to borrow money  to construct emergency services facilities (not just real property and equipment) (775.085) ;<br />Provides the ability to create the office of fire marshal in counties without a fire marshal (775.101 et seq.); and<br />Provides the ability to provide hazardous materials services and charge fees for those services (775.151 et seq.).<br />
  9. 9. Changes in Law Affecting Former Chapter 776 ESDs Now Operating under Chapter 775<br />This is merely a summary of the significant changes to the operation of districts that formerly operated under Chapter 776. There are other significant changes to the law enacted by Senate Bill 917 and other legislation that apply to all emergency services districts.<br />
  10. 10. Questions?<br />
  11. 11. Changes in Law Affecting Former Chapter 776 ESDs Now Operating under Chapter 775<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 />

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