HBA-KDB H.B. 2246 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2246 By: Ellis, Dan Agriculture & Livestock 7/19/2001 Enrolled BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Investigating the crime of timber theft is challenging for law enforcement officials because of the potentially outdated language regarding timber harvesting. A paper trail of ownership of timber may ease the burden of investigating this crime. House Bill 2246 requires landowners and sellers to provide a bill of sale each time timber changes ownership and establishes penalties. 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 2246 amends the Natural Resources Code to delete provisions relating to branding and floating timber, and modifies and updates provisions relating to the bill of sale for the purchase of trees and timber. The bill requires the bill of sale, which may be filed of record in the appropriate real property records, to include representations and a warranty from the seller, the name of the owner of the land from which the trees, timber, logs, pulpwood, or in-woods chips (wood products) were or are to be obtained, and the name of the county in which the wood products were or are to be obtained. The bill authorizes and entitles the purchaser of the wood products conveyed in the bill of sale to rely on the information required to be provided by the seller to be incorporated into the bill of sale, as well as on the representations and warranty of the seller (Sec. 151.002). The bill requires the person that purchases the wood products to retain the bill of sale for not less than two years following the later of the date of execution of the bill of sale or the expiration date referenced in the bill of sale (Sec. 151.003). The bill requires a wood yard, transfer yard, mill site, or storage yard, at specified points of delivery, to post written notice concerning the sale or purchase of trees or timber (Sec. 151.004). The bill provides that a seller or purchaser who knowingly fails to provide, obtain, or retain a bill of sale is subject to a fine of not more than $500 for each offense. The bill provides that a wood yard, transfer yard, mill site, or storage yard that knowingly fails to post the notice concerning the sale of trees or timber is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine of not more than $500 for each offense (Sec. 151.005). The bill sets forth provisions regarding cumulative penalties and civil liability (Secs. 151.007 and 151.008). EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.