HBA-GUM S.B. 897 76(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 897 By: Brown Natural Resources 4/19/1999 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, Texas law authorizes the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to loan funds for brush control and weather modification projects. However, this authority is limited to certain applicants including soil and water conservation districts and the authorities and districts which operate under Section 52(b) (Loan of State's credit or grant of public money for toll road purposes), Article III, or Section 59 (Conservation and development of natural resources; conservation and reclamation districts), Article XVI, Texas Constitution. The law does not authorize TWDB to loan funds to cities. S.B. 897 redefines "borrower district" and "lender district" by including any political subdivision of the state thus allowing TWDB to loan funds for brush control and weather modification projects to any political subdivision. This bill sets forth the applicability of Section 17.895 (Conservation Loans), Water Code and deletes existing text in that section redesignated to Section 17.8955 (Conservation Loans for Brush Control and Precipitation), Water Code. 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 Sections 17.871(2) and (6), Water Code, to redefine "borrower district" and "lender district." SECTION 2. Amends Subchapter J, Chapter 17, Water Code, by amending Section 17.895 and adding Section 17.8955, as follows: Sec. 17.895. CONSERVATION LOANS. (a) Provides that this section applies only to a conservation loan from a lender district that is a soil and water conservation district under Chapter 201 (Soil and Water Conservation), Agriculture Code, an underground water conservation district created under Section 59 (Conservation and development of natural resources; conservation and reclamation districts), Article XVI, Texas Constitution, or a district or authority created under Section 52(b)(Loan of State's credit or grant of public money for toll road purposes)(1), Article III, or Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution, authorized to supply water for irrigation purposes; or to a borrower district that is a district or authority created under Section 52(b) (1) and (2), Article III, or Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution. (b) Redesignated from existing Subsection (a). Deletes existing text redesignated to Section 17.8955. Makes nonsubstantive changes. (c) Redesignated from existing Subsection (b). Deletes existing text stating that conservation loans made to borrower districts are for use on district facilities. Makes a conforming change. (d) Redesignated from existing Subsection (c). Sec. 17.8955. CONSERVATION LOANS FOR BRUSH CONTROL AND PRECIPITATION ENHANCEMENT. (a) Authorizes The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) or a lender district to make a conservation loan for certain specified costs for preparing and maintaining land to be used for brush control activities, or implementing precipitation enhancement activities in certain specified areas. (b) Authorizes a conservation loan for a purpose listed in Subsection (a) to be made by a lender district to an individual borrower for use on private property or by TWDB to a borrower district. SECTION 3. Makes application of this Act prospective. SECTION 4. Emergency clause. Effective date: upon passage.