HBA-JLV H.B. 3674 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3674 By: Counts Natural Resources 4/12/2001 Committee Report (Amended) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Texas faces a difficult challenge to develop 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 3674 creates the Clear Fork Groundwater Conservation District in Fisher County, subject to voter approval at a confirmation election. 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 3674 creates the Clear Fork Groundwater Conservation District (district), subject to voter approval at a confirmation election to be held no later than the second anniversary of the effective date of this Act. The bill provides that the boundaries of the district are coextensive with the boundaries of Fisher County, Texas. The bill provides that the district has all of the rights, powers, privileges, authority, functions, and duties provided by general law, but also provides that the district does not have the power of eminent domain. The bill provides that the district is governed by a board of five directors (board) and sets forth provisions regarding the composition and administration of the board and the appointment, qualifications, residency, and terms of the directors as well as the names of the temporary directors. The bill sets forth provisions regarding an election to confirm the establishment of the district and provisions regarding the election of directors. To pay for maintenance and operating costs of the district, the district is authorized to impose an ad valorem tax at a rate not to exceed five cents for each $100 of taxable value of property in the district, to assess general production fees, to solicit and accept grants from any public or private source, and to assess a transfer fee on water exported from the district. The bill authorizes the board to change the district's name when the district annexes territory. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001. EXPLANATION OF AMENDMENTS Committee Amendment No. 1 provides that four directors are required to be elected to represent the precincts at the first election of the district after the county commissioners precincts are redrawn, rather than at the first election after the county commissioners precincts are redrawn. The amendment requires the election of the directors to be held the first Saturday in May of the second year after the year the district is confirmed rather than on the first Saturday in May of the first even-numbered year after the year the district is confirmed.