Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3640
By: Uher
Natural Resources
Committee Report (Amended)


Texas faces a difficult challenge in developing water policies that serve
both state and regional interests. The Texas Constitution authorizes the
creation of groundwater conservation districts to plan, develop, and
regulate the use of water.  House Bill 3640 creates the Coastal Plains
Groundwater Conservation District, subject to approval at a confirmation
election, to manage Matagorda County's groundwater resources. 


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. 


House Bill 3640 creates the Coastal Plains Groundwater Conservation
District (district) in Matagorda County, subject to approval at a
confirmation election (SECTIONS 1and 2). 

The bill provides that the district is governed by a board of seven
directors and sets forth provisions regarding the composition and
administration of the board and the election, qualifications, and terms of
the directors.  The bill designates the temporary directors of the board
(SECTIONS 7-11).   The bill sets forth provisions regarding regional
cooperation and provisions regarding an election to confirm the
establishment of the district (SECTIONS 6 and 10).    

To pay the maintenance and operating costs of the district and to pay any
bonds or notes issued by the district, the bill authorizes the district to
impose an ad valorem tax at a rate not to exceed 2.5 cents for each $100 of
taxable value of property in the district, subject to voter approval,
assess fees, and solicit and accept grants (SECTION 12).    


On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2001. 


Committee Amendment No. 1 replaces temporary board member Bob Pennington
with Deedy Huffman.  
Committee amendment No.2  replaces provisions regarding the election of
four new directors after the county commissioners precincts are redrawn
with provisions that require each director in office on the effective date
of the change, or elected to a term of office beginning on or after the
effective date of the change, to serve in the position to which each was
elected for the entire term, even though the change in boundaries places
the director's residence outside the precinct from which the director was