HBA-SEP H.B. 1409 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1409 By: Junell State Affairs 2/21/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE A regional planning commission, a council of governments, and a regional planning agency (commission) are voluntary associations of local governments that address the problems and planning needs that cross the boundaries of individual local governments or that require regional attention. Commissions currently provide technical assistance to governmental units, including assistance with the Community Development Block Grant Program (program), by conducting planning and needs assessment prior to submitting a grant application, administering grants awarded, and providing grant writing for which the commission may charge a fee of a certain percentage of the awarded grant. However, the commissions are statutorily required to provide review for some federal or state funded grant applications submitted by governmental units or to advise a governmental unit for a proposed project that is seeking federal or sate funds. There are concerns that it may be a conflict of interest for a commission to provide both technical assistance and administer a grant for a particular applicant. House Bill 1409 prohibits a commission from contracting with a participating governmental unit if the contract to perform the service is for the administration of federal funds and from collecting a fee for administering program funds allocated to eligible counties and municipalities. 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 House Bill 1409 amends the Local Government Code to prohibit a regional planning commission, council of governments, or a similar regional planing agency (commission) from contracting with a participating governmental unit if the contract to perform the service is for the administration of federal funds, including community development block grant funds (funds), awarded through a competition between two or more of the commission's participating governmental units. The bill also amends the Government Code to prohibit a commission from collecting a fee for administering program funds allocated to eligible counties and municipalities. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.