HBA-DMH, H.B. 1706 77(R) -BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1706 By: Farrar Licensing & Administrative Procedures 3/7/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE In 1999, the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (board) was authorized to establish a scholarship fund for architectural candidates. The board was not given the authority to contract with an outside entity for the administration of the fund, and has neither the expertise nor the staff necessary to properly administer the fund. Also, current law designates a specified fee be collected annually to fund the scholarship program. This language does not allow for a flexible amount to be collected or for funds to be carried over from year to year. Therefore, some of the funds collected for the scholarship program may not actually be used in the manner intended. House Bill 1706 authorizes the board to more efficiently administer the scholarship program and its funds, creates consistency in language relating to the collection of fees, and provides the board with the additional authority to take necessary disciplinary actions. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners in SECTION 5 (Section 6A, Art. 249c, V.T.C.S.), SECTION 7 (Section 8A, Art. 249c, V.T.C.S.), SECTION 8 (Section 13A, Art. 249e, V.T.C.S.), and SECTION 12 of this bill. ANALYSIS House Bill 1706 amends law to require the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (board) to provide for the awarding of scholarships under the examination fee scholarship program, rather than establish and administer such scholarships. The bill modifies the criteria in determining what best serves the public purpose used for awarding scholarships to include the distribution among applicants who are graduates of the various universities or colleges of architecture in the state (Sec. 7A, Art. 249a, V.T.C.S.). The bill requires the board to deposit the examination fee scholarship portion, rather than $10, of each certificate of registration renewal fee collected to the credit of the scholarship fund for architectural examination applicants. The bill requires at the end of each state fiscal year, that any unexpended balance in the scholarship fund remain in the fund. The bill authorizes the board to contract with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) or a private entity to administer the examination fee scholarship program (Sec. 7A, Art. 249a, V.T.C.S.). The bill deletes the specified amount that a registered architect whose certificate of registration is on inactive status must pay and sets forth provisions to require the board to prescribe an annual renewal fee that is equal to a specified sum (Sec. 11A, Art. 249a, V.T.C.S.). The bill requires a registered landscape architect and a registered interior designer whose certificate of registration is on inactive status to pay an annual certificate of registration renewal fee on a date and in a manner as prescribed by board rule (Sec. 6A, Art. 249c, V.T.C.S., and Sec. 13A, Art. 249e, V.T.C.S.). The bill requires the board to prescribe the renewal fee in an amount it determines to be reasonable and necessary to cover the costs of administration and to adopt rules to establish renewal dates and procedures for a person on inactive status, not later than January 1, 2002 (Sec. 6A, Art. 249c, V.T.C.S., Sec. 13A, Art. 249e, V.T.C.S., and SECTION 12). The bill sets forth provisions relating to the renewal of a certificate of registration and requires the board to prescribe associated fees, not later than January 1, 2002 (Sec. 12, Art. 249a, V.C.T.S.). The bill authorizes the board to take certain disciplinary actions against a person for failing to provide or to timely provide to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (department) any specified document the person is required to provide to the department (Sec. 11, Art. 249a; Sec. 8, Art. 249c; and Sec. 15, Art. 249e V.T.C.S.). The bill requires the board to adopt rules, not later than January 1, 2002, to prevent a person regulated by the board from submitting a competitive bid to, or soliciting a competitive bid on behalf of, a governmental entity that is prohibited by the Professional Services Procurement Act from making a selection or awarding a contract on the basis of competitive bids (Sec. 8A, Art. 249c, V.T.C.S.). H. B. 1706 amends the Education Code to authorize THECB to contract with the board to administer the examination fee scholarship program (Sec. 61.0822). EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001, and applies only to the payment by a registration holder on inactive status of a renewal fee that becomes due on or after January 1, 2002, or the renewal of a certificate of registration that expires on or after January 1, 2002.