HBA-JEK H.J.R. 54 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.J.R. 54 By: Junell Teacher Health Insurance, Select 2/6/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The permanent school fund (PSF) and the available school fund (ASF) were established to fund the Texas public school system. The PSF has grown from $454 million in fiscal year 1961 to an excess of $20 billion in 2000, while the ASF has not grown as quickly. Using a portion of the total returns of the PSF to help alleviate the current lack of adequate health insurance coverage for Texas public school employees could help school districts attract and retain qualified employees. As proposed, House Joint Resolution 54 requires the submission to the voters of a constitutional amendment relating to the use of income and appreciation of the permanent school fund and authorizes the use of a portion of that income and appreciation to provide and administer a group health program for active and retired public school employees. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this resolution does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Joint Resolution 54 amends the Texas Constitution to provide that the public school employee health insurance fund (insurance fund) consists of 20 percent of the total return of all investment assets (total returns) from the permanent school fund as well as the appropriations made to the insurance fund by the legislature. The resolution authorizes the use of the insurance fund only for providing and administering a group health program for active and retired public school employees. The resolution requires the legislature to designate by general law an agency to provide and administer the program. The resolution also provides that the available school fund consists of 80 percent of the total returns, appropriations made by the legislature, and taxes authorized by the constitution or general law to be part of the available school fund. H.J.R. 54 provides that the total amount distributed from the permanent school fund each fiscal year must be equal to the lesser of: _five percent of the average of the market value of the permanent school fund on the first day of that fiscal year and the market value of the permanent school fund on the first day of the preceding two fiscal years; or _a portion of the total returns determined by the comptroller of public accounts to be sufficient to preserve the purchasing power of the permanent school fund for the current fiscal year and the next nine fiscal years. The resolution requires the expenses of managing the permanent school fund land and investments to be paid from the permanent school fund. FOR ELECTION This proposed constitutional amendment shall be submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 6, 2001.