Legislative Update SAFE-D Last Monday Webinar June 24, 2013

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1 1 SAFE-D Last Monday Webinar June 24, 2013 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 law

2 2 Important Legislative Dates Special Session Called by Governor May 27, 2013 through June 25, 2013 Topics Include: Redistricting Transportation Infrastructure Mandatory Sentencing in certain cases Regulation of Abortion Requested ESD Issue no response. SAFE-D Legislative Agenda 83 rd Regular Session

3 3 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

4 4 Tax Cap Relief HJR 149 and HB 3799 Joint Resolution to Amend Art. III, Section 48-e 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 HJR 148 Tax Cap Relief 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 CALENDARS

5 5 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 Future Efforts Tax Cap Relief Interim Studies/Reports by: House County Affairs Senate Intergovernmental Relations Texas Conservative Coalition

6 6 Unappropriated Funds HB 6 by Otto and HB 7 by Darby Referred to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Budget Transparency and Reform. These are the leading dedicated funds bills for this session. HB 6 and HB 7 Passed and were signed by the Governor

7 7 Unappropriated Funds HB 7 Allows Service Fees to be used to assist Volunteer Fire Departments through Texas Forest Service if other purposes for those fees have been fully funded

8 8 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

9 9 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

10 10 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 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

11 11 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.

12 12 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

13 13 Other Legislation 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, including minority and women owned business, in ESD contracts.

14 14 Chapter 775 SB 1265, by Nichols Provides for election of Orange County ESD Boards Provides for election of ESD Commissioners in Smith County Requires establishment of single-member districts SB 1425, by Hinojosa Clarifies that former RFPDs may provide fire-fighting and fire prevention services 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

15 15 Fire and EMS Service Issues HB 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 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

16 16 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. 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.

17 17 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 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.

18 18 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 Questions?

19 19 John J. Carlton The Carlton Law Firm, P.L.L.C Bee Cave Road Suite 200 (w)

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