HBA-ATS H.B. 766 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 766 By: Maxey State Affairs 2/11/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Current law requires each state agency to give 30 days notice of its intention to adopt a rule by posting the proposed changes in the Texas Register. Some business owners, particularly owners of small businesses, think that the current rulemaking procedure unnecessarily burdens them by creating too many rules and by giving them inadequate time to review and comment on the proposed rules. In addition, some business owners have concerns about how they are treated by state personnel charged with enforcement of the rules. H.B. 766 changes the current rulemaking and enforcement environment, by creating a bill of rights for businesses that guarantees minimum standards of treatment and access to information. This bill also requires the governor to appoint a public official to track complaints lodged by businesses against government and authorizes the use of additional criteria to evaluate state agencies under the Sunset Act. 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 the chapter heading to Chapter 2006, Government Code, by deleting "small" from the existing title. New Title: AGENCY ACTIONS AFFECTING BUSINESSES. SECTION 2. Amends Chapter 2006, Government Code, by adding Subchapter C, as follows: SUBCHAPTER C. OTHER AGENCY ACTIONS AFFECTING BUSINESSES Sec. 2006.021. BILL OF RIGHTS FOR BUSINESSES. (a) Requires the governor to create a bill of rights for domestic businesses that outlines the behavior expected from state agencies when enforcing state laws. Requires the bill of rights, at a minimum, to give businesses the right to expect: fair and courteous treatment from all state employees; easily accessible and understandable information on rules; prompt and accurate responses to all requests for information; a fair and timely system for receiving and resolving complaints; and commitments from state agencies to seek ways to streamline rules and regulatory processes and to welcome suggestions from businesses on how to improve the regulatory environment. (b) Requires the governor to appoint an officer to serve at the governor's will and act as an ombudsman for state businesses. Requires the officer to receive and keep records of complaints by businesses about problems with state government. (c) Authorizes the consideration of an agency's effort to reduce rules and comply with this bill of rights as part of its evaluation when reviewed under Chapter 325 (Texas Sunset Act). SECTION 3. Effective date: September 1, 1999. SECTION 4. Emergency clause.