Bill Text: TX SB1636 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the creation of the Texas African American Heritage Commission.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-03-24 - Referred to Natural Resources & Economic Development [SB1636 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-SB1636-Introduced.html
  87R8640 YDB-F
 
  By: Miles S.B. No. 1636
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the creation of the Texas African American Heritage
  Commission.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subtitle D, Title 4, Government Code, is amended
  by adding Chapter 451 to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 451. TEXAS AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE COMMISSION
  SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS
         Sec. 451.001.  PURPOSE. The purpose of the Texas African
  American Heritage Commission is to identify, preserve, interpret,
  and promote sites reflecting this state's African American
  heritage.
         Sec. 451.002.  DEFINITION. In this chapter, "commission"
  means the Texas African American Heritage Commission.
         Sec. 451.003.  SUNSET ACT. The Texas African American
  Heritage Commission is subject to Chapter 325 (Texas Sunset Act).
  Unless continued in existence as provided by that chapter, the
  commission is abolished and this chapter expires September 1, 2033.
         Sec. 451.004.  ADMINISTRATIVE ATTACHMENT. (a) The
  commission is administratively attached to the Texas Historical
  Commission but is independent of direction by the Texas Historical
  Commission.
         (b)  The Texas Historical Commission shall provide
  administrative support services, including human resources,
  budgetary, accounting, purchasing, payroll, information
  technology, and legal support services to the commission as
  necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
         Sec. 451.005.  CONSULTATION; MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING.
  (a) The Texas Historical Commission shall consult regularly with
  the commission for recommendations on matters impacting the
  preservation, identification, documentation, or representation of
  sites related to African American heritage, including:
               (1)  applications for designating state historical
  markers at sites where a claim is made regarding the site's
  connection to African American heritage; and
               (2)  proposed projects submitted to the Texas
  Historical Commission by a state agency for consultation under
  Section 106, National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (54 U.S.C.
  Section 306108) in which a claim is made regarding the project
  site's connection to African American heritage.
         (b)  The Texas Historical Commission shall enter into a
  memorandum of understanding with the commission to coordinate
  consultations under Subsection (a) and any other joint efforts of
  both commissions.
  SUBCHAPTER B. COMMISSION
         Sec. 451.051.  ESTABLISHMENT. The commission is established
  to preserve, interpret, and promote sites reflecting this state's
  African American heritage.
         Sec. 451.052.  COMMISSION MEMBERSHIP. (a) The commission
  is composed of nine members as follows:
               (1)  seven members appointed by the Texas Legislative
  Black Caucus; 
               (2)  one member appointed by the president of Texas
  Southern University; and
               (3)  one member appointed by the president of Prairie
  View A&M University.
         (b)  Members of the commission must:
               (1)  have a demonstrated interest in the preservation
  of African American heritage; and 
               (2)  be residents of this state.
         (c)  Appointments to the commission shall be made to ensure
  that:
               (1)  each geographic area of this state is represented
  on the commission; and
               (2)  the commission includes:
                     (A)  at least one member with significant
  professional experience in the preservation of African American
  heritage; and
                     (B)  at least one member with significant
  professional experience in African American history, genealogy, or
  archeology.
         Sec. 451.053.  TERMS; VACANCY. (a) Members of the
  commission shall be appointed to staggered six-year terms with the
  terms of one-third of the members expiring February 1 of each
  odd-numbered year.
         (b)  Members of the commission are eligible for
  reappointment to another term or part of a term.
         (c)  A vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the
  original appointment. A member appointed to fill a vacancy on the
  commission shall serve for the remainder of the term for which the
  predecessor of the member was appointed.
         Sec. 451.054.  REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES. A member of the
  commission serves without pay but is entitled to reimbursement for
  the travel expenses incurred by the member in attending commission
  meetings as provided by the General Appropriations Act.
         Sec. 451.055.  PRESIDING OFFICER; OTHER OFFICERS. The
  members of the commission shall elect from among the commission's
  members a presiding officer and other officers considered
  necessary.
         Sec. 451.056.  REMOVAL. (a) It is a ground for removal from
  the commission that the member:
               (1)  is ineligible for membership under Section
  451.052(b);
               (2)  cannot because of illness or disability discharge
  the member's duties for a substantial part of the term for which the
  member is appointed; or
               (3)  is absent from more than half of the regularly
  scheduled commission meetings that the member is eligible to attend
  during a calendar year unless the absence is excused by majority
  vote of the commission.
         (b)  The validity of an action of the commission is not
  affected by the fact that it is taken when a ground for removal of a
  commission member exists.
         Sec. 451.057.  COMMISSION MEETINGS; QUORUM; PUBLIC
  PARTICIPATION. (a) The commission shall meet at least three times
  each year at the times and places in this state that the commission
  designates. 
         (b)  Five members of the commission constitute a quorum for
  transacting commission business.
         (c)  The commission shall develop and implement policies
  that provide the public with a reasonable opportunity to appear
  before the commission and speak on any issue under the jurisdiction
  of the commission.
         Sec. 451.058.  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR; STAFF. (a) The Texas
  Historical Commission shall provide one employee to serve as the
  executive director for the commission to transact commission
  business.
         (b)  The Texas Historical Commission may provide additional
  staff and may support functions and activities of the commission
  from money available to the Texas Historical Commission that may be
  used for this purpose.
  SUBCHAPTER C. DUTIES AND FUNDING
         Sec. 451.101.  GENERAL DUTIES. The commission may:
               (1)  promote public awareness of historic buildings,
  sites, and structures reflecting this state's African American
  heritage through special programs and events, exhibitions,
  publications, and educational materials;
               (2)  support African American heritage education at the
  elementary, secondary, and college or university levels;
               (3)  develop a program to catalog, preserve, assess,
  and interpret sites reflecting this state's African American
  heritage;
               (4)  build a statewide network of individuals,
  organizations, and institutions interested in the preservation of
  sites reflecting this state's African American heritage;
               (5)  make recommendations to the Texas Historical
  Commission and county historical commissions regarding the
  preservation of sites reflecting the state's African American
  heritage, including recommendations regarding the installation of
  markers recognizing districts, sites, individuals, events,
  structures, and objects significant to African American history,
  archeology, or culture;
               (6)  make recommendations to state agencies and local
  governmental entities regarding policies and programs to promote
  the preservation of sites reflecting this state's African American
  heritage;
               (7)  appoint advisory committees as the commission
  considers necessary to carry out this chapter;
               (8)  provide technical assistance to local governments
  and nonprofit organizations to further the study and preservation
  of African American heritage; and
               (9)  promote collaboration among local African
  American heritage organizations in this state and provide support
  and services to those organizations.
         Sec. 451.102.  ADVISORY STATUS. (a) In implementing its
  duties under this chapter, the commission functions only in an
  advisory capacity. Membership on the commission does not
  constitute a public office.
         (b)  Chapter 2110 does not apply to the commission.
         Sec. 451.103.  FUNDING. (a) The commission may accept
  gifts, grants, or donations or raise money from any available
  public or private source for the commission to use in performing the
  commission's duties under this chapter.
         (b)  The legislature may specifically appropriate money to
  the Texas Historical Commission to provide staff and to otherwise
  support functions and activities of the commission, or appropriate
  money directly to the commission.
         (c)  The commission may participate in the establishment and
  operation of an affiliated nonprofit organization dedicated to
  raising money for or providing services or other benefits to the
  commission.
         Sec. 451.104.  TEXAS AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE COMMISSION
  ACCOUNT. (a) The Texas African American Heritage Commission
  account is created as an account in the general revenue fund. The
  Texas Historical Commission shall administer the account.
  Distributions from the account may be used only for furthering the
  purposes of this chapter and duties of the commission under this
  chapter. The account is composed of:
               (1)  amounts appropriated by the legislature to the
  account; and
               (2)  gifts, grants, and other donations received by the
  commission for the account.
         SECTION 2.  (a) Not later than January 1, 2022, the Texas
  Legislative Black Caucus, the president of Texas Southern
  University, and the president of Prairie View A&M University shall
  appoint members to the Texas African American Heritage Commission
  as provided by Chapter 451, Government Code, as added by this Act.
         (b)  In appointing the initial members of the commission, the
  officials described by Subsection (a) of this section shall
  appoint:
               (1)  three members to serve terms expiring February 1,
  2023;
               (2)  three members to serve terms expiring February 1,
  2025; and
               (3)  three members to serve terms expiring February 1,
  2027.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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