HBA-ALS H.B. 539 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 539 By: Zbranek Transportation 3/30/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Legislation enacted by the 72nd Legislature in 1991 instructed the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to construct, repair, and maintain roads in and adjacent to state parks. State fish hatcheries and wildlife management areas were included in this instruction by the 74th Legislature. However, TxDOT contends that the word adjacent is an ambiguous term, and the agency has determined that it has no more responsibility for road maintenance related to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) facilities than TPWD did before the transfer of responsibility took place in 1991. There are approximately 311 miles of county and municipal government owned roads and streets that provide access to park, fishery, and wildlife areas controlled by the state. The TPWD does not own, have oversight, or have responsibility for maintenance and repair of these roads which were not typically constructed for a large amount of traffic. H.B. 539 clarifies the instruction given by the 72nd and 74th legislatures by requiring TxDOT to take responsibility for roads providing access between a facility and a state highway when no state highway providing direct access and provides that the state highway fund will pay for this additional responsibility. This bill also requires TxDOT to cooperate with counties and municipalities if a road is under the jurisdiction of the county or municipality. Furthermore, this bill restricts TxDOT's power of eminent domain. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Chapter 250, Transportation Code, by adding Section 250.002, as follows: Sec. 250.002. ROAD IN OR ADJACENT TO PARKS AND WILDLIFE FACILITY. (a) Defines "parks and wildlife facility." (b) Requires the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to construct, repair, and maintain roads in and adjacent to a parks and wildlife facility (facility) notwithstanding any other law. (c) Requires TxDOT to construct, repair, and maintain a road providing access between a facility and a state highway when no state highway provides direct access to that facility. Requires TxDOT to agree with a municipality or county to construct, repair, and maintain a road if that road is under the jurisdiction of the municipality or county. (d) Requires TxDOT to acquire private land required for right-of-way purposes. Prohibits obtaining an easement, right-of-way, or similar access to a facility if the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department does not hold an easement, right-of-way, or similar access to that facility unless there is written consent from all affected private landowners. (e) Requires that the state highway fund pay for the construction, repairs, maintenance, or acquisitions made under this section. SECTION 2. Repealer: Section 13.013, Parks and Wildlife Code (Construction of Roads by Texas Department of Transportation), and Section 1.02, Chapter 7, Acts of the 72nd Legislature, 1st Called Session, 1991 (regarding the construction, maintenance, and repairs of roads adjacent to state parks). SECTION 3. Emergency clause. Effective date: upon passage.