SPECIAL PURPOSE
DISTRICTS:
Current Issues
Texas Water Law
23rd Annual SuperConference
October 8, 2013
2705 Bee Cave Road, ...
Special Purpose Districts
• Private Sector/Development Related Districts
– MUDs, WCIDs, MMDs, etc.

• Public Service Relat...
Special Purpose Districts
• Efficiency
– Burden created by multiple layers of local taxes
– Total debt load on taxpayers

...
Special Purpose Districts
• Accountability
– Sufficiency of State oversight of local activities
– TCEQ in the case of wate...
Special Purpose Districts
• Constitutional Authority for Water Related
Districts
– Article III, Section 52
– Article XVI, ...
Special Purpose Districts
• General Law Districts
• Special Law Districts
– Special Districts and Local Laws Code
– Specia...
http://www.tceq.texas.gov/utilities/udpubs.html

2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200
Austin, Texas 78746
(512) 614-0901
www.carl...
General Law Districts

http://www.tceq.texas.gov/utilities/udpubs.html

2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200
Austin, Texas 78746
...
TCEQ Oversight
• TCEQ Utilities and Districts Section
– Bond Review Team Leadership Change
– Creation Review Team Leadersh...
TCEQ Oversight
• Impact of HB 1600?
– Utilities and Districts Section to be split effective
September 1, 2014
– Utilities ...
83RD TEXAS LEGISLATURE
2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200
Austin, Texas 78746
(512) 614-0901
www.carltonlawaustin.com
©2013
83 Legislature
rd

• 76 Bills Passed to Create New Water Related
Districts
• 25 Bills Passed to Amend Existing Water
Relat...
83 Legislature
rd

Changes in Leadership for Next Session

• House

• Senate

–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–

–
–
–
–

Chisum (1988)
Hi...
83 Legislature
rd

Three primary committees to deal with:
• Senate Intergovernmental Relations
• House Natural Resources
•...
83 Legislature
rd

• Legislative Drafting Template for MUDs
• MMD Standardized Language Document
• Senate IGR Checklist
– ...
83 Legislature
rd

2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200
Austin, Texas 78746
(512) 614-0901
www.carltonlawaustin.com
©2013
Senate Intergovernmental
Relations
• Bill Statistics
– 327 Bill Referred
– 264 Bills Passed (80.7%)

• Members
–
–
–
–
–

...
House Natural Resources
Committee
Bill Statistics
216 Bills Referred

130 Bills Passed out of committee ( 60.2%)

Members
...
House Natural Resources
Committee
Standing Committee with jurisdiction over:
• the conservation of the natural resources o...
House Natural Resources
Committee
• the creation, modification, and regulation of groundwater
conservation districts and t...
House Special Purpose Districts
Committee
Bill Statistics
211 Bills Referred

167 Bills Passed out of committee ( 79.2%)

...
House Special Purpose
Districts Committee
Standing Committee with jurisdiction over :
• the creation of any special purpos...
Legislation Impacting Special Districts

83RD LEGISLATURE
2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200
Austin, Texas 78746
(512) 614-0901...
83 Legislature
rd

• HB 4
– Restructured the Texas Water Development Board
– Establishes the State Water Implementation Fu...
83 Legislature
rd

• SB 902 (Third Time Is a Charm!)
– Amends numerous provisions related to the
authority of water distri...
83 Legislature
rd

• SB 902
– Provides that a failure or mistake in posting notice by
the county clerk does not invalidate...
83 Legislature
rd

• SB 902
– Exempts certain water districts from requirement to
provide an electronic voting system, but...
83 Legislature
rd

• SB 902
– Allows non-construction costs to be included as
“actual costs” for the purpose of calculatin...
83 Legislature
rd

• HB 738
– Section 54.0161, Water Code, is amended to
modify procedures for the TCEQ to receive input
f...
83 Legislature
rd

• HB 1563
– Chapter 36, Water Code, is amended to increase
the fees of office for a director of a groun...
83 Legislature
rd

• SB 293
– Amends Chapter 551, Government Code, to allow
a water district or authority whose territory
...
83 Legislature
rd

• SB 611
– Amends method for water control and
improvement districts, water improvement
districts, and ...
83 Legislature
rd

• SB 1282
– Amends Chapter 36, Water Code, to ensure that a
proposal for the adoption of desired future...
Questions?

2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200
Austin, Texas 78746
(512) 614-0901
www.carltonlawaustin.com
©2013
Special Purpose Districts:
Current Issues
John J. Carlton
The Carlton Law Firm, PLLC
2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200
Austin,...
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2013 Texas Water Law Superconference: Special Purpose Districts - Current Issues

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Continuing Legal Education presentation regarding recent legislative and policy issues affecting Special Purpose Districts providing water in Texas.

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2013 Texas Water Law Superconference: Special Purpose Districts - Current Issues

  1. 1. SPECIAL PURPOSE DISTRICTS: Current Issues Texas Water Law 23rd Annual SuperConference October 8, 2013 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  2. 2. Special Purpose Districts • Private Sector/Development Related Districts – MUDs, WCIDs, MMDs, etc. • Public Service Related Districts – SUDs, some WCIDs, ESDs, ISDs, etc. • Public Policy Related Districts – GCDs, River Authorities, larger districts, etc. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  3. 3. Special Purpose Districts • Efficiency – Burden created by multiple layers of local taxes – Total debt load on taxpayers • Transparency – Easy public access to and awareness of activities – Failed HB 14 and SB 14 regarding Bond Issuance Process (SB failed on point of order) – Failed HB 3397 and SB 867 regarding “Sunset Review” for all Special Purpose Districts every six years (died in Senate Finance Committee) 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  4. 4. Special Purpose Districts • Accountability – Sufficiency of State oversight of local activities – TCEQ in the case of water related Districts • Consistency – Uniformity in operations and management structure – General Law Districts vs. Special Law Districts 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  5. 5. Special Purpose Districts • Constitutional Authority for Water Related Districts – Article III, Section 52 – Article XVI, Section 59 • Statutory Authority – Water Code, Chapter 49 (General Statute) – Water Code, Chapters 35, 36 and 49-67 – Local Government Code, Chapter 375 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  6. 6. Special Purpose Districts • General Law Districts • Special Law Districts – Special Districts and Local Laws Code – Special Law Districts related to Water Authorized under • Article III, Section 52 • Article XVI, Section 59 and • Article III, Section 56 (not prohibited) 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  7. 7. http://www.tceq.texas.gov/utilities/udpubs.html 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  8. 8. General Law Districts http://www.tceq.texas.gov/utilities/udpubs.html 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  9. 9. TCEQ Oversight • TCEQ Utilities and Districts Section – Bond Review Team Leadership Change – Creation Review Team Leadership Change – Reduced Staff for Both Teams • 120 day expedited creation review? • 60 day expedited escrow release or surplus funds review? 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  10. 10. TCEQ Oversight • Impact of HB 1600? – Utilities and Districts Section to be split effective September 1, 2014 – Utilities Rates jurisdiction transferred to Public Utility Commission effective that date – Additional impact on personnel at TCEQ? 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  11. 11. 83RD TEXAS LEGISLATURE 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  12. 12. 83 Legislature rd • 76 Bills Passed to Create New Water Related Districts • 25 Bills Passed to Amend Existing Water Related Districts • Overall Legislature Filed 5,868 bills and passed 1,437 bills (24.5%) 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  13. 13. 83 Legislature rd Changes in Leadership for Next Session • House • Senate – – – – – – – – – – – – – Chisum (1988) Hilderbran (1988) (Chair) Pitts (1992) (Chair) Ritter (1998) (Chair) Callegari (2000) (Chair) Branch (2003) (Chair) Orr (2004) Strama (2005) Tryon Lewis (2008) (Chair) Williams (2003) Hegar (2007) Davis (2009) Paxton (2013) 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  14. 14. 83 Legislature rd Three primary committees to deal with: • Senate Intergovernmental Relations • House Natural Resources • House Special Purpose Districts 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  15. 15. 83 Legislature rd • Legislative Drafting Template for MUDs • MMD Standardized Language Document • Senate IGR Checklist – To gather basic information about proposed MMD or MUD • House Template Chart – To identify variances from MUD template and MMD standard language 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  16. 16. 83 Legislature rd 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  17. 17. Senate Intergovernmental Relations • Bill Statistics – 327 Bill Referred – 264 Bills Passed (80.7%) • Members – – – – – Hinojosa (D) – Chair Nichols (R) - Vice Chair (only returning member in 2013) Paxton (R) Taylor (R) Garcia (D) 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  18. 18. House Natural Resources Committee Bill Statistics 216 Bills Referred 130 Bills Passed out of committee ( 60.2%) Members – – – – – Ritter (R) – Chair (retiring) Johnson (D) - Vice Chair Ashby (R) Bonnen, Dennis (R) Callegari (R) (retiring) – – – – – – Keffer (R) King, Tracy (D) Larson (R) Lucio III (D) Martinez Fischer (D) Miller, Doug (R) 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  19. 19. House Natural Resources Committee Standing Committee with jurisdiction over: • the conservation of the natural resources of Texas; • the control and development of land and water and land and water resources, including the taking, storing, control, and use of all water in the state, and its appropriation and allocation; • irrigation, irrigation companies, and irrigation districts, and their incorporation, management, and powers; 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  20. 20. House Natural Resources Committee • the creation, modification, and regulation of groundwater conservation districts and the modification and regulation of water supply districts, water control and improvement districts, conservation and reclamation districts, and all similar organs of local government dealing with water and water supply; • oversight of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as it relates to the regulation of water resources; and • several River Compact Commissioners, the Multi-State Water Resources Planning Commission, and the Texas Water Development Board. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  21. 21. House Special Purpose Districts Committee Bill Statistics 211 Bills Referred 167 Bills Passed out of committee ( 79.2%) Members – – – – Bonnen, Dennis (R) – Chair Miller, Doug (R) - Vice Chair Alvarado (D) Clardy (R) – – – – – Goldman (R) Krause (R) Lucio (D) Stickland (R) Thompson, Ed (R) 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  22. 22. House Special Purpose Districts Committee Standing Committee with jurisdiction over : • the creation of any special purpose district not otherwise assigned by these rules to other standing committees, including a crime control and prevention district, library district, public improvement district, municipal management district, municipal development district, irrigation district, water improvement district, water control and improvement district, river authority, or navigation district; and any other local government special purpose district authorized or created under law that as the result of its creation may levy or impose a tax, assessment, or fee for a special purpose. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  23. 23. Legislation Impacting Special Districts 83RD LEGISLATURE 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  24. 24. 83 Legislature rd • HB 4 – Restructured the Texas Water Development Board – Establishes the State Water Implementation Fund administered by the TWDB . – TWDB may use the fund to establish a revolving loan program to implement the State Water Plan. • HB 1025, Section 33 – Contingent funding of HB 4 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  25. 25. 83 Legislature rd • SB 902 (Third Time Is a Charm!) – Amends numerous provisions related to the authority of water districts contained in Chapters 49, 51, and 54, Water Code. Also amends related provisions of Chapter 388, Health and Safety Code, and Chapters 375 and 552, Local Government Code. – Prior versions died in 2009 and 2011 before House could adopt conference committee report 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  26. 26. 83 Legislature rd • SB 902 – Provides that a failure or mistake in posting notice by the county clerk does not invalidate a board action; – authorizes a city to contract with a water district to provide recreational facilities, road improvements, and firefighting facilities; – Requires bond elections to be held on a uniform election date; – Clarifies that confirmation election ballots only require write-in spaces if the district has received an application by a write-in candidate; 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  27. 27. 83 Legislature rd • SB 902 – Exempts certain water districts from requirement to provide an electronic voting system, but requires an accessible voting station if requested; – Allows a district to petition the TCEQ to fill a director vacancy if the vacancy has continued for more than 90 days, but no longer requires that petition; – Specifies fees for certain activities related to storm water detention and retention facilities; 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  28. 28. 83 Legislature rd • SB 902 – Allows non-construction costs to be included as “actual costs” for the purpose of calculating impact fees; – Raises the requirement to advertise and bid projects from $50,000 to $75,000; and – Expands districts’ authority to finance fire departments. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  29. 29. 83 Legislature rd • HB 738 – Section 54.0161, Water Code, is amended to modify procedures for the TCEQ to receive input from a commissioners court on the proposed creation of a municipal utility district in the county but outside the corporate limits of a municpality. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  30. 30. 83 Legislature rd • HB 1563 – Chapter 36, Water Code, is amended to increase the fees of office for a director of a groundwater district from $150 per day to $250 per day. The annual cap would remain $9000. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  31. 31. 83 Legislature rd • SB 293 – Amends Chapter 551, Government Code, to allow a water district or authority whose territory includes land in three or more counties to hold certain special called meetings by conference call. (Note: HB 2414 provides broad authority for video conference calls by any governmental entity.) 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  32. 32. 83 Legislature rd • SB 611 – Amends method for water control and improvement districts, water improvement districts, and irrigation districts providing irrigation water to determine assessments and charges against irrigable land. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  33. 33. 83 Legislature rd • SB 1282 – Amends Chapter 36, Water Code, to ensure that a proposal for the adoption of desired future conditions is not required before May 1, 2016. But Districts in a management area are not prevented from voting on a proposal before that date. 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  34. 34. Questions? 2705 Bee Cave Road, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78746 (512) 614-0901 www.carltonlawaustin.com ©2013
  35. 35. Special Purpose Districts: Current Issues John J. Carlton The Carlton Law Firm, PLLC 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

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