Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3110
By: Longoria
State Affairs


Currently, councils of government provide a forum for regional planning, in
addition to functioning as pass-through agencies that facilitate the
implementation of state and federally funded programs. However, state law
limits the application for oversight and operation of regional planning
commissions and councils of governments. The purpose of this bill is to
provide provisions to strengthen the oversight and operations of such
commissions and councils of government. 

H.B. 3110 authorizes the governor to issue rules for commission and
governmental units, which include regional planning commissions and
councils of government.  This bill sets forth reporting requirements of a
commission's governing body and prohibitions relating to the expenditure of
public funds. 

It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the governor of the State of Texas in
SECTION 4 (Section 391.009, Local Government Code) of this bill. 


SECTION 1. Amends Section 391.002(1), Local Government Code, to redefine
"governmental unit" to include a regional planning commission or council of

SECTION 2.  Amends Sections 391.005(a) and (b), Local Government Code, as

(a)  Authorizes a regional planning commission (commission) to contract
with a participating governmental unit to perform a service if  the
participating governmental unit could contract with the state, another
governmental unit, or a private organization without governmental powers,
and the contract to perform the service does not impose a cost or
obligation on a participating governmental unit not a party to the

(b)  Deletes language authorizing the commission to participate in the
Employees Retirements System of Texas  when permitted by legislation or
administrative arrangement. 
SECTION 3. Amends  Section 391.006, Local Government Code, by adding
Subsections (c), (d), and (e), as follows: 

(c)  Requires the  governing body of a commission to establish salary
schedules for all employees, benefits available to employees, travel
approval and reimbursement policies, and procurement policies and
procedures.  Prohibits a commission salary schedule from being changed
unless the commission conducts a compensation study of market salaries and
benefits and  any changes to the salary schedule are consistent with the
study's findings.  

(d) Requires the governing body of a commission to annually arrange for at
least eight hours of training for its members. Authorizes the training to
be provided as a part of other required training for governmental
officials. Requires the training topics to include  the personnel,
procurement, and travel policies of the commission; the duties of governing
body members;  compliance with open meetings, open records,
conflict-of-interest, and nepotism laws applying to the commission; and the
finances and work program of the commission, including audits and
contractual responsibilities to state and federal agencies.  

(e) Provides that the nepotism provisions of Chapter 573, Government Code
(Degrees of Relationship; Nepotism Prohibitions), apply to a commission.  

SECTION 4.  Amends Section 391.009, Local Government Code, by amending
Subsection (a) and adding Subsections (c)-(g), as follows: 

(a) Authorizes, rather than requires, the governor to issue rules, rather
than guidelines, for commissions and governmental units to carry out the
provisions of this chapter including rules relating to review and comment

(c) Specifies a commission's annual reporting requirements to the governor
relating to operations, funds, expenses, assest, compensation policies, and
reports and audits. 
(d)  Requires a commission to annually provide to the governor a copy of an
audit of the commission's accounts and other reports required to assure
compliance with this chapter. Requires the governor, upon determination
that there is a question about the appropriateness of an expenditure or
other action of a commission, to report the expenditure to the state
auditor for review.  

(e)  Requires a commission, not later than the 30th day before the date of
the commencement its annual independent audit, to provide each state agency
that provides funds to the commission a written notice of its planned audit
and provide the state agency with an opportunity to specify audit
objectives of the agency to be addressed in the independent audit.  

(f)  Requires a state agency to review a commission's most recent
independent audit before initiating a field audit of the commission and to
coordinate the conduct of the audits, including coordinating the requests
for information, the timing of audits, and the number of auditors on site
at any given time.  

(g) Requires a commission to send to the state auditor, the comptroller,
and the Legislative Budget Board a copy of a report or audit required under
this chapter.  

SECTION 5. Amends  Section 391.011, Local Government Code, by adding
Subsections (e) and (f), as follows: 

(e)  Prohibits a commission from using public funds, including funds
appropriated by the state, for specified purposes.   
(f)  Requires a commission to comply with any provision of state and
federal law regarding the use of state or federal funds for lobbying or

SECTION 6.Effective date: September 1, 1999. 

SECTION 7.Emergency clause.