HBA-MPM H.B. 1559 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1559 By: Solis, Jim Higher Education 2/25/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Public junior colleges and public technical institutes in Texas provide technical and vocational programs to meet workforce demands, and in some instances adapt their programs to meet the needs of local businesses. The costs of developing or redesigning a program have been shouldered either solely by the college or institute, or in partnership with another entity. H.B. 1559 establishes the high priority program development fund (fund) and requires the comptroller of public accounts to appropriate awards from the fund to an eligible college or institute in an amount recommended by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. This bill also specifies that the award is to be used only to support the development, design, modification, or renovation of specific high priority programs for which the award is made and contains certain provisions regarding the assessment and evaluation of the programs. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Subtitle H, Title 3, Education Code, by adding Chapter 151, as follows: CHAPTER 151. HIGH PRIORITY PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT FUND Sec. 151.001. DEFINITIONS. Defines "coordinating board" as the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (board) and "high priority program" as a technical or vocational program offered by a public junior college or public technical institute specifically developed, designed, or intended to meet the workforce training demands of business and industry as determined by the board. Defines "high priority program development fund" as the fund established under this chapter to assist in the development of high priority programs. Assigns "public junior college" and "public technical institute" the meanings under Section 61.003 (Definitions), Education Code. This section defines "public junior college" as any junior college certified by the board in accordance with Section 61.063, (Listing and Certification of Junior Colleges), Education Code, and "public technical institute" as the Texas State Technical College System. Sec. 151.002. ESTABLISHMENT; PURPOSE. Establishes the high priority program development fund (fund) and sets forth the purpose of the fund. Sec. 151.003. ADMINISTRATION; GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES. Requires the board to administer the fund and to determine whether a public junior college (college) or public technical institute (institute) is eligible to receive awards from it. Requires a college or institute to demonstrate to the board that an immediate need exists for a program; that the college or institute has received a request for the development of a program to meet a specific need; an award from the fund is necessary to develop the program; and the development of the program will provide an economic benefit to the residents of the college district or the residents of this state. Sec. 151.004. FUNDING. Provides that the fund is funded by appropriations, gifts, grants, and donations. Requires the comptroller of public accounts (comptroller) to issue warrants to each eligible college or institute from the money appropriated from the fund in an amount determined by the board. Authorizes the money to be used only to support the development, design, modification, or renovation of specific high priority programs for which the award is made. Prohibits the money from being used for the general support of ongoing instruction at the college or institute. Authorizes the money to be used for facilities if they are necessary for the development of the program and are approved by the board. Provides that money appropriated from the fund may be used to match a grant provided by private industry for a particular program at a college or institute. Exempts from the authority of the General Service Commission supplies, materials, services, or equipment purchased by a college or institute with fund money. Sec. 151.005. PROGRESS REPORTS. Requires a college or institute that receives funding to report on the progress of the program to the board no later than September 1 of each year of the program until the board provides that further progress reports are not required. Sec. 151.006. MERIT REVIEW. Requires the board to evaluate the effectiveness of this chapter and programs receiving funding and report its findings to the Legislative Budget Board no later than September 1of the second year of each state fiscal biennium. SECTION 2. Effective date: September 1, 1999. SECTION 3. Emergency clause.