Bill Text: TX SB708 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the continuation of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission as an advisory committee to the Texas Historical Commission.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-03-11 - Referred to Natural Resources & Economic Development [SB708 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-SB708-Introduced.html
  87R8067 MWC-D
 
  By: Lucio S.B. No. 708
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the continuation of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide
  Commission as an advisory committee to the Texas Historical
  Commission.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  The heading to Chapter 449, Government Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 449. TEXAS HOLOCAUST AND GENOCIDE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
  [COMMISSION]
         SECTION 2.  Section 449.001, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subdivision (1) and adding Subdivision (1-a) to read as
  follows:
               (1)  "Advisory committee" means the Texas Holocaust and
  Genocide Advisory Committee.
               (1-a)  "Commission" means the Texas Historical
  [Holocaust and Genocide] Commission.
         SECTION 3.  Section 449.002, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 449.002.  APPLICATION OF SUNSET ACT [PROVISION]. The
  advisory committee [Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission] is
  subject to Chapter 325 (Texas Sunset Act). The advisory committee
  shall be reviewed during the period in which the commission is
  reviewed [Unless continued in existence as provided by that
  chapter, the commission is abolished and this chapter expires
  September 1, 2021].
         SECTION 4.  Section 449.004, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 449.004.  ADVISORY COMMITTEE [COMPOSITION OF
  COMMISSION]. (a)  The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Advisory
  Committee is established as an advisory committee to the
  commission. 
         (b)  The advisory committee [commission] is composed of [18
  members as follows:
               [(1)]  15 [public] members appointed as follows:
               (1) [(A)]  five [public] members appointed by the
  governor;
               (2) [(B)]  five [public] members appointed by the
  lieutenant governor; and
               (3) [(C)]  five [public] members appointed by the
  speaker of the house of representatives[; and
               [(2)  three ex officio members as follows:
                     [(A)  the commissioner of education;
                     [(B)  the commissioner of higher education; and
                     [(C)  the executive director of the Texas Veterans
  Commission.
         [(b)  The speaker of the house of representatives shall
  designate a member of the house and the lieutenant governor shall
  designate a member of the senate to advise the commission].
         SECTION 5.  Section 449.005, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 449.005.  ADVISORY COMMITTEE [PUBLIC] MEMBERS:
  ELIGIBILITY; APPOINTMENT; VACANCY. (a) A person appointed as a
  [public] member of the advisory committee [commission] must be a
  resident of this state.
         (b)  Members [Public members] of the advisory committee
  [commission] must include:
               (1)  persons who have served prominently as leaders of
  or spokespersons for public or private organizations that serve
  members of religious, ethnic, national heritage, or social groups
  that were subjected to the Holocaust or other genocides;
               (2)  persons who have significant professional
  experience in the field of Holocaust or genocide education;
               (3)  persons who represent liberators of Holocaust or
  other genocide victims; and
               (4)  persons who have demonstrated a significant,
  particular interest in Holocaust or genocide education.
         (c)  Appointments of [public] members to the advisory
  committee [commission] shall be made:
               (1)  without regard to the race, color, disability,
  sex, religion, age, or national origin of an appointee; and
               (2)  so that each geographic area of this state is
  represented on the advisory committee [commission].
         (d)  The original appointing authority shall fill any
  vacancy in a [an appointed] position on the advisory committee
  [commission] for the unexpired portion of the term.
         SECTION 6.  Section 449.007, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 449.007.  REMOVAL OF ADVISORY COMMITTEE [PUBLIC]
  MEMBER. (a) It is a ground for removal of a [public] member from
  the advisory committee [commission] if the member:
               (1)  is ineligible for [public] membership under
  Section 449.005(a);
               (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 three consecutive
  regularly scheduled advisory committee [commission] meetings that
  the member is eligible to attend during a calendar year unless the
  absence is excused by majority vote of the advisory committee
  [commission].
         (b)  The validity of an action of the advisory committee
  [commission] is not affected by the fact that it is taken when a
  ground for removal of an advisory committee [a commission] member
  exists.
         (c)  If a member of the advisory committee [commission] has
  knowledge that a potential ground for removal exists, the member
  shall notify the presiding officer of the advisory committee
  [commission] of the potential ground. The presiding officer shall
  then notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential
  ground for removal exists.
         SECTION 7.  Section 449.008, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 449.008.  TERM OF ADVISORY COMMITTEE [PUBLIC] MEMBER.
  (a)  Members [Public members] of the advisory committee
  [commission] serve staggered four-year terms with the terms of
  seven or eight members expiring February 1 of each odd-numbered
  year.
         (b)  An advisory committee [A public] member is eligible for
  reappointment to another term or part of a term.
         (c)  An advisory committee [A public] member may not serve
  more than two consecutive terms. For purposes of this prohibition,
  a member is considered to have served a term only if the member has
  served more than half of the term.
         SECTION 8.  Section 449.009, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 449.009.  OFFICERS; SUBCOMMITTEES. (a) The governor
  shall designate a [public] member of the advisory committee
  [commission] as presiding officer to serve in that capacity at the
  pleasure of the governor.
         (b)  The presiding officer of the advisory committee
  [commission] may appoint a subcommittee for any purpose consistent
  with the duties of the advisory committee [commission] under this
  chapter.
         SECTION 9.  Section 449.010, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 449.010.  COMPENSATION; EXPENSES.  [(a)] A [public]
  member of the advisory committee [commission] is not entitled to
  compensation but is entitled to reimbursement for the travel
  expenses incurred by the member while transacting advisory
  committee [commission] business, as provided by the General
  Appropriations Act.
         [(b)  An ex officio member's service on the commission is an
  additional duty of the underlying position that qualifies the
  member for service on the commission.  The entitlement of an ex
  officio member to compensation or to reimbursement for travel
  expenses incurred while transacting commission business is
  governed by the law that applies to the member's service in that
  underlying position, and any payment to the member for either
  purpose must be made from money that may be used for the purpose and
  is available to the state agency that the member serves in that
  underlying position.]
         SECTION 10.  Section 449.011, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 449.011.  MEETINGS; QUORUM; VOTING; PUBLIC ACCESS. (a)
  The advisory committee [commission] shall meet at least quarterly
  at the times and places in this state that the advisory committee
  [commission] designates.
         (b)  Seven voting members of the advisory committee
  [commission] constitute a quorum for transacting advisory
  committee [commission] business.
         (c)  [An ex officio member of the commission may not vote on
  commission business.
         [(d)] The advisory committee [commission] shall develop and
  implement policies that provide the public with a reasonable
  opportunity to appear before the advisory committee [commission]
  and speak on any issue under the jurisdiction of the advisory
  committee [commission].
         SECTION 11.  Subchapter A, Chapter 449, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 449.0115 to read as follows:
         Sec. 449.0115.  TRAINING. Each member of the advisory
  committee shall complete the training program prescribed by the
  commission. The program must provide the member with information
  on:
               (1)  the role and duties of advisory committee members;
               (2)  the functions of the advisory committee; and
               (3)  the commission's oversight of the advisory
  committee.
         SECTION 12.  Section 449.012, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 449.012.  PERSONNEL [COORDINATOR]. The commission
  shall:
               (1)  hire [Texas Historical Commission shall provide]
  personnel as necessary to support the advisory committee in
  fulfilling its duties under this chapter, including establishing
  staffing levels, position titles, and salaries of the employees and
  managing and evaluating the employees; and
               (2)  provide other administrative support to the
  advisory committee as necessary [one part-time employee to serve as
  the coordinator for the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission to
  transact commission business].
         SECTION 13.  Subchapter A, Chapter 449, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 449.013 to read as follows:
         Sec. 449.013.  APPLICABILITY OF OTHER LAW. Chapter 2110
  does not apply to the advisory committee.
         SECTION 14.  The heading to Subchapter B, Chapter 449,
  Government Code, is amended to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER B.  POWERS AND DUTIES OF COMMISSION AND 
  ADVISORY COMMITTEE; FUNDING
         SECTION 15.  Subchapter B, Chapter 449, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 449.0515 to read as follows:
         Sec. 449.0515.  MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING. The commission
  and advisory committee shall:
               (1)  enter into a memorandum of understanding to
  establish the roles and responsibilities of the commission and
  advisory committee under this chapter, including necessary
  policies and procedures; and
               (2)  periodically review and update the memorandum as
  necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
         SECTION 16.  Section 449.052, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 449.052.  GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES OF ADVISORY
  COMMITTEE AND COMMISSION. (a) The advisory committee, under
  direction of the commission, shall:
               (1)  provide advice and assistance to public and
  private primary and secondary schools and institutions of higher
  education in this state regarding implementation of Holocaust and
  genocide courses of study and awareness programs;
               (2)  meet with appropriate representatives of public
  and private organizations, including service organizations, to
  provide information on and to assist in planning, coordinating, or
  modifying Holocaust and genocide courses of study and awareness
  programs;
               (3)  [determine which, if any, existing Holocaust or
  other genocide memorials, exhibits, or other resources could be
  included in or used to support Holocaust and genocide courses of
  study and awareness programs;
               [(4)]  compile a list of volunteers, such as Holocaust
  or other genocide survivors, liberators of concentration camps,
  scholars, and members of the clergy, who have agreed to share, in
  classrooms, seminars, exhibits, or workshops, their verifiable
  knowledge and experiences regarding the Holocaust or other
  genocide;
               (4) [(5)]  coordinate events in this state
  memorializing the Holocaust and other genocides on January 27,
  International Holocaust Remembrance Day, on the Days of Remembrance
  established by the United States Congress, or on any other day
  designated by the advisory committee [commission] for that purpose;
  and
               (5) [(6)]  solicit volunteers to participate in
  commemorative events designed to enhance public awareness of the
  continuing significance of the Holocaust and other genocides.
         (b)  In implementing Subsection (a) [(a)(3)], the advisory
  committee, under direction of the commission, may contact and
  cooperate with:
               (1)  existing public or private Holocaust or other
  genocide resource organizations, including the United States
  Holocaust Memorial Museum;
               (2)  other museums, centers, and organizations based in
  this state;
               (3)  state agencies that carry out the educational
  functions of the state delegated under the Education Code,
  including the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Higher Education
  Coordinating Board; [and]
               (4)  the Texas Veterans Commission; and
               (5)  members of the United States Congress and of the
  legislature of this state.
         (c)  The commission shall adopt rules as necessary governing
  the operation of the advisory committee [for its own procedures].  
  The rules may include the delegation of certain final decisions and
  authorities to the advisory committee that are appropriate given
  the committee's advisory status.
         (d)  [The commission may appoint advisory committees to
  advise the commission.
         [(e)] The commission, in coordination with the advisory
  committee, shall adopt rules, policies, and procedures for the [may
  provide] matching grants program established to assist in the
  implementation of the [commission's] goals and objectives of this
  chapter. The commission must prescribe for the program an annual
  budget, a funding cycle, goals, award eligibility criteria, grant
  application and selection processes, requirements for in-kind
  services and matching fund waivers, maximum grant awards, conflict
  of interest policies, data collection and evaluation, and audits of
  grant recipients.
         SECTION 17.  Section 449.053, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 449.053.  FUNDING. (a) The commission may accept gifts
  and grants from a public or private source on behalf of the advisory
  committee for the advisory committee [commission] to use in
  performing the [commission's powers and] duties assigned to the
  advisory committee under this chapter. The commission may
  participate in the establishment and operation of an affiliated
  nonprofit organization whose purpose is to raise funds for or
  provide services or other benefits to the advisory committee
  [commission].
         (b)  All legislative appropriations to [The Texas Historical
  Commission may provide staff and may] support the functions and
  activities of the advisory committee shall be made as part of the
  commission's legislative appropriations request process and
  disbursed to the commission [Texas Holocaust and Genocide
  Commission from money available to the Texas Historical Commission
  that may be used for this purpose.  The legislature may also
  specifically appropriate money to the Texas Historical Commission
  to provide staff and to otherwise support functions and activities
  of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission].
         SECTION 18.  Subchapter B, Chapter 449, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 449.054 to read as follows:
         Sec. 449.054.  COMMISSION REPORT; AUDITS. (a) The commission
  shall include the activities of the advisory committee as
  authorized by Section 449.052 in the report the commission is
  required to submit under Section 442.005(n).
         (b)  The advisory committee is subject to audit and
  evaluation by the commission or another appropriate state agency,
  including the state auditor's office.
         SECTION 19.  Section 29.9072(c), Education Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (c)  Holocaust Remembrance Week shall include
  age-appropriate instruction, as determined by each school
  district.  Instruction shall include:
               (1)  information about the history of and lessons
  learned from the Holocaust;
               (2)  participation, in person or using technology, in
  learning projects about the Holocaust; and
               (3)  the use of materials developed or approved by the
  Texas Holocaust and Genocide Advisory Committee [Commission].
         SECTION 20.  The following provisions of the Government Code
  are repealed:
               (1)  Section 449.003;
               (2)  Section 449.006; and
               (3)  Section 449.051.
         SECTION 21.  (a) On the effective date of this Act, a public
  member of the former Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission
  becomes a member of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Advisory
  Committee and continues the member's term on the advisory committee
  in accordance with the original appointment on the commission.
         (b)  Section 449.0115, Government Code, as added by this Act,
  applies to a member of the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Advisory
  Committee appointed before, on, or after the effective date of this
  Act.
         (c)  Not later than September 1, 2021, the Texas Historical
  Commission and the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Advisory Committee
  shall develop and enter into a memorandum of understanding as
  required by Section 449.0515, Government Code, as added by this
  Act. Before the effective date of this Act, the Texas Historical
  Commission and Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission may begin
  developing the memorandum of understanding.
         (d)  Not later than December 1, 2022, the Texas Historical
  Commission and the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Advisory Committee
  shall provide a written report to the Sunset Advisory Commission on
  the progress of the Texas Historical Commission and the Texas
  Holocaust and Genocide Advisory Committee in implementing the
  changes in law made by this Act. The report must identify any
  obstacles or concerns encountered in implementing the changes.
         (e)  All contracts and agreements of the Texas Holocaust and
  Genocide Commission are continued in effect as contracts and
  agreements of the Texas Historical Commission.
         (f)  The Texas Historical Commission shall coordinate with
  the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Advisory Committee and the
  Legislative Budget Board to propose goals, strategies, and
  performance measures for the advisory committee in the commission's
  legislative appropriations request for the state fiscal biennium
  ending August 31, 2025.
         SECTION 22.  As soon as practicable after the effective date
  of this Act, the Texas Historical Commission shall perform an
  evaluation of the job titles and salaries of personnel employed by
  the commission to support the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Advisory
  Committee under Section 449.012, Government Code, as amended by
  this Act, in order to ensure that the salaries and titles are
  commensurate with other commission employees with comparable
  duties.
         SECTION 23.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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