Bill Text: TX HB950 | 2015-2016 | 84th Legislature | Comm Sub

Bill Title: Relating to the review of groundwater conservation districts by the state auditor.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Engrossed - Dead) 2015-05-26 - Committee report printed and distributed [HB950 Detail]

Download: Texas-2015-HB950-Comm_Sub.html
  By: Lucio III (Senate Sponsor - Perry) H.B. No. 950
         (In the Senate - Received from the House May 4, 2015;
  May 5, 2015, read first time and referred to Committee on
  Agriculture, Water, and Rural Affairs; May 26, 2015, reported
  favorably by the following vote:  Yeas 6, Nays 0; May 26, 2015, sent
  to printer.)
  relating to the review of groundwater conservation districts by the
  state auditor.
         SECTION 1.  Section 35.018(b), Water Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  The report must include:
               (1)  the names and locations of all priority
  groundwater management areas and districts created or attempted to
  be created on or after November 5, 1985, the effective date of
  Chapter 133 (H.B. No. 2), Acts of the 69th Legislature, Regular
  Session, 1985;
               (2)  the authority under which each priority
  groundwater management area and district was proposed for creation;
               (3)  a detailed analysis of each election held to
  confirm the creation of a district, including analysis of election
  results, possible reasons for the success or failure to confirm the
  creation of a district, and the possibility for future voter
  approval of districts in areas in which attempts to create
  districts failed;
               (4)  a detailed analysis of the activities of each
  district created, including those districts which are implementing
  management plans certified under Section 36.1072;
               (5)  a report on [audits performed on districts under
  Section 36.302 and] remedial actions taken under Section 36.303;
               (6)  recommendations for changes in this chapter and
  Chapter 36 that will facilitate the creation of priority
  groundwater management areas and the creation and operation of
               (7)  a report on educational efforts in newly
  designated priority groundwater management areas; and
               (8)  any other information and recommendations that the
  commission considers relevant.
         SECTION 2.  Section 36.061(b), Water Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  The state auditor may conduct a financial audit [the
  records] of any district if the state auditor determines that the
  audit is necessary.
         SECTION 3.  Section 36.1072(f), Water Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (f)  If the executive administrator does not approve the
  district's management plan, the executive administrator shall
  provide to the district, in writing, the reasons for the
  action.  Not later than the 180th day after the date a district
  receives notice that its management plan has not been approved, the
  district may submit a revised management plan for review and
  approval.  The executive administrator's decision may be appealed
  to the development board.  If the development board decides not to
  approve the district's management plan on appeal, the district may
  request that the conflict be mediated.  The district and the board
  may seek the assistance of the Center for Public Policy Dispute
  Resolution at The University of Texas School of Law or an
  alternative dispute resolution system established under Chapter
  152, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, in obtaining a qualified
  impartial third party to mediate the conflict.  The cost of the
  mediation services must be specified in the agreement between the
  parties and the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution or the
  alternative dispute resolution system.  If the parties do not
  resolve the conflict through mediation, the decision of the
  development board not to approve the district's management plan may
  be appealed to a district court in Travis County.  Costs for the
  appeal shall be set by the court hearing the appeal.  An appeal
  under this subsection is by trial de novo.  The commission shall
  not take enforcement action against a district under Subchapter I
  until the latest of the expiration of the 180-day period, the date
  the development board has taken final action withholding approval
  of a revised management plan, the date the mediation is completed,
  or the date a final judgment upholding the board's decision is
  entered by a district court.  An enforcement action may not be
  taken against a district by the commission [or the state auditor]
  under Subchapter I because the district's management plan and the
  approved regional water plan are in conflict while the parties are
  attempting to resolve the conflict before the development board, in
  mediation, or in court.  Rules of the district continue in full
  force and effect until all appeals under this subsection have been
  exhausted and the final judgment is adverse to the district.
         SECTION 4.  Section 36.303(a), Water Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  If Section [36.108,] 36.301 or 36.3011[, or 36.302(f)]
  applies, the commission, after notice and hearing in accordance
  with Chapter 2001, Government Code, shall take action the
  commission considers appropriate, including:
               (1)  issuing an order requiring the district to take
  certain actions or to refrain from taking certain actions;
               (2)  dissolving the board in accordance with Sections
  36.305 and 36.307 and calling an election for the purpose of
  electing a new board;
               (3)  requesting the attorney general to bring suit for
  the appointment of a receiver to collect the assets and carry on the
  business of the groundwater conservation district; or
               (4)  dissolving the district in accordance with
  Sections 36.304, 36.305, and 36.308.
         SECTION 5.  Section 36.302, Water Code, is repealed.
         SECTION 6.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2015.
  * * * * *