HBA-MPM C.S.H.B. 541 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.H.B. 541 By: Junell State, Federal & International Relations 33/25/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Current law authorizes the comptroller of public accounts to sell unclaimed property, except for money and marketable securities. This can include the sale of any military awards and decorations. C.S.H.B. 541 prohibits the sale or destruction of such items by the comptroller and requires that the items be held in trust for display at a museum established by the adjutant general's department if the item is not claimed by its rightful owner. 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 C.S.H.B. 541 amends the Property Code to prohibit a military award or decoration (award) delivered to the comptroller from being sold as property or destroyed, and requires that an award be delivered by the comptroller to the adjutant general's department (department). The department is required to conduct a reasonable search of public records to locate the owner of the award or the owner's next of kin. If neither person can be located, the bill requires the award to be held in trust for the comptroller at a museum established by the department or if no museum exists, at another public facility designated by the department. The bill provides that the award is required to be used in a display or exhibit honoring persons who have served the state or nation in military service, and if this is not feasible, the award is required to be kept in a secure storage area or loaned to another museum for use in such a display. The provisions of this bill do not affect a person's right to claim an award. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001 COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.H.B. 541 differs from the original by including additional provisions requiring a military award or decoration (award) to be delivered by the comptroller to the adjutant general's department (department) and requiring the department to conduct a search for the owner of an award or the owner's next of kin. If the owner or next of kin cannot be located, the substitute requires the department to hold the award in trust at a museum established by the department or a similar public facility. The substitute also specifies that the award held by a museum shall be used in a display or exhibit, kept in secure storage, or loaned to another museum, and specifies the manner in which the award is displayed. The original required the award to be held in trust at a museum established by the Texas National Guard Armory Board, and made no provision for locating the award's owner or for the display of the award. In addition, the substitute prohibits an award from being destroyed, whereas the original bill provided no such prohibition.