Bill Text: TX HB68 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to an annual state budget and legislative budget sessions in even-numbered years and to political contributions made during a legislative session.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-11 - Referred to Appropriations [HB68 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB68-Introduced.html
  86R602 MAW-D
 
  By: Raymond H.B. No. 68
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to an annual state budget and legislative budget sessions
  in even-numbered years and to political contributions made during a
  legislative session.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 301.001, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 301.001.  TIME OF MEETING.  (a) In each odd-numbered
  year, the [The] legislature shall convene in regular session at 12
  noon on the second Tuesday in January [of each odd-numbered year].
         (b)  In each even-numbered year, the legislature shall
  convene in budget session at 12 noon on the third Tuesday in April.
         SECTION 2.  Section 316.001, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 316.001.  LIMIT. The rate of growth of appropriations
  in a state fiscal year [biennium] from state tax revenues not
  dedicated by the constitution may not exceed the estimated rate of
  growth of the state's economy.
         SECTION 3.  Sections 316.002(a), (b), and (e), Government
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Before the Legislative Budget Board submits the budget
  as prescribed by Section 322.008(c), the board shall establish:
               (1)  the estimated rate of growth of the state's economy
  from the current fiscal year [biennium] to the next fiscal year
  [biennium];
               (2)  the level of appropriations for the current fiscal
  year [biennium] from state tax revenues not dedicated by the
  constitution; and
               (3)  the amount of state tax revenues not dedicated by
  the constitution that could be appropriated for the next fiscal
  year [biennium] within the limit established by the estimated rate
  of growth of the state's economy.
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c), the board shall
  determine the estimated rate of growth of the state's economy by
  dividing the estimated Texas total personal income for the next
  fiscal year [biennium] by the estimated Texas total personal income
  for the current fiscal year [biennium]. Using standard statistical
  methods, the board shall make the estimate by projecting through
  the fiscal year [biennium] the estimated Texas total personal
  income reported by the United States Department of Commerce or its
  successor in function.
         (e)  In the absence of an action by the Legislative Budget
  Board to adopt a spending limit as provided in Subsections (a) and
  (b), the estimated rate of growth in the state's economy from the
  current fiscal year [biennium] to the next fiscal year [biennium]
  shall be treated as if it were zero, and the amount of state tax
  revenues not dedicated by the constitution that could be
  appropriated within the limit established by the estimated rate of
  growth in the state's economy shall be the same as the level of
  appropriations for the current fiscal year [biennium].
         SECTION 4.  Section 316.008(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  Unless the legislature adopts a resolution under
  Article VIII, Section 22(b), of the Texas Constitution raising the
  proposed limit on appropriations, the proposed limit is binding on
  the legislature with respect to all appropriations for the next
  fiscal year [biennium] made from state tax revenues not dedicated
  by the constitution.
         SECTION 5.  Section 316.045, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 316.045.  REDUCTION IN CERTAIN AGENCY FEES. (a) Each
  state agency that sets the fees charged by that agency in amounts
  that are reasonable and necessary to cover the administrative costs
  of the agency shall review the amounts charged as fees on an annual
  [a biennial] basis. The agency shall review the fees before the
  beginning of each state fiscal year [biennium] and incorporate its
  recommendations based on that review in its budget request
  submitted to the Legislative Budget Board and the budget division
  of the governor's office.
         (b)  If the agency determines that the fees are set at a level
  that exceeds the administrative costs of the agency as of the date
  of the review, the agency shall reduce the amount of the affected
  fees to the appropriate level and shall charge the reduced fees
  during the subsequent fiscal year [biennium]. Each agency shall
  give specific recognition to reductions in salary expenses
  resulting from statutorily directed employee attrition.
         SECTION 6.  Sections 316.092(b), (c), and (d), Government
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (b)  For the purposes of Section 49-g(c-2), Article III,
  Texas Constitution, not later than December 1 of each
  [even-numbered] year preceding the year in which this section
  expires as provided by Subsection (e), the select committee shall
  determine and adopt for the next state fiscal year [biennium] a
  sufficient balance of the fund in an amount that the committee
  estimates will ensure an appropriate amount of revenue available in
  the fund. In determining the sufficient balance for that fiscal
  year [biennium], the committee shall consider:
               (1)  the history of fund balances;
               (2)  the history of transfers to the fund;
               (3)  estimated fund balances during that fiscal year
  [biennium];
               (4)  estimated transfers to the fund to occur during
  that fiscal year [biennium];
               (5)  information available to the committee regarding
  state highway congestion and funding demands; and
               (6)  any other information requested by the committee
  regarding the state's financial condition.
         (c)  On or before October 1 of each [even-numbered] year
  preceding the year in which this section expires as provided by
  Subsection (e), the comptroller shall provide to the select
  committee the comptroller's projection of the amounts to be
  transferred to the fund during the next state fiscal year
  [biennium].
         (d)  When the select committee has adopted under Subsection
  (b) the amount of the sufficient balance of the fund for a state
  fiscal year [biennium], the matter of approving that amount shall
  be presented to each house of the legislature in a concurrent
  resolution during the next succeeding [regular] legislative
  session, other than a special session of the legislature. The
  resolution must be presented for a vote in each house of the
  legislature not later than the 30th day of that legislative
  session, must be approved by a vote of a majority of the members of
  each house, and must be finally approved by each house not later
  than the 45th day of that legislative session. If a resolution
  finally approved under this subsection is amended during the
  legislative process to provide for a different sufficient balance
  of the fund than that adopted under Subsection (b), that different
  balance is the sufficient balance adopted under this section for
  purposes of Section 316.093. If a resolution finally approved
  under this subsection does not provide for a different sufficient
  balance of the fund or if a resolution is not finally approved as
  provided by this subsection, the sufficient balance adopted under
  Subsection (b) is the sufficient balance adopted under this section
  for purposes of Section 316.093.
         SECTION 7.  Sections 316.093(c) and (e), Government Code,
  are amended to read as follows:
         (c)  If under Section 316.092 a sufficient balance has not
  been adopted for the comptroller to consider under this section,
  the comptroller shall adjust the allocation of amounts to be
  transferred to the fund and to the state highway fund provided by
  Section 49-g(c), Article III, Texas Constitution, so that the total
  of those amounts is transferred to the economic stabilization fund,
  except that the comptroller shall reduce a transfer made under this
  subsection as necessary to prevent the amount in the fund from
  exceeding the limit in effect for that fiscal year [biennium] under
  Section 49-g(g) of that article.
         (e)  For the purposes of Section 49-g(c-2), Article III,
  Texas Constitution, the comptroller shall adjust the allocation
  provided by Section 49-g(c-1) of that article of amounts to be
  transferred to the fund and to the state highway fund under Section
  49-g(c) of that article in a state fiscal year beginning on or after
  September 1, 2025, so that the total of those amounts is transferred
  to the economic stabilization fund, except that the comptroller
  shall reduce a transfer made under this subsection as necessary to
  prevent the amount in the fund from exceeding the limit in effect
  for that fiscal year [biennium] under Section 49-g(g) of that
  article.
         SECTION 8.  Section 317.003(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  The governor or Legislative Budget Board may make a
  proposal at any time except during a [regular or special] session of
  the legislature. A proposal may apply to an appropriation that has
  been made for any specified fiscal year that has not ended at the
  time the proposal is made.
         SECTION 9.  Sections 322.008(a), (c), and (d), Government
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The director, under the direction of the board, shall
  prepare the general appropriations bill for introduction at each
  regular and budget [legislative] session of the legislature.
         (c)  Not later than the fifth day after a regular or budget 
  [legislative] session convenes, the director shall transmit a copy
  of the budget of estimated appropriations prepared by the director
  to the governor and each member of the legislature.
         (d)  Not later than the seventh day after a regular or budget 
  [legislative] session convenes, the director shall transmit a copy
  of the general appropriations bill to the governor and each member
  of the legislature.
         SECTION 10.  Chapter 322, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Section 322.021 to read as follows:
         Sec. 322.021.  STUDY TO IMPLEMENT ANNUAL BUDGET. (a)  The
  board, with the assistance of the Texas Legislative Council, shall
  examine the laws and operations of state government to determine
  how the implementation of annual state budgets may affect those
  laws and operations and shall adopt recommendations for legislative
  and administrative action necessary to implement an annual budget
  as effectively as practicable.
         (b)  The board shall make its initial recommendations under
  this section not later than November 1, 2020.
         SECTION 11.  Section 403.121(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  In the statement required by Article III, Section 49a,
  of the Texas Constitution the comptroller shall list outstanding
  appropriations that may exist after the end of the current fiscal
  year but may not deduct them from the cash condition of the treasury
  or the anticipated revenues of the next fiscal year [biennium] for
  the purpose of certification. The comptroller shall base the
  reports, estimates, and certifications of available funds on the
  actual or estimated cash condition of the treasury and shall
  consider outstanding and undisbursed appropriations at the end of
  each fiscal year [biennium] as probable disbursements of the
  succeeding fiscal year [biennium] in the same manner that earned
  but uncollected income of a current fiscal year [biennium] is
  considered in probable receipts of the succeeding fiscal year 
  [biennium]. The comptroller shall consider as probable
  disbursements warrants that will be issued by the state before the
  end of the fiscal year.
         SECTION 12.  The heading to Section 253.034, Election Code,
  is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 253.034.  RESTRICTIONS ON CONTRIBUTIONS DURING AND
  FOLLOWING REGULAR OR BUDGET [LEGISLATIVE] SESSION OF LEGISLATURE.
         SECTION 13.  Section 253.034, Election Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a), (b), and (c) and adding Subsection (a-1)
  to read as follows:
         (a)  During the period beginning on the 30th day before the
  date a regular [legislative] session of the legislature convenes
  and continuing through the 20th day after the date of final
  adjournment of that regular session, a person may not knowingly
  make a political contribution to:
               (1)  a statewide officeholder;
               (2)  a member of the legislature; or
               (3)  a specific-purpose committee for supporting,
  opposing, or assisting a statewide officeholder or member of the
  legislature.
         (a-1)  During a budget session of the legislature, a person
  may not knowingly make a political contribution to:
               (1)  the governor or lieutenant governor;
               (2)  a member of or a candidate for election to the
  legislature; or
               (3)  a specific-purpose committee for supporting,
  opposing, or assisting the governor, the lieutenant governor, or a
  member of or a candidate for election to the legislature.
         (b)  A statewide officeholder, a member of or a candidate for
  election to the legislature, or a specific-purpose committee for
  supporting, opposing, or assisting a statewide officeholder or a 
  member of or candidate for election to the legislature may not
  knowingly accept a political contribution, and shall refuse a
  political contribution that is received, during an applicable [the]
  period prescribed by Subsection (a) or (a-1).  A political
  contribution that is received and refused during that period shall
  be returned to the contributor not later than the 30th day after the
  date of receipt.  A contribution made by United States mail or by
  common or contract carrier is not considered received during a 
  [that] period if it was properly addressed and placed with postage
  or carrier charges prepaid or prearranged in the mail or delivered
  to the contract carrier before the beginning of the period.  The
  date indicated by the post office cancellation mark or the common or
  contract carrier documents is considered to be the date the
  contribution was placed in the mail or delivered to the common or
  contract carrier unless proven otherwise.
         (c)  This section does not apply to a political contribution
  that was made and accepted with the intent that it be used:
               (1)  in an election held or ordered during a [the]
  period prescribed by Subsection (a) or (a-1) in which the person
  accepting the contribution is a candidate if the contribution was
  made after the person appointed a campaign treasurer with the
  appropriate authority and before the person was sworn in for that
  office;
               (2)  to defray expenses incurred in connection with an
  election contest; or
               (3)  by a person who holds a state office or a member of
  the legislature or by a specific-purpose political committee that
  supports or assists only that person or member if the contribution
  was made during the period prescribed by Subsection (a) and the
  person or member was defeated at the general election held
  immediately before the regular session is convened [or by a
  specific-purpose political committee that supports or assists only
  that person or member].
         SECTION 14.  The heading to Section 253.0341, Election Code,
  is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 253.0341.  RESTRICTIONS ON CONTRIBUTIONS TO
  LEGISLATIVE CAUCUSES DURING AND FOLLOWING REGULAR OR BUDGET
  [LEGISLATIVE] SESSION OF LEGISLATURE.
         SECTION 15.   Sections 253.0341(a) and (b), Election Code,
  are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  During the period beginning on the 30th day before the
  date a regular [legislative] session of the legislature convenes
  and continuing through the 20th day after the date of final
  adjournment, or at any time during a budget session of the
  legislature, a person not a member of the caucus may not knowingly
  make a contribution to a legislative caucus.
         (b)  A legislative caucus may not knowingly accept from a
  nonmember a contribution, and shall refuse a contribution from a
  nonmember that is received, during a [the] period prescribed by
  Subsection (a).  A contribution that is received and refused during
  a [that] period prescribed by Subsection (a) shall be returned to
  the contributor not later than the 30th day after the date of
  receipt.  A contribution made by United States mail or by common or
  contract carrier is not considered received during a [that] period
  if it was properly addressed and placed with postage or carrier
  charges prepaid or prearranged in the mail or delivered to the
  contract carrier before the beginning of the period.  The date
  indicated by the post office cancellation mark or the common or
  contract carrier documents is considered to be the date the
  contribution was placed in the mail or delivered to the common or
  contract carrier unless proven otherwise.
         SECTION 16.  The changes in law made by this Act do not
  affect the validity of an appropriation made before September 1,
  2021, for any part of the two consecutive state fiscal years ending
  August 31, 2023.
         SECTION 17.  (a)  This Act takes effect as provided by
  Subsection (b) of this section, but only if the constitutional
  amendment proposed by the 86th Legislature, Regular Session, 2019,
  providing for an annual state budget and annual legislative
  sessions for budget purposes is approved by the voters. If that
  proposed constitutional amendment is not approved by the voters,
  this Act has no effect.
         (b)  This section and Section 10 of this Act take effect
  January 1, 2020. The other sections of this Act take effect
  September 1, 2021.
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