SAFE-D 2013 Legislative Conference - Legislative Update

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Update of changes to the laws affecting Emergency Services Districts as a result of the 83rd Texas Legislature in 2013

Update of changes to the laws affecting Emergency Services Districts as a result of the 83rd Texas Legislature in 2013

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  • 1. Legislative Update SAFE-D New Laws Workshop August 24, 2013 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 2. Important Legislative Dates • Session Ended, Monday, May 27, 2013 (140th day) Last day of 83rd Regular Session • Sunday, June 16, 2013 (20th day following final adjournment) Last day for governor to sign or veto bills passed during the regular legislative session • Monday, August 26, 2013 (91st day following final adjournment) Date that bills without specific effective dates (that could not be effective immediately) become Cave Road, Suite 200 law 2705 Bee Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 3. Important Legislative Dates • Special Sessions Called by Governor • Topics Include: – – – – Redistricting Transportation Infrastructure Mandatory Sentencing in certain cases Regulation of Abortion • Requested ESD Issue – no response. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 4. SAFE-D’s 2013 Legislative Agenda How Did We Do? 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 5. SAFE-D Legislative Agenda • • • • Seek Tax Cap Relief Resolve Unappropriated Special Funds Maintain Education Requirements Address City Issues – Clarify Sales Tax Sharing Agreements – Oppose Unilateral City Removal • Clarify Ownership of Assets • Audit Exemption for Small ESDs • Clarify TCFP Existing Authority 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 6. SAFE-D LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FOR 2013 • Tax Cap – The Association will take a long-term approach to giving Texans more local control over their support for emergency services. – In the tax-sensitive 2013 Session, the Association removal of the tax cap from the Constitution, to conform with most other special districts in the state, with accompanying legislation that will retain the cap at the 10 cent level in the statutes (Chapter 775). 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 7. Tax Cap Relief • HJR 149 and HB 3799 – Joint Resolution to Amend Art. III, Section 48e by removing $0.10 cap and enabling Bill to place $0.10 cap in Chapter 775 • Referred to House Way & Means • Hilderbran (C), Otto (VC), Bohac, Button, Eiland, N. Gonzalez, Martinez Fischer, Ritter, Strama • DIED IN COMMITTEE WITHOUT A HEARING 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 8. Tax Cap Relief • HJR 148 – Joint Resolution to Add New Constitutional provision to create type of district to provide emergency services without tax cap – Referred to House County Affairs – Voted from Committee 5-0 (Absent – Coleman, Kolkhorst, Simpson, and Stickland) – DIED IN GENERAL CALENDARS 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 9. Tax Cap Relief • SJR 62 – Joint Resolution to Add New Constitutional provision to create type of district to provide emergency services without tax cap – Referred to Senate Finance S/C on Fiscal Matters • Hegar (C), Huffman, Lucio, Nelson and Whitmire • DIED IN SUBCOMMITTEE 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 10. Tax Cap Relief • Future Efforts – Interim Studies/Reports by: • House County Affairs • Senate Intergovernmental Relations • Texas Conservative Coalition 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 11. SAFE-D LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FOR 2013 • Unappropriated Special Funds – The Association a coalition of interests pressing the Legislature to appropriate funds that were placed in special accounts from fees raised, i.e. 9-1-1 fees from phone bills and rural volunteer firefighter insurance fees on fireworks sales. • SJR 26 (DIED IN SENATE FINANCE) • HJR 89 (DIED IN HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS) 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 12. Unappropriated Funds • HB 6 by Otto and HB 7 by Darby – Referred to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Budget Transparency and Reform. – These were the leading dedicated funds bills for the session. – HB 6 and HB 7 Passed and were signed by the Governor 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 13. Unappropriated Funds • HB 7 – Allows 9-1-1 Service Fees to be used to assist Volunteer Fire Departments through Texas Forest Service if other purposes for those fees have been fully funded 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 14. SAFE-D LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FOR 2013 • SB 917 Education Requirements – Effective June 17, 2011, ESD Commissioners must obtain and may carry forward not more than three hours from one period to the next. • No bills introduced or passed on this issue. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 15. SAFE-D LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FOR 2013 • City Issues – The Association legislation that will enable ESDs and municipalities to work out mutually beneficial agreements to share sales tax revenues as municipalities annex into areas where the sales tax is at the state maximum. – The Association legislation that allows a city council, on its own motion, to withdraw from an ESD, leaving the city's residents unprotected and putting the ESD's residents in a financial vise. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 16. City Issues • HB 3159 – Provides that and ESD and a city may agree to sales tax sharing arrangement upon annexation of territory by city – As filed, HB 3159 included a default sharing of revenues. This language was removed from the bill. – Effective Date: September 1, 2013 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 17. City Issues • No legislation relating to City Removal from an ESD • But legislation was filed regarding consent by City in ESD Annexation Process • HB 1798 by Goldman – Would have required City Consent to Annex Territory – DIED IN COMMITTEE WITHOUT A HEARING 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 18. SAFE-D LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FOR 2013 • Other Issues – The Association legislation to clarify ownership of assets purchased with taxpayer funds. – HB 3798 by Coleman, Relating to expenditures by emergency services Districts. • PASSED BY LEGISLATURE AND SIGNED BY GOVERNOR • Effective Date: September 1, 2013 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 19. SAFE-D LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FOR 2013 – HB 3798 • Allows disbursement of funds by check, draft, order or other instrument signed by either – majority of board or – by President and Treasurer • Allows District to authorize bonded employees to sign disbursement instruments by formal resolution 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 20. SAFE-D LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FOR 2013 – HB 3798 (cont.) • Eliminates requirement for sworn itemized account • Authorizes use of Federal wire transfer system • Clarifies ESD Ownership of property (real or personal) purchased wholly or partially with ESD funds until the property is disposed of in accordance with the law 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 21. SAFE-D LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FOR 2013 • Other Issues (cont.) – The Association legislation to exempt smaller ESDs (with annual revenues of less than $250,000) from audit requirements. – HB 3764 by Coleman, relating to audit requirements of certain emergency services districts • PASSED BY LEGISLATURE AND SIGNED BY GOVERNOR • Effective Date: September 1, 2013 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 22. SAFE-D LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FOR 2013 – HB 3764 Applies to ESDs that: • did not have any outstanding bonds or any outstanding liabilities having a term of more than one year during the previous fiscal year; • did not receive more than a total of $250,000 in gross receipts from operations, loans, taxes, or contributions during the previous fiscal year; and • did not have a total of more than $250,000 in cash and temporary investments during the previous fiscal year. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 23. SAFE-D LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FOR 2013 – HB 3764 (cont) • Allows certain ESDs to file “compiled financial statements” instead of an audit. • Filing must be accompanied by an affidavit “attesting to the accuracy and authenticity of the statements.” • Same filing deadlines and consequences apply. • Most basic level of financial statements review that a CPA can provide 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 24. SAFE-D LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FOR 2013 • Other Issues (cont.) – The Association and participated in discussions regarding the TCFP's attempts to expand its authority over volunteer fire personnel. – In any legislation dealing with the TCFP, the Association will amendment of the Commission selection criteria to require a SAFE-D-nominated representative. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 25. Other Legislation 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 26. Legislation Affecting Chapter 775 • SB 332, by Rodriguez, – Imposes oversight of El Paso County ESD operations by El Paso County Commissioners Court • Requires submission and approval of budget and tax rate • Allows Commissioners Court to establish policies and procedures relating to ESD property and service contracts • Requires the ESD to promote participation by all sectors of the business community, includingBee Cave Road, Suite 200 minority 2705 and women owned business, in ESD contracts. Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 27. Legislation Affecting Chapter 775 • SB 1265, by Nichols – Provides for election of ESD Commissioners in Smith County and Orange County – Requires establishment of single-member districts • SB 1425, by Hinojosa – Clarifies that former RFPDs may provide firefighting and fire prevention services 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 28. Legislation Affecting Chapter 775 • SB 1596, by Zaffirini – Clarifies that a city is not required to remove territory from an ESD upon annexation – Clarifies that a city may provide for fire service in an annexation plan using an ESD – Prohibits a reduction in services levels to an area resulting from annexation by a City – Imposes additional requirements for service on certain cities – Prohibits certain ESD fire codes from requiring residential sprinklers 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 29. Legislation Affecting Fire and EMS Service Issues • HB 434 - Authorizes EMTs to take blood specimens under Medical Director protocols • HB 567 – Defines certain EMS vehicles operated by ESD contractors as Authorized Emergency Vehicles under Transportation Code 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 30. Legislation Affecting Fire and EMS Service Issues • HB 712 – Requires VFDs receiving equipment from County to keep in good working order and repair • HB 1493 – Removed responsibility for Texas Department of Agriculture to provide technical assistance to ESDs or to assist with recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 31. Legislation Affecting Fire and EMS Service Issues • HB 1960 – Requires reciprocity for certification of military personnel for EMS licensing • HB 3556 – Imposes additional requirements for EMS licensing by entities other than governmental entities. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 32. Legislation Affecting Fire and EMS Service Issues • SB 8 – Imposes, among other things, requirement to obtain letter of approval from County or City for EMS licensing, however ESDs are exempt. • SB 148 – allows complimentary legal advice or services related to estate planning to be provided to public servants who are first responders by their employer. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 33. Legislation Affecting Fire and EMS Service Issues • SB 194 – requires Counties to adopt standards requiring two or more means of egress for subdivisions of more than 1000 lots in unincorporated areas • SB 220 – transfers functions of Fire Fighter’s Pension Commissioner to Texas Emergency Services Retirement System • SB 628 – Allows creation of a Regional Emergency Communication District in Central Texas 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 34. Legislation Affecting Fire and EMS Service Issues • SB 902 – Expands abilities of water districts to fund and provide fire-fighting services, either on their own or in conjunction with another governmental entity. • SB 1413 – Clarifies that ESD President serves as Trustee of Fire Fighters Retirement System under Tex. Rev. Civ. Statutes 6243e. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 35. Legislation Affecting Open Government • HB 2414 by Button – Expands applicability of video conferencing for open meetings – Provides exemption for certain online message postings by board members from open meetings act requirements • SB 471 by Ellis and Harper-Brown – Allows recording of meeting by any technology 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 36. Questions? 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 37. Online Resource for Legislative Information http://www.capitol.state.tx.u s/ 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  • 38. John J. Carlton The Carlton Law Firm, P.L.L.C. 2705 Bee Cave Road Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 john@carltonlawaustin.com 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013