HBA-MSH C.S.H.B. 1257 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.H.B. 1257 By: Shields Transportation 4/24/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE According to the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (PRS), 2,063 adoptions were completed in Texas in 2000. PRS spent $58 million in adoption subsidy payments in fiscal year 2000. PRS could benefit from more resources for adoption services as well as increased public awareness of the issue. C.S.H.B. 1257 creates a special "Choose Life" license plate, the fees from which will go to PRS to fund nonprofit groups that provide adoption support services. 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. ANALYSIS C.S.H.B. 1257 amends the Transportation Code to require the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to issue specially designed license plates for passenger cars and light trucks that bear the words "Choose Life." The bill provides for the issuance and return of the plates. From the annual fee of $50, the bill requires TxDOT to deposit $25 to the credit of the state highway fund and $25 to the credit of a separate account in the general revenue fund which may be appropriated only to the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (PRS) to support nonprofit groups in the state that exclusively counsel and meet the needs of pregnant women who are committed to placing their children for adoption. The bill prohibits PRS from using money appropriated under these provisions for proabortion advertising or to support the activities of an entity that is involved or associated with abortion activities or charges women for services. The bill requires the PRS to establish reporting and other mechanisms necessary to ensure that the money is spent for approved purposes. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.H.B. 1257 differs from the original bill by increasing the fee charged for special "Choose Life" license plates (license plate) from $20 to $50, and by requiring that $25 of that fee be deposited in the state highway fee and $25 in a separate account in the general revenue fund. The substitute prohibits the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services from using money appropriated from the license plate fund for proabortion advertising or to support the activities of an entity that is involved with abortion activities or charges women for services.