Texas Health and Safety Code

As effective September 1, 2019

Title 9

Subtitle A

Chapter 751

Sec. 751.001: Short Title

This chapter may be cited as the Texas Mass Gatherings Act.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 751.002: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Mass gathering" means a gathering:

(A) that is held outside the limits of a municipality;

(B) that attracts or is expected to attract:

(i) more than 2,500 persons; or

(ii) more than 500 persons, if 51 percent or more of those persons may reasonably be expected to be younger than 21 years of age and it is planned or may reasonably be expected that alcoholic beverages will be sold, served, or consumed at or around the gathering; and

(C) at which the persons will remain:

(i) for more than five continuous hours; or

(ii) for any amount of time during the period beginning at 10 p.m. and ending at 4 a.m.

(2) "Person" means an individual, group of individuals, firm, corporation, partnership, or association.

(3) "Promote" includes organize, manage, finance, or hold.

(4) "Promoter" means a person who promotes a mass gathering.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 553, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 692 (S.B. 270), Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2005.

Sec. 751.0021: Applicability to Certain Horse and Greyhound Races

(a) This chapter applies to a horse or greyhound race that attracts or is expected to attract at least 100 persons, except that this chapter does not apply if the race is held at a location at which pari-mutuel wagering is authorized under Subtitle A-1, Title 13, Occupations Code (Texas Racing Act).

(b) This section does not legalize any activity prohibited under the Penal Code or other state law.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1274 (S.B. 917), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 963 (S.B. 1969), Sec. 2.05, eff. April 1, 2019.

Sec. 751.003: Permit Requirement

A person may not promote a mass gathering without a permit issued under this chapter.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 751.004: Application Procedure

(a) At least 45 days before the date on which a mass gathering will be held, the promoter shall file a permit application with the county judge of the county in which the mass gathering will be held.

(b) The application must include:

(1) the promoter's name and address;

(2) a financial statement that reflects the funds being supplied to finance the mass gathering and each person supplying the funds;

(3) the name and address of the owner of the property on which the mass gathering will be held;

(4) a certified copy of the agreement between the promoter and the property owner;

(5) the location and a description of the property on which the mass gathering will be held;

(6) the dates and times that the mass gathering will be held;

(7) the maximum number of persons the promoter will allow to attend the mass gathering and the plan the promoter intends to use to limit attendance to that number;

(8) the name and address of each performer who has agreed to appear at the mass gathering and the name and address of each performer's agent;

(9) a description of each agreement between the promoter and a performer;

(10) a description of each step the promoter has taken to ensure that minimum standards of sanitation and health will be maintained during the mass gathering;

(11) a description of all preparations being made to provide traffic control, to ensure that the mass gathering will be conducted in an orderly manner, and to protect the physical safety of the persons who attend the mass gathering;

(12) a description of the preparations made to provide adequate medical and nursing care; and

(13) a description of the preparations made to supervise minors who may attend the mass gathering.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 751.005: Investigation

(a) After a permit application is filed with the county judge, the county judge shall send a copy of the application to the county health authority, the county fire marshal or the person designated under Subsection (c), and the sheriff.

(b) The county health authority shall inquire into preparations for the mass gathering. At least five days before the date on which the hearing prescribed by Section 751.006 is held, the county health authority shall submit to the county judge a report stating whether the health authority believes that the minimum standards of health and sanitation prescribed by state and local laws, rules, and orders will be maintained.

(c) The county fire marshal shall investigate preparations for the mass gathering. If there is no county fire marshal in that county, the commissioners court shall designate a person to act under this section. At least five days before the date on which the hearing prescribed by Section 751.006 is held, the county fire marshal or the commissioners court designee shall submit to the county judge a report stating whether the fire marshal or designee believes that the minimum standards for ensuring public fire safety and order as prescribed by state and local laws, rules, and orders will be maintained.

(d) The sheriff shall investigate preparations for the mass gathering. At least five days before the date on which the hearing prescribed by Section 751.006 is held, the sheriff shall submit to the county judge a report stating whether the sheriff believes that the minimum standards for ensuring public safety and order that are prescribed by state and local laws, rules, and orders will be maintained.

(e) The county judge may conduct any additional investigation that the judge considers necessary.

(f) The county health authority, county fire marshal or commissioners court designee, and sheriff shall be available at the hearing prescribed by Section 751.006 to give testimony relating to their reports.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 553, Sec. 2, eff. June 18, 1999.

Sec. 751.0055: Delegation of Duties of County Judge

(a) The county judge of a county may file an order with the commissioners court of the county delegating to another county officer the duty to hear applications for a permit under this chapter. The order may provide for allowing the county officer to revoke a permit under Section 751.008.

(b) An order of a county officer acting under the delegated authority of the county judge in regard to a permit has the same effect as an order of the county judge.

(c) During the period in which the order is in effect, the county judge may withdraw the authority delegated in relation to an application and the county judge may hear the application.

(d) The county judge may at any time revoke an order delegating duties under this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 1, effective March 26, 2001.

Sec. 751.006: Hearing

(a) Not later than the 10th day before the date on which a mass gathering will begin, the county judge shall hold a hearing on the application. The county judge shall set the date and time of the hearing.

(b) Notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given to the promoter and to each person who has an interest in whether the permit is granted or denied.

(c) At the hearing, any person may appear and testify for or against granting the permit.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 751.007: Findings and Decision of County Judge

(a) After the completion of the hearing prescribed by Section 751.006, the county judge shall enter his findings in the record and shall either grant or deny the permit.

(b) The county judge may deny the permit if he finds that:

(1) the application contains false or misleading information or omits required information;

(2) the promoter's financial backing is insufficient to ensure that the mass gathering will be conducted in the manner stated in the application;

(3) the location selected for the mass gathering is inadequate for the purpose for which it will be used;

(4) the promoter has not made adequate preparations to limit the number of persons attending the mass gathering or to provide adequate supervision for minors attending the mass gathering;

(5) the promoter does not have assurance that scheduled performers will appear;

(6) the preparations for the mass gathering do not ensure that minimum standards of sanitation and health will be maintained;

(7) the preparations for the mass gathering do not ensure that the mass gathering will be conducted in an orderly manner and that the physical safety of persons attending will be protected;

(8) adequate arrangements for traffic control have not been provided; or

(9) adequate medical and nursing care will not be available.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 751.008: Permit Revocation

(a) The county judge may revoke a permit issued under this chapter if the county judge finds that preparations for the mass gathering will not be completed by the time the mass gathering will begin or that the permit was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation.

(b) The county judge must give notice to the promoter that the permit will be revoked at least 24 hours before the revocation. If requested by the promoter, the county judge shall hold a hearing on the revocation.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 751.009: Appeal

A promoter or a person affected by the granting, denying, or revoking of a permit may appeal that action to a district court having jurisdiction in the county in which the mass gathering will be held.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1, Sec. 2, eff. March 26, 2001.

Sec. 751.010: Rules

(a) After notice and a public hearing, the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission shall adopt rules relating to minimum standards of health and sanitation to be maintained at mass gatherings.

(b) After notice and a public hearing, the Department of Public Safety shall adopt rules relating to minimum standards that must be maintained at a mass gathering to protect public safety and maintain order.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1507, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 751.011: Criminal Penalty

(a) A person commits an offense if the person violates Section 751.003.

(b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, confinement in the county jail for not more than 90 days, or both.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 751.012: Inspections

(a) The county health authority may inspect a mass gathering during the mass gathering to ensure that the minimum standards of health and sanitation prescribed by state and local laws, rules, and orders are being maintained. If the county health authority determines a violation of the minimum standards is occurring, the health authority may order the promoter of the mass gathering to correct the violation.

(b) The county fire marshal or the person designated under Section 751.005(c) may inspect a mass gathering during the mass gathering to ensure that the minimum standards for ensuring public fire safety and order as prescribed by state and local laws, rules, and orders are being maintained. If the marshal or commissioners court designee determines a violation of the minimum standards is occurring, the marshal or designee may order the promoter of the mass gathering to correct the violation.

(c) The sheriff may inspect a mass gathering during the mass gathering to ensure that the minimum standards for ensuring public safety and order prescribed by state and local laws, rules, and orders are being maintained. If the sheriff determines a violation of the minimum standards is occurring, the sheriff may order the promoter of the mass gathering to correct the violation.

(d) A promoter who fails to comply with an order issued under this section commits an offense. An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 553, Sec. 3, eff. June 18, 1999.

Sec. 751.013: Inspection Fees

(a) A commissioners court may establish and collect a fee for an inspection performed under Section 751.012. The fee may not exceed the amount necessary to defray the costs of performing the inspections. The fee shall be deposited into the general fund of the county.

(b) A commissioners court may use money collected under this section to reimburse the county department or, if a state agency performs the inspection on behalf of the county, the state agency, the cost of performing the inspection.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 553, Sec. 3, eff. June 18, 1999.

Chapter 752

Sec. 752.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "High voltage" means more than 600 volts measured between conductors or between a conductor and the ground.

(2) "Overhead line" means a bare or insulated electrical conductor installed above ground but does not include a conductor that is de-energized and grounded or that is enclosed in a rigid metallic conduit.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 752.002: Exemption for Certain Employees and Activities

(a) This chapter does not apply to the construction, reconstruction, operation, or maintenance by an authorized person of overhead electrical or communication circuits or conductors and their supporting structures and associated equipment that are part of a rail transportation system, an electrical generating, transmission, or distribution system, or a communication system.

(b) In this section, "authorized person" means:

(1) an employee of a light and power company, an electric cooperative, or a municipality working on his employer's electrical system;

(2) an employee of a transportation system working on the system's electrical circuits;

(3) an employee of a communication utility;

(4) an employee of a state, county, or municipal agency that has authorized circuit construction on the poles or structures that belong to an electric power company, an electric cooperative, a municipal or transportation system, or a communication system;

(5) an employee of an industrial plant who works on the plant's electrical system; or

(6) an employee of an electrical or communications contractor who is working under the contractor's supervision.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 752.003: Temporary Clearance of Lines

(a) A person, firm, corporation, or association responsible for temporary work or a temporary activity or function closer to a high voltage overhead line than the distances prescribed by this chapter must notify the operator of the line at least 48 hours before the work begins.

(b) A person, firm, corporation, or association may not begin the work, activity, or function under this section until the person, firm, corporation, or association responsible for the work, activity, or function and the owner or operator, or both, of the high voltage overhead line have negotiated a satisfactory mutual arrangement to provide temporary de-energization and grounding, temporary relocation or raising of the line, or temporary mechanical barriers to separate and prevent contact between the line and the material or equipment or the person performing the work, activity, or function.

(c) The person, firm, corporation, or association responsible for the work, activity, or function shall pay the operator of the high voltage overhead line the actual expense incurred by the operator in providing the clearance prescribed in the agreement. The operator may require payment in advance and is not required to provide the clearance until the person, firm, corporation, or association responsible for the work, activity, or function makes the payment.

(d) If the actual expense of providing the clearance is less than the amount paid, the operator of the high voltage overhead line shall refund the surplus amount.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 752.004: Restriction on Activities Near Lines

(a) Unless a person, firm, corporation, or association effectively guards against danger by contact with the line as prescribed by Section 752.003, the person, firm, corporation, or association, either individually or through an agent or employee, may not perform a function or activity on land, a building, a highway, or other premises if at any time it is possible that the person performing the function or activity may:

(1) move or be placed within six feet of a high voltage overhead line while performing the function or activity; or

(2) bring any part of a tool, equipment, machine, or material within six feet of a high voltage overhead line while performing the function or activity.

(b) A person, firm, corporation, or association may not require an employee to perform a function or activity prohibited by Subsection (a).

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 752.005: Restriction on Operation of Machinery and Placement of Structures Near Lines

Unless a person, firm, corporation, or association effectively guards against danger by contact with the line as prescribed by Section 752.003, the person, firm, corporation, or association, either individually or through an agent or employee, may not:

(1) erect, install, transport, or store all or any part of a house, building, or other structure within six feet of a high voltage overhead line;

(2) install, operate, transport, handle, or store all or any part of a tool, machine, or equipment within six feet of a high voltage overhead line; or

(3) transport, handle, or store all or any part of supplies or materials within six feet of a high voltage overhead line.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 752.007: Criminal Penalty

(a) A person, firm, corporation, or association or an agent or employee of a person, firm, corporation, or association commits an offense if the person, firm, corporation, association, agent, or employee violates this chapter.

(b) An offense under this section is punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $1,000, confinement in jail for not more than one year, or both.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 752.008: Liability for Damages

If a violation of this chapter results in physical or electrical contact with a high voltage overhead line, the person, firm, corporation, or association that committed the violation is liable to the owner or operator of the line for all damages to the facilities and for all liability that the owner or operator incurs as a result of the contact.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Chapter 753

Sec. 753.001: Definitions

In this chapter and in the rules adopted under this chapter:

(1) "Board" means the State Board of Insurance.

(2) "Bulk plant" means that portion of a property operated in conjunction with a retail service station where flammable liquids are received by tank vessel, tank car, or tank vehicle and are stored or blended in bulk for distribution by tank car, tank vehicle, or container.

(3) "Flammable liquid" means a liquid having a flash point below 140%A1 Fahrenheit and having a vapor pressure of not more than 40 pounds per square inch (absolute) at 100%A1 Fahrenheit. The term does not include a liquefied petroleum gas.

(4) "Mobile service unit" means a vehicle, tank truck, or other mobile device from which a flammable liquid used as motor fuel may be dispensed as an act of retail sale into the fuel tank of a motor vehicle parked on an off-street parking facility.

(5) "Person" means an individual, firm, association, corporation, or other private entity.

(6) "Retail service station" means that portion of a property where a flammable liquid used as motor fuel is stored and dispensed as an act of retail sale from fixed equipment into the fuel tank of a motor vehicle. The term does not include a marina.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 223, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 753.0011: Transfer of Powers and Duties; References in Chapter

The powers and duties assigned to the State Board of Insurance under this chapter are transferred to the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. All references in this chapter to the State Board of Insurance mean the Texas Commission on Fire Protection.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 628, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 753.002: Mobile Service Units

(a) The board shall adopt rules for the safe movement and operation of mobile service units and the safe dispensing of flammable liquids by mobile service units.

(b) A municipality may require a license for the operation of each mobile service unit in the municipality and may charge a reasonable license fee.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 753.003: Flammable Liquid at Retail Service Stations

(a) The board shall administer this chapter through the state fire marshal and shall adopt rules for the safe storage, handling, and use of flammable liquids at retail service stations.

(b) The rules must substantially conform to the most recent published standards of the National Fire Protection Association, including standards in effect on or after August 1, 1989, for the storage, handling, and use of flammable liquids at retail service stations.

(c) In adopting rules, the board may use recognized standards, including:

(1) standards recognized by the federal government;

(2) standards published by a nationally recognized standards-making organization; and

(3) specifications and instructions of manufacturers.

(d) This chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter does not prohibit or permit the prohibition of an unattended self-service gasoline station operation.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 224, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 753.004: Storage Tanks

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (d), flammable liquids may not be stored at a retail service station in a tank that has a gross capacity of more than 60 gallons above the surface of the ground. The individual or combined capacity or size of an underground flammable liquid tank at a retail service station may not be limited.

(b) A retail service station may operate in conjunction with a bulk plant that has aboveground storage tanks if:

(1) there are separate underground tanks having a capacity of not less than 550 gallons each for final storage and dispensing of flammable liquids into motor vehicle fuel tanks; and

(2) any piping that connects the bulk plant storage tanks with the retail service station's underground tanks is equipped with a valve that is within the control of the retail service station operator and that is kept closed and locked when the underground tanks are not being filled.

(c) Each aboveground tank at a bulk plant that is operated in conjunction with a retail service station that is on the same or contiguous property must be equipped with emergency vents of the types and capacities prescribed by standards adopted under Section 753.003.

(d) Except as provided by Subsection (d-1), gasoline, diesel fuel, or kerosene may be stored in an aboveground storage tank at a retail service station located in an unincorporated area or in a municipality with a population of less than 5,000.

(d-1) A commissioners court of a county with a population of 3.3 million or more may by order limit the maximum volume of an aboveground storage tank in an unincorporated area of the county in accordance with the county fire code.

(e) Under Subsection (d), a retail service station may have a tank for each separate grade of gasoline, diesel fuel, or kerosene, but may not have more than one tank for the same grade.

(f) A new aboveground storage tank may not be constructed within:

(1) 15 feet of an adjoining property line, including the full width of the right-of-way of a public road that runs between the property on which the proposed tank site is located and an adjoining property;

(2) 15 feet of the right-of-way line of a public road that is nearest to the proposed tank site;

(3) five feet of an established place of business or other building designated by board rule;

(4) 100 feet of the property line of any established school, hospital, nursing home, day-care center, preschool, or nursery school; or

(5) 15 feet of any fuel dispenser.

(g) In adopting rules under Section 753.003, the board shall include rules concerning the design, construction, and installation of tanks permitted to be used under Subsection (d). Except as provided by Subsection (f), the rules may not be more stringent than the standards of the National Fire Protection Association.

(h) The authority of a retail service station to store flammable liquids in an aboveground storage tank under Subsection (d) is not affected by a change in the boundaries or population of a municipality that occurs after the date the retail service station begins operation, unless prohibited by municipal ordinance. A municipal ordinance prohibiting the use of aboveground storage tanks may not take effect before the second anniversary of the date on which the ordinance was adopted.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 225, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 902, Sec. 1, eff. June 16, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 388 (H.B. 239), Sec. 1, eff. June 10, 2015.

Sec. 753.005: Vehicle Regulations

The size and weight of and load carried by a vehicle used to transport or deliver flammable liquid from a point of origin to a point of destination may not be limited unless the limitation is in accordance with an applicable state motor vehicle and highway law and a municipal or county ordinance or rule in effect on September 1, 1969.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 753.006: Uniformity and Conformity

(a) A county or municipality may not enact or enforce an ordinance or rule that is inconsistent with this chapter or the board's rules unless allowed by this chapter.

(b) If a municipality by ordinance adopted rules relating to mobile service units not later than 180 days after the board adopted rules relating to mobile service units and the rules adopted by the municipality are more restrictive than the board's rules, the rules are not invalid under Subsection (a).

(c) This chapter does not invalidate a municipal or county ordinance or rule that was in effect on September 1, 1969, and that relates to the storage of flammable liquids or relates to or prohibits mobile service units.

(d) The board rules must provide that a facility that is in service before the effective date of an applicable rule and that is not in strict conformity with the rule may continue in service if the facility does not constitute a distinct hazard to life or property. The rules may delineate the type of nonconformities that should be considered distinctly hazardous and the nonconformities that should be evaluated in light of local conditions. The rules must provide that a person who owns a facility affected by the rules receives reasonable notice of intent to evaluate the need for compliance and the time and place at which the person may appear to offer evidence on that issue.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 753.007: Citation in Action for Declaratory Judgment

In an action for declaratory judgment on the validity or applicability of a rule adopted by the board under this chapter, citation shall be served on the state fire marshal.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 226, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 753.008: Enforcement

(a) The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission has concurrent jurisdiction with the board regarding the inspection of initial installation and other administrative supervision of aboveground tanks authorized and regulated by this chapter. The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission has the primary authority for inspection of initial installation of the tanks. The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission shall report all violations of this chapter in regard to aboveground storage tanks to the state fire marshal for enforcement proceedings.

(b) Under the board's supervision, the state fire marshal and each county fire marshal and municipal fire marshal shall enforce this chapter and the rules adopted under this chapter.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 227, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 11.253, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 753.009: Injunctive Relief

(a) The board may bring suit against a person who appears to be violating or threatening to violate a rule adopted under this chapter to restrain the person from violating or continuing to violate the rule.

(b) The suit shall be brought in the district court having jurisdiction in the county in which the violation or threat of violation occurs. At the board's request, the attorney general shall represent the board.

(c) In the suit, the court may grant the board any prohibitory or mandatory injunction the facts warrant, including a temporary restraining order, temporary injunction, or permanent injunction. The court may grant the relief without requiring a bond or other undertaking.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 753.010: Civil Penalty

(a) A person who violates a rule adopted under this chapter is liable to the state for a civil penalty of not more than $100 for each day the person violates the rule.

(b) The civil penalty is recoverable in a district court in:

(1) Travis County;

(2) the county in which the person resides; or

(3) the county in which the violation occurs.

(c) At the board's request, the attorney general shall institute and conduct a suit in the name of the state to recover the penalty.

(d) The civil penalty provided by this section may be in addition to or in lieu of the criminal penalty prescribed by Section 753.011.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 753.011: Criminal Penalty

(a) A person who is engaged in the business of storing, selling, or handling flammable liquids commits an offense if the person violates a rule adopted under this chapter.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

(c) Each day a person continues to violate a rule adopted under this chapter constitutes a separate offense.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 228, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Chapter 754

Sec. 754.011: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Acceptance inspection" means an inspection performed at the completion of the initial installation or alteration of equipment and in accordance with the applicable ASME Code A17.1.

(2) "Accident" means an event involving equipment that results in death or serious bodily injury to a person.

(3) "Alteration" means a change in existing equipment. The term does not include testing, maintenance, repair, replacement, or a cosmetic change that does not affect the operational safety of the equipment or diminish the safety of the equipment below the level required by the ASME Code A17.1, ASME Code A17.3, ASME Code A18.1, or ASCE Code 21, as applicable, at the time of alteration.

(4) "Annual inspection" means an inspection of equipment performed in a 12-month period in accordance with the applicable ASME Code A17.1, ASME Code A17.3, ASME Code A18.1, or ASCE Code 21. The term includes an acceptance inspection performed within that period.

(5) "ASCE" means the American Society of Civil Engineers.

(6) "ASCE Code 21" means the American Society of Civil Engineers Code 21 for people movers operated by cables, as it existed on January 1, 2004, or any subsequent revision of that code adopted after a review by the commission, as required by law.

(7) "ASME" means the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

(8) "ASME Code A17.1" means the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators (Bi-national standard with CSA B44-2007), ASME A17.1/CSA-B44, as it existed on January 1, 2004, or any subsequent revision of that code adopted after a review by the commission, as required by law.

(9) "ASME Code A17.3" means the 2002 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators A17.3.

(10) "ASME Code A18.1" means the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Safety Code for Platform Lifts and Stairway Chairlifts A18.1, as it existed on January 1, 2004, or any subsequent revision of that code adopted after a review by the commission, as required by law.

(11) "Board" means the elevator advisory board.

(12) "Commission" means the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation.

(13) "Contractor" means a person engaged in the installation, alteration, testing, repair, or maintenance of equipment. The term does not include an employee of a contractor or a person engaged in cleaning or any other work performed on equipment that does not affect the operational safety of the equipment or diminish the safety of the equipment below the level required by the ASME Code A17.1, ASME Code A17.3, ASME Code A18.1, or ASCE Code 21, as applicable.

(14) "Department" means the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

(15) "Equipment" means an elevator, escalator, chairlift, platform lift, automated people mover operated by cables, or moving sidewalk, or related equipment.

(16) "Executive director" means the executive director of the department.

(17) "Industrial facility" means a facility to which access is primarily limited to employees or contractors working in that facility.

(18) "Inspector" means a person engaged in the inspection and witnessing of the tests specified in the adopted standards of ASME Code A17.1, ASME Code A17.3, ASME Code A18.1, or ASCE Code 21, as applicable, to determine compliance with those standards.

(19) "Owner" means a person, company, corporation, authority, commission, board, governmental entity, institution, or other entity that holds title to a building or facility in which equipment regulated by this chapter is located.

(20) "Qualified historic building or facility" means a building or facility that is:

(A) listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; or

(B) designated as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark or State Archeological Landmark.

(21) "Related equipment" means:

(A) automatic equipment that is used to move a person in a manner that is similar to that of an elevator, an escalator, a chairlift, a platform lift, an automated people mover operated by cables, or a moving sidewalk; and

(B) hoistways, pits, and machine rooms for equipment.

(22) "Serious bodily injury" means a major impairment to bodily function or serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part requiring medical attention.

(23) "Unit of equipment" means one elevator, escalator, chairlift, platform lift, automated people mover operated by cables, or moving sidewalk, or related equipment.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 65, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 865, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 9.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 935, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 574 (S.B. 1729), Sec. 1, eff. June 16, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 574 (S.B. 1729), Sec. 4, eff. June 16, 2007.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 754.0111: Exemptions

(a) This chapter does not apply to equipment in a private building for a labor union, trade association, private club, or charitable organization that has two or fewer floors.

(b) This chapter does not apply to an elevator located in a single-family dwelling, except as provided by Section 754.0141.

(c) This chapter does not apply to equipment located in a building owned and operated by the federal government.

(d) This chapter does not apply to equipment in an industrial facility, or in a grain silo, radio antenna, bridge tower, underground facility, or dam, to which access is limited primarily to employees of or working in that facility or structure.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 974, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 9.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 935, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 754.0112: Institution of Higher Education: Employee Duties and Insurance Requirement

(a) In this section, "institution of higher education" has the meaning assigned by Section 61.003, Education Code.

(b) Notwithstanding any contrary provision of this chapter, this chapter does not prohibit a registered elevator inspector or registered contractor from performing an activity regulated by this chapter or the rules adopted under this chapter if the inspector or contractor is performing the activity as an employee of an institution of higher education.

(c) Notwithstanding any contrary provision of this chapter, this chapter does not prohibit a registered elevator inspector or registered contractor performing an activity described by Subsection (b) as an employee of an institution of higher education from providing written evidence of self-insurance coverage to satisfy an insurance requirement under this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 754.012: Elevator Advisory Board

(a) The elevator advisory board is composed of nine members appointed by the presiding officer of the commission, with the commission's approval, as follows:

(1) a representative of the insurance industry or a registered elevator inspector;

(2) a representative of equipment constructors;

(3) a representative of owners or managers of a building having fewer than six stories and having equipment;

(4) a representative of owners or managers of a building having six stories or more and having equipment;

(5) a representative of independent equipment maintenance companies;

(6) a representative of equipment manufacturers;

(7) a licensed or registered engineer or architect;

(8) a public member; and

(9) a public member with a physical disability.

(b) Board members serve at the will of the commission.

(c) The presiding officer of the commission, with the commission's approval, shall appoint a presiding officer of the board to serve for two years.

(d) The board shall meet as determined by the executive director or by the presiding officer of the commission.

(e) A board member serves without compensation but is entitled to reimbursement for travel as provided for in the General Appropriations Act.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 65, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 865, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 9.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 935, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 538 (S.B. 540), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 754.013: Board Duties

To protect public safety and to identify and correct potential hazards, the board shall advise the commission on:

(1) the adoption of appropriate standards for the installation, maintenance, alteration, operation, testing, and inspection of equipment;

(2) the status of equipment used by the public in this state;

(3) sources of information relating to equipment safety;

(4) public awareness programs related to elevator safety, including programs for sellers and buyers of single-family dwellings with elevators, chairlifts, or platform lifts; and

(5) any other matter considered relevant by the commission.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 65, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 865, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 9.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 935, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 754.014: Standards Adopted By Commission

(a) The commission by rule shall adopt standards for the installation, maintenance, alteration, operation, testing, removal from service, and inspection of equipment used by the public in:

(1) buildings owned or operated by the state, a state-owned institution or agency, or a political subdivision of the state; and

(2) buildings that contain equipment that is open to the general public, including a hotel, motel, apartment house, boardinghouse, church, office building, shopping center, or other commercial establishment.

(b) Standards adopted under commission rules may not contain requirements in addition to the requirements in the ASME Code A17.1, ASME Code A17.3, ASME Code A18.1, or ASCE Code 21. The standards must allow alteration of existing equipment if the alteration does not diminish the safety of the equipment below the level required by this chapter at the time of alteration.

(c) Standards adopted under commission rules must require equipment to comply with the installation requirements of the ASME Code A17.1, ASME Code A18.1, or ASCE Code 21 that was in effect and applicable on the date of installation of the equipment.

(d) Standards adopted under commission rules must require equipment to comply with the installation requirements of the ASME Code A17.3 that contains minimum safety standards for all equipment, regardless of the date of installation.

(e) The executive director may grant a delay for compliance with the codes and adopted standards until a specified time if the executive director determines that the noncompliance does not constitute a significant threat to passenger or worker safety. The accumulated total time of all delays for a specific noncompliant condition may not exceed three years, except as determined by the executive director.

(g) The executive director may grant a waiver of compliance from an applicable code requirement if the executive director finds that:

(1) the building in which the equipment is located is a qualified historic building or facility or the noncompliance is due to structural components of the building;

(2) noncompliance will not constitute a significant threat to passenger safety; and

(3) noncompliance, with adequate alternative safeguards, will not constitute a significant threat to worker safety.

(h) The executive director shall grant a waiver of compliance if the noncompliance resulted from compliance with a municipal equipment construction code at the time of the original installation and the noncompliance does not pose imminent and significant danger.

(h-1) The executive director may grant a waiver of compliance with the firefighter's service provisions of the ASME Code A17.1 or the ASME Code A17.3 in an elevator that exclusively serves a vehicle parking garage in a building that:

(1) is used only for parking;

(2) is constructed of noncombustible materials; and

(3) is not greater than 75 feet in height.

(i) Repealed by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558, Sec. 23(3), eff. September 1, 2013.

(j) One application for a waiver or delay may contain all requests related to a unit of equipment.

(k) For purposes of determining the applicable standards and codes under this chapter, the date of installation or alteration of equipment is the date that the owner of the real property entered into a contract for the installation or alteration of the equipment. If that date cannot be established, the date of installation or alteration is the date of issuance of the municipal building permit under which the equipment was installed or altered or, if a municipal building permit was not issued, the date that electrical consumption began for the construction of the building in which the equipment was installed.

(l) Standards adopted under commission rules may include and be guided by revised versions of ASME Code A17.1, ASME Code A18.1, and ASCE Code 21, as appropriate.

(m) The executive director may on application of a person and in accordance with procedures adopted under commission rules, grant a variance to allow the installation of new technology if the new component, system, subsystem, function, or device is equivalent or superior to the standards adopted under commission rules.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 65, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 865, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 974, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 9.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 935, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 574 (S.B. 1729), Sec. 2, eff. June 16, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1181 (H.B. 3628), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 23(3), eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 423 (H.B. 3741), Sec. 1, eff. June 10, 2015.

Sec. 754.0141: Standards for Equipment in Single-Family Dwellings; Required Information

(a) Elevators, chairlifts, or platform lifts installed in a single-family dwelling on or after January 1, 2004, must comply with the ASME Code A17.1 or A18.1, as applicable, and must be inspected by a registered elevator inspector after the installation is complete. The inspector shall provide the dwelling owner a copy of the inspection report.

(b) The commission shall adopt rules containing minimum safety standards that must be used by registered elevator inspectors when inspecting elevators, chairlifts, and platform lifts installed in single-family dwellings.

(c) A municipality may withhold a certificate of occupancy for a dwelling or for the installation of the elevator or chairlift until the owner provides a copy of the inspection report to the municipality.

(d) A contractor is not required to report to the department any information concerning equipment in a single-family dwelling or the contractor's work on the equipment.

(e) On completing installation of equipment in a single-family dwelling, a contractor shall provide the dwelling owner with relevant information, in writing, about use, safety, and maintenance of the equipment, including the advisability of having the equipment periodically and timely inspected by a registered elevator inspector.

(f) An inspection by a registered elevator inspector of equipment in a single-family dwelling may be performed only at the request and with the consent of the owner. The owner of a single-family dwelling is not subject to Section 754.0231, 754.0232, 754.0233, 754.0234, or 754.0235.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 9.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 935, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 110 (S.B. 972), Sec. 1, eff. May 18, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 538 (S.B. 540), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 754.015: Rules

(a) The commission by rule shall provide for:

(1) an annual inspection and certification of the equipment covered by standards adopted under this chapter;

(2) enforcement of those standards;

(3) registration, including certification, of elevator inspectors;

(4) registration of contractors;

(5) the procedures by which a certificate of compliance is issued and displayed;

(6) notification to building owners, architects, and other building industry professionals regarding the necessity of annually inspecting equipment;

(7) approval of continuing education programs for registered elevator inspectors;

(8) standards of conduct for individuals who are registered under this chapter;

(9) general liability insurance written by an insurer authorized to engage in the business of insurance in this state or an eligible surplus lines insurer, as defined by Section 981.002, Insurance Code, as a condition of contractor registration with coverage of not less than:

(A) $1 million for each single occurrence of bodily injury or death; and

(B) $500,000 for each single occurrence of property damage;

(10) the submission and review of plans for the installation or alteration of equipment;

(11) continuing education requirements for renewal of contractor registration;

(12) maintenance control programs, maintenance, repair, and parts manuals, and product-specific inspection, testing, and maintenance procedures;

(13) the method and manner of reporting accidents and reportable conditions to the department; and

(14) an owner's designation of an agent for purposes of this chapter.

(b) The commission by rule may not:

(1) require inspections of equipment to be made more often than every 12 months, except as provided by Subsection (c); or

(2) require persons to post a bond or furnish insurance or to have minimum experience or education as a condition of certification or registration, except as otherwise provided by this chapter.

(c) The commission by rule may require a reinspection or recertification of equipment if:

(1) the equipment has been altered;

(2) the equipment poses a significant threat to passenger or worker safety; or

(3) an annual inspection report indicates an existing violation has continued longer than permitted in a delay granted by the executive director.

(d) The executive director may charge a reasonable fee as set by the commission for:

(1) registering or renewing registration of an elevator inspector;

(2) registering or renewing registration of a contractor;

(3) applying for a certificate of compliance;

(4) filing an inspection report as required by Section 754.019(a)(3), 30 days or more after the date the report is due, for each day the report remains not filed after the date the report is due;

(5) submitting for review plans for the installation or alteration of equipment;

(6) reviewing and approving continuing education providers and courses for renewal of elevator inspector and contractor registrations;

(7) applying for a waiver, new technology variance, or delay;

(8) attending a continuing education program sponsored by the department for registered elevator inspectors; and

(9) applying to remove equipment from service.

(e) The commission by rule may require inspection reports, other documents, and fees to be filed in a manner prescribed by the department, including electronically.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 65, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 865, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 9.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 935, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 574 (S.B. 1729), Sec. 3, eff. June 16, 2007.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1017 (H.B. 2643), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 538 (S.B. 540), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 423 (H.B. 3741), Sec. 2, eff. June 10, 2015.

Sec. 754.016: Inspection Reports and Certificates of Compliance

(a) Inspection reports and certificates of compliance required under this chapter must cover all equipment in a building or structure appurtenant to the building, including a parking facility, that are owned by the same person or persons.

(b) A registered elevator inspector shall issue an inspection report to the owner not later than the fifth calendar day after the date of inspection in accordance with the procedures established by commission rule.

(c) The executive director shall issue a certificate of compliance to the owner.

(d) The commission by rule shall:

(1) require that a certificate of compliance for any equipment be posted in a publicly visible area of the building; and

(2) determine what constitutes a "publicly visible area" under Subdivision (1).

(e) The department shall prescribe the format and the required information contained in the inspection reports, the certificates of compliance, and other documents.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 65, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 865, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 9.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 935, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 538 (S.B. 540), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1236 (S.B. 1296), Sec. 10.002, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 754.017: Registered Elevator Inspectors

(a) In order to inspect equipment, an individual must:

(1) be registered with the department;

(2) attend educational programs approved by the department;

(3) be certified as an inspector in accordance with the rules adopted by the commission;

(4) comply with the continuing education requirements established by commission rule for registration renewal; and

(5) pay all applicable fees.

(b) A person assisting a registered elevator inspector and working under the direct, on-site supervision of the inspector is not required to be registered.

(c) A registration expires on the first anniversary of the date of issuance.

(d) A registered elevator inspector may not inspect equipment if the inspector or the inspector's employer has a financial or personal conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety related to the inspection of that equipment.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 65, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 865, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 9.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 935, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 538 (S.B. 540), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 538 (S.B. 540), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 11, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 754.0171: Contractor Registration

(a) A person may not install, repair, alter, test, or maintain equipment without registering as a contractor with the department as required by this chapter.

(b) A contractor shall submit an application for registration or renewal of registration, as applicable, and pay appropriate fees to the department. The registration application form shall require:

(1) information concerning the background, experience, and identity of the applicant;

(2) designation of and information regarding the responsible party or parties under Section 754.0173; and

(3) documentation of fulfillment of the continuing education requirements for renewal of registration, if applicable.

(c) A registration expires on the first anniversary of the date of issuance.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558, Sec. 23(4), eff. September 1, 2013.

(e) Repealed by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558, Sec. 23(4), eff. September 1, 2013.

(f) Installation, repair, alteration, testing, and maintenance standards for contractors must be consistent with ASME Code A17.1, ASME Code A17.3, ASME Code A18.1, and ASCE Code 21.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 9.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 935, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1017 (H.B. 2643), Sec. 3, eff. June 17, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 12, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 23(4), eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 754.0172: Inspection Fee

The amount charged for an inspection or the performance of an inspection of equipment under this chapter may not be contingent on the existence of a maintenance contract between the person performing the inspection and any other person.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 865, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Renumbered from Health & Safety Code Sec. 754.0171 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 9.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 935, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 754.0173: Designation of Responsible Party Or Parties

(a) Each contractor who registers with the department must designate at least one but not more than two responsible parties.

(b) A responsible party designated under this section must:

(1) have a minimum of three years of elevator contractor experience related to elevator installation, repair, and maintenance; and

(2) comply with continuing education requirements as determined by commission rule in order for an elevator contractor to renew an elevator contractor registration.

(c) The commission shall adopt rules regarding documentation of the completion of the continuing education to accompany the application for registration.

(d) A responsible party may be added to or removed from the registration at any time by providing written notice to the department. If a responsible party is added to a registration, the written notice must include evidence that the responsible party meets the requirements of this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1017 (H.B. 2643), Sec. 4, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 754.0174: Continuing Education for Renewal of Elevator Inspector and Contractor Registrations

(a) Each contractor's responsible party must complete continuing education requirements set by commission rule before the contractor may renew the contractor's registration.

(a-1) Each registered elevator inspector must complete continuing education requirements set by commission rule before the inspector may renew the inspector's registration.

(b) A provider of continuing education under this section must:

(1) register with the department; and

(2) comply with rules adopted by the commission relating to continuing education for a registered elevator inspector or designated responsible party, as applicable.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1017 (H.B. 2643), Sec. 4, eff. June 17, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 538 (S.B. 540), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 538 (S.B. 540), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 15, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 754.018: Powers of Municipalities

Subject to Section 754.014(h), if a municipality operates a program for the installation, maintenance, alteration, inspection, testing, or certification of equipment, this chapter shall not apply to the equipment in that municipality, provided that the standards of installation, maintenance, alteration, inspection, testing, and certification are at least equivalent to those contained in this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 65, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 865, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 9.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 935, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 16, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 754.019: Duties of Owners

(a) The owner shall:

(1) have the equipment inspected annually by a registered elevator inspector, unless the equipment has been removed from service in accordance with commission rules;

(2) obtain an inspection report from the inspector evidencing that all equipment in a building on the real property was inspected in accordance with this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter;

(3) file with the executive director each inspection report, and all applicable fees, not later than the 30th calendar day after the date on which an inspection is made under this chapter;

(4) display the certificate of compliance for the equipment in a publicly visible area as defined by commission rule; and

(5) maintain the equipment in compliance with the standards and codes adopted under commission rules.

(b) When an inspection report is filed, the owner shall submit to the executive director, as applicable:

(1) verification that any deficiencies in the registered elevator inspector's report have been remedied or that a bona fide contract to remedy the deficiencies has been entered into; or

(2) any application for delay or waiver of an applicable standard.

(c) For the purpose of determining timely filing under Subsection (a)(3) and Section 754.016(b), an inspection report and filing fees are considered filed on the earlier of:

(1) the date of personal delivery;

(2) the date of postmark by United States mail if properly addressed to the executive director; or

(3) the date of deposit with a commercial courier service, if properly addressed to the executive director.

(d) A fee may not be charged or collected for a certificate of compliance for an institution of higher education as defined in Section 61.003, Education Code.

(e) An owner shall report to the department each accident involving equipment not later than 24 hours following the accident.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 65, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 865, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 9.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 935, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 538 (S.B. 540), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 17, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 18, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 423 (H.B. 3741), Sec. 3, eff. June 10, 2015.

Sec. 754.020: Chief Elevator Inspector

The executive director may appoint a chief elevator inspector to administer the equipment inspection and registration program. The chief elevator inspector:

(1) may not have a financial or commercial interest in the manufacture, maintenance, repair, inspection, installation, or sale of equipment; and

(2) must possess the certification or obtain the certification required under Section 754.017 within six months after becoming chief elevator inspector.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 65, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 865, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 9.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 935, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 538 (S.B. 540), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 754.021: List of Registered Elevator Inspectors and Contractors; Personnel

The executive director shall:

(1) compile a list of elevator inspectors and contractors who are registered with the department; and

(2) employ personnel who are necessary to enforce this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 65, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 865, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 9.001, 26.006, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 935, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 538 (S.B. 540), Sec. 11, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 20, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 754.0231: Inspections and Investigations

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), the department may conduct an inspection or investigation of equipment regulated under this chapter in accordance with Chapter 51, Occupations Code. The department shall be granted access to any location in the building that is inaccessible to the public in order to conduct a full inspection or investigation of the equipment.

(b) If there is good cause for the executive director to believe that equipment on the property poses an imminent and significant danger or that an accident involving equipment occurred on the property, the executive director or the executive director's designee may at any time enter the property to inspect the equipment or investigate the danger or accident. The executive director or the executive director's designee must be granted access to any location in the building that is inaccessible to the public in order to conduct a full inspection or investigation.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 21, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 754.0232: Registration Proceedings

(a) The commission or executive director may deny, suspend, or revoke a registration under this chapter and may assess an administrative penalty for:

(1) obtaining registration by fraud or false representation;

(2) falsifying a report submitted to the executive director; or

(3) violating this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter.

(b) Proceedings for the denial, suspension, or revocation of a registration and appeals from these proceedings are governed by Chapter 2001, Government Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 21, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 754.0233: Injunctive Relief; Civil Penalty

(a) The attorney general or the executive director may institute an action for injunctive relief to prevent or restrain a violation or threatened violation of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter.

(b) The attorney general or the executive director may institute an action to collect a civil penalty from a person that appears to be violating or threatening to violate this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter. A civil penalty assessed under this subsection may not exceed $5,000 per day for each violation.

(c) An action filed under this section must be filed in a district court in Travis County.

(d) The attorney general and the department may recover reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining injunctive relief or civil penalties under this section, including court costs, reasonable attorney's fees, investigative costs, witness fees, and deposition expenses.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 21, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 754.0234: Emergency Orders

(a) The executive director may issue an emergency order as necessary to enforce this chapter if the executive director determines that an emergency exists requiring immediate action to protect the public health and safety.

(b) The executive director shall issue an emergency order in accordance with Chapter 51, Occupations Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 21, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 754.0235: Orders to Disconnect Power to Or Lock Out Equipment

(a) An emergency order issued in accordance with Section 754.0234 may also direct an owner to disconnect power to or lock out equipment if:

(1) the department determines imminent and significant danger to passenger or worker safety exists if action is not taken immediately; or

(2) an annual inspection has not been performed in more than two years.

(b) If an emergency order to disconnect power or lock out equipment is issued, the owner may have the power reconnected or the equipment unlocked only if a registered elevator inspector or contractor or a department representative verifies in writing to the department that the imminent and significant danger has been removed by repair, replacement, or other means.

(c) If an emergency order to disconnect power or lock out equipment is issued and the owner later notifies the department that the imminent and significant danger no longer exists, the executive director or the executive director's designee shall, after the requirements of Subsection (b) are satisfied, issue written permission to reconnect power or unlock the equipment and notify the owner.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 21, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 754.025: Application of Certain Law

Sections 51.401 and 51.4041, Occupations Code, do not apply to this chapter, except those sections do apply to Sections 754.017 and 754.0171.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 9.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 935, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 558 (S.B. 673), Sec. 22, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 586 (H.B. 3742), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 754.026: Disclosure of E-Mail Address

Notwithstanding any other law, an e-mail address provided to the department relating to an inspection or review of plans under this chapter is not confidential and is subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1144 (H.B. 2847), Sec. 5.001, eff. September 1, 2019.

Chapter 755

Subchapter A

Sec. 755.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Alteration" means a substantial change in an original design.

(2) "Board" means the board of boiler rules.

(3) "Boiler" means:

(A) a heating boiler;

(B) a nuclear boiler;

(C) a power boiler;

(D) an unfired steam boiler; or

(E) a process steam generator.

(4) "Certificate inspection" means the required internal or external boiler inspection, the report of which is used by the chief inspector to decide whether to issue a certificate of operation.

(5) "Certificate of operation" means a certificate issued by the executive director to allow the operation of a boiler.

(6) "Commission" means the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation.

(7) "Department" means the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

(7-a) "Executive director" means the executive director of the department.

(8) "External inspection" means an inspection of the exterior of a boiler and its appurtenances that is made, if possible, while the boiler is in operation.

(9) "Heating boiler" means a steam heating boiler, hot water heating boiler, hot water supply boiler, or potable water heater that is directly fired with oil, gas, solar energy, electricity, coal, or other solid or liquid fuel.

(10) "High-temperature water boiler" means a water boiler designed for operation at pressures exceeding 160 pounds per square inch or temperatures exceeding 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

(11) "Hot water heating boiler" means a boiler designed for operation at a pressure not exceeding 160 pounds per square inch or temperatures not exceeding 250 degrees Fahrenheit at or near the boiler outlet.

(12) "Hot water supply boiler" means a boiler designed for operation at pressures not exceeding 160 pounds per square inch or temperatures not exceeding 250 degrees Fahrenheit at or near the boiler outlet if the boiler's:

(A) heat input exceeds 200,000 British thermal units per hour;

(B) water temperature exceeds 210 degrees Fahrenheit; or

(C) nominal water-containing capacity exceeds 120 gallons.

(13) "Inspection agency" means an authorized inspection agency providing inspection services.

(14) "Inspector" means the chief inspector, a deputy inspector, or an authorized inspector.

(15) "Internal inspection" means a complete and thorough inspection of the interior waterside and fireside areas of a boiler as construction allows.

(16) "Nuclear boiler" means a nuclear power plant system, including its pressure vessels, piping systems, pumps, valves, and storage tanks, that produces and controls an output of thermal energy from nuclear fuel and the associated systems essential to the function of the power system.

(17) "Portable boiler" means a boiler primarily intended for use at a temporary location.

(18) "Potable water heater" means a boiler designed for operation at pressures not exceeding 160 pounds per square inch and water temperatures not exceeding 210 degrees Fahrenheit if the boiler's:

(A) heat input exceeds 200,000 British thermal units per hour; or

(B) nominal water-containing capacity exceeds 120 gallons.

(19) "Power boiler" means:

(A) a high-temperature water boiler; or

(B) a boiler in which steam is generated at a pressure exceeding 15 pounds per square inch for a purpose external to the boiler.

(20) "Process steam generator" means an evaporator, heat exchanger, or vessel in which steam is generated by the use of heat resulting from the operation of a processing system that contains a number of pressure vessels, such as used in the manufacture of chemical and petroleum products.

(21) "Repair" means the work necessary to return a boiler to a safe and satisfactory operating condition without changing the original design.

(22) "Safety appliance" means a safety device such as a safety valve or a safety relief valve for a boiler provided to diminish the danger of accidents.

(23) "Standard boiler" means a boiler that bears a Texas stamp, the stamp of a nationally recognized engineering professional society, or the stamp of any jurisdiction that has adopted a standard of construction equivalent to the standard required by the executive director.

(23-a) "Steam cooker" means a steam heating boiler that is:

(A) designed to steam cook food;

(B) operated at a pressure not exceeding five pounds per square inch; and

(C) equipped with a safety appliance operated at a pressure not exceeding five pounds per square inch.

(24) "Steam heating boiler" means a boiler designed for operation at pressures not exceeding 15 pounds per square inch.

(25) "Unfired steam boiler" means an unfired pressure vessel in which steam is generated. The term does not include:

(A) vessels known as evaporators or heat exchangers; or

(B) vessels in which steam is generated by using the heat that results from the operation of a processing system that contains a number of pressure vessels, as used in the manufacture of chemical and petroleum products.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 229, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 352, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 5.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 88 (S.B. 506), Sec. 1, eff. May 18, 2013.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (H.B. 3257), Sec. 1, eff. May 29, 2017.

Subchapter B

Sec. 755.011: Composition of Board

(a) The Board of Boiler Rules is in the department.

(b) The board is composed of the following 11 members appointed by the presiding officer of the commission, with the commission's approval:

(1) three members representing persons who own or use boilers in this state;

(2) three members representing companies that insure boilers in this state;

(3) one member representing boiler manufacturers or installers;

(4) one member representing organizations that repair or alter boilers in this state;

(5) one member representing a labor union; and

(6) two public members.

(c) All members except the members appointed under Subsection (b)(6) must have experience with boilers. To the extent possible, at least four members should be professional engineers registered in this state.

(d) The executive director serves as an ex officio board member.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 18, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 5.002, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 2548), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 755.012: Terms

Board members serve for staggered six-year terms, with the terms of three members expiring January 31 of each odd-numbered year.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 755.013: Presiding Officer

The chief inspector serves as presiding officer of the board.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 5.003, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 755.014: Removal of Board Members; Vacancy

(a) The commission may remove a board member for inefficiency or neglect of official duty.

(b) A board member's office becomes vacant on the resignation, death, suspension, or incapacity of the member. The presiding officer of the commission shall appoint, in the same manner as the original appointment, a person to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 5.004, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 755.015: Compensation

A board member may not receive a salary but is entitled to reimbursement for actual expenses incurred in performing board duties.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 755.016: Meetings

The board shall meet at least twice each year at the call of the presiding officer at a place designated by the board.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 5.005, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 755.017: Powers and Duties

The board shall advise the commission in the adoption of definitions and rules relating to the safe construction, installation, inspection, operating limits, alteration, and repair of boilers and their appurtenances.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 5.006, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 755.018: Majority Vote Required

A board decision is not effective unless supported by the vote of at least five board members.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Subchapter C

Sec. 755.021: Registration and Certificate

Except as provided by Section 755.022, each boiler operated in this state must:

(1) be registered with the department; and

(2) have qualified for a current certificate of operation.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 755.022: Exemptions for Certain Boilers

(a) This chapter does not apply to:

(1) boilers owned or operated by the federal government;

(2) pressure vessels or process steam generators, other than steam collection or liberation drums of process steam generators;

(3) manually fired miniature boilers that:

(A) are constructed or maintained for locomotives, boats, tractors, or stationary engines only as a hobby for exhibition, recreation, education, or historical purposes and not for commercial use;

(B) have an inside diameter of 12 inches or less or a grate area of two square feet or less; and

(C) are equipped with a safety valve of adequate size, a water level indicator, and a pressure gauge;

(4) boilers that are designed for operation only at atmospheric pressure and that are equipped with two independent means to prevent the buildup of pressure;

(5) steam cookers; or

(6) espresso machines.

(b) Heating boilers used to heat buildings that are exclusively for residential use and that have accommodations for not more than four families are exempt from Sections 755.025, 755.027, 755.029, and 755.030.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 498, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 352, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 88 (S.B. 506), Sec. 2, eff. May 18, 2013.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (H.B. 3257), Sec. 2, eff. May 29, 2017.

Sec. 755.023: Appointment of Inspectors and Other Personnel

(a) The executive director shall appoint a chief inspector of boilers to administer the boiler program. The chief inspector must:

(1) be a resident of this state and a citizen of the United States;

(2) have at least five years' experience in the construction, installation, inspection, operation, maintenance, or repair of boilers; and

(3) pass a written examination that demonstrates the necessary ability to judge the safety of boilers.

(b) The chief inspector may not have a commercial interest in the manufacture, ownership, insurance, or agency of boilers or boiler appurtenances.

(c) As needed, the executive director shall appoint persons with qualifications similar to those of the chief inspector to serve as deputy inspectors.

(d) The executive director may employ clerical assistants as necessary to carry out this chapter.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 26.008, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 755.024: Authorized Inspectors; Examinations

(a) To be an authorized inspector, a person must obtain a commission as a boiler inspector from the executive director and must be continuously employed by an inspection agency.

(b) The executive director, by written examination, shall determine the qualifications of an applicant for a commission to be an authorized inspector.

(c) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 5.014(1).

(d) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 5.014(1).

(e) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 5.014(1).

(f) After proper investigation, the executive director may accept an inspection commission issued to a person by any other jurisdiction that has a written examination equal to that of this state.

(g) For good cause, the executive director may rescind a commission issued by this state.

(h) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 5.014(1).

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 230, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 5.014(1), 26.009, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 755.025: Inspection

(a) The executive director shall require each boiler to be inspected internally and externally at the time of initial installation and at subsequent intervals as provided by this section. The executive director may provide that the inspection be performed by any inspector.

(b) Power boilers, unfired steam boilers, and steam collection or liberation drums of process steam generators must receive an annual certificate inspection and an annual external inspection.

(c) Steam heating boilers and hot water heating boilers must receive a certificate inspection biennially.

(d) Hot water supply boilers and potable water heaters must receive a certificate inspection triennially.

(e) The commission by rule shall establish the subsequent intervals and manner of inspection for a portable boiler.

(f) The executive director shall designate the manner of inspection for nuclear boilers, the form of the inspection report, and the information to be reported. The executive director and the owner of a nuclear boiler shall establish the intervals of inspection for the boiler.

(g) The executive director may authorize the inspection of a boiler at any reasonable time if the executive director determines that the boiler may be in an unsafe condition. The executive director shall notify the inspection agency that insures that boiler and request the authorized inspector employed by that agency to participate with the chief inspector or a deputy inspector in a joint inspection of the boiler not later than the 20th day after the date on which the executive director notifies the inspection agency. An additional charge may not be made for the joint inspection.

(h) Notwithstanding any other law, an e-mail address provided to the department relating to an inspection under this chapter is not confidential and is subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 352, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 26.010, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (H.B. 3257), Sec. 3, eff. May 29, 2017.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1144 (H.B. 2847), Sec. 6.001, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 755.026: Extensions

(a) With the approval of the executive director and the inspection agency that has jurisdiction for the power boiler, the interval between internal inspections may be extended to a period not exceeding a total of 60 months. For unfired steam boilers or steam collection or liberation drums of process steam generators, the inspection interval may be extended to the next scheduled downtime of the boiler, but not exceeding a total of:

(1) 84 months for unfired steam boilers;

(2) 120 months for steam collection or liberation drums of process steam generators manufactured before January 1, 1970; or

(3) 144 months for steam collection or liberation drums of process steam generators manufactured on or after January 1, 1970.

(b) The interval between internal inspections of a boiler may be extended only if:

(1) continuous water treatment under competent and experienced supervision to control and limit corrosion and deposits has been in effect since its last internal inspection;

(2) the last internal and current external inspection of the boiler indicates that the interval may safely be extended; and

(3) accurate and complete records are available that show:

(A) that since the last internal inspection samples of boiler water have been taken or monitored at regular intervals not exceeding 24 hours of operation and that the water condition in the boiler is satisfactorily controlled;

(B) the dates that the boiler was out of service since the last internal inspection and the reasons that the boiler was taken out of service; and

(C) the nature of the repairs made to the boiler and the reasons that those repairs were made.

(c) In addition to an extension authorized under Subsection (a), the executive director and the inspection agency may grant an emergency extension for a period not exceeding 120 days to the inspection interval covered by the boiler's certificate of operation on receipt of a request for extension stating that an emergency exists. Before the extension may be granted, the inspection agency must make an external inspection of the boiler, and the conditions imposed under Subsection (b) must be met. The commissioner and the inspection agency may not grant more than one emergency extension under this subsection in an interval between internal inspections.

(c-1) The executive director and the inspection agency on request may grant an extension for a period not to exceed 24 months in addition to the extension authorized under Subsection (a)(2). The request must include a report issued by an engineer licensed by the Texas Board of Professional Engineers certifying:

(1) completion in accordance with industry standards of a quantitative engineering assessment for in-service equipment, repairs, and alterations prescribed by the National Board Inspection Code NB23; and

(2) based on the assessment, the steam collection or liberation drums of the process steam generator are safe to operate.

(d) If an extended period between internal inspections is approved by the executive director and the inspection agency, the executive director shall issue a new certificate of operation for the extended period of operation.

(e) If the interval between internal inspections of a gas fired boiler is extended under Subsection (a), the executive director and inspection agency shall require that an inspection of the gas regulator or pressure reducing valve that services the boiler be performed as part of the next regularly scheduled external certificate inspection of the boiler to verify proper venting of gas to a safe point of discharge.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1242, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 352, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 18, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 26.011, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 190 (H.B. 2228), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 755.027: Reports By Inspection Agency; Joint Inspections

(a) Not later than the 30th day after the date on which a certificate inspection is performed by an authorized inspector, the inspection agency employing the authorized inspector shall file a report with the executive director in the manner specified by the executive director.

(b) A boiler inspected by an authorized inspector is exempt from other inspections and inspection fees under this chapter, other than an inspection authorized under Section 755.025(g).

(c) An inspection agency shall notify the executive director in writing of the cancellation or expiration of any insurance policy issued by that agency to cover a boiler located in this state, and shall include in the notice the reason for the cancellation or expiration. The notice must state the date the policy was issued and the date on which the cancellation or expiration takes effect.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 352, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 26.012, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 755.028: Special Inspections

The executive director may provide a special inspection service to the owners, operators, and manufacturers of boilers. The service may include surveys required for certification to construct, assemble, or repair boilers or pressure vessels.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 26.013, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 755.029: Certificate of Operation

(a) The executive director shall issue to the owner or operator of a boiler a certificate of operation for the boiler if after a certificate inspection:

(1) the boiler is found to be in a safe condition for operation; and

(2) the owner or operator has paid the fees assessed under Section 755.030.

(b) The certificate of operation is valid for not longer than the interval required for certificate inspections of that boiler.

(c) A certificate of operation must be posted in a conspicuous place on or near the boiler for which it is issued.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 231, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 352, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 26.014, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1144 (H.B. 2847), Sec. 6.002, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 755.030: Fees

(a) In addition to the fees described by Section 51.202, Occupations Code, the commission may authorize the collection of fees for:

(1) boiler inspections, including fees for special inspections; and

(2) other activities administered by the boiler inspection section and authorized by rule of the commission.

(b) The commission shall consider the advice of the board in setting the amount of a fee for:

(1) a boiler inspection, including a fee for a special inspection;

(2) a certificate of operation;

(3) the administration of an examination under this chapter; or

(4) any other activity administered by the boiler inspection section.

(c) The fees, travel, and per diem collected under this chapter may be appropriated only to the department.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 474, Sec. 1, eff. June 11, 1991; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 836, Sec. 4, eff. June 14, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.807, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 5.007, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 755.032: Rules

(a) The commission may adopt and enforce rules, in accordance with standard boiler usage, for the construction, inspection, installation, use, maintenance, repair, alteration, and operation of boilers. The commission may adopt standards for an inspection agency to be authorized by the department to provide inspections under this chapter.

(b) The executive director may exchange information, including data on experience, with other authorities that inspect boilers or their appurtenances, to obtain information necessary to adopt rules.

(c) The executive director or a department employee may not prescribe the make, brand, or kind of boilers or any appurtenances on the boiler to purchase.

(d) The executive director or a department employee may not prescribe the make, brand, or kind of boilers to purchase.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 352, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 5.008, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 574 (H.B. 3091), Sec. 1, eff. June 16, 2015.

Sec. 755.033: Interagency Inspection Agreements

(a) The executive director shall enter into interagency agreements with the Department of State Health Services, the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, and the Texas Department of Insurance under which inspectors, marshals, or investigators from those agencies who discover unsafe or unregistered boilers in the course and scope of inspections conducted as part of regulatory or safety programs administered by those agencies are required to report the unsafe or unregistered boilers to the executive director.

(b) The executive director may enter into analogous agreements with local fire marshals.

(c) The commission shall adopt rules relating to the terms and conditions of an interagency agreement entered into under this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 233, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 628, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 5.009, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1508, eff. April 2, 2015.

Subchapter D

Sec. 755.041: Regulation of Unsafe Boilers

(a) If an inspection shows that a boiler is unsafe, the chief inspector or any deputy inspector shall issue a written preliminary order requiring repairs and alterations as necessary to make the boiler safe for use. The inspector may also order discontinuing the use of the boiler until the repairs and alterations are made or the unsafe conditions are remedied.

(b) On written request, an owner or operator who does not comply with a preliminary order is entitled to a hearing before the executive director to show cause for not enforcing the preliminary order. If, after the hearing, the executive director determines that the boiler is unsafe and that the preliminary order should be enforced, or that other acts are necessary to make the boiler safe, the executive director may order or confirm the withholding of the certificate of operation for that boiler, and may impose additional requirements as necessary for the repair or alteration of the boiler or the correction of the unsafe conditions.

(c) The chief inspector may issue a temporary certificate of operation for a period not to exceed 30 days pending the completion of the replacement or repairs.

(d) This section does not limit the executive director's authority under Section 755.028 or the commission's authority under Section 755.032.

(e) A boiler that cannot be made safe for use shall be condemned and the use of that boiler prohibited.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 5.010, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 755.042: Prosecution; Injunction

(a) A prosecution may not be maintained if the issuance or renewal of a certificate of operation has been requested for a boiler but has not been acted on. However, the executive director may petition a district court for an injunction to restrain the operation of the boiler until the condition restraining its use is corrected and a certificate of operation is issued if the executive director determines that the operation of the boiler without a certificate of operation constitutes a serious menace to the life and safety of the persons in or about the premises. The attorney general or the district or county attorney may bring the suit, and venue is in the county in which the boiler is located or in Travis County. It is not necessary for the prosecutor to verify the pleadings or for the state to execute a bond.

(b) The executive director's affidavit that a certificate of operation or an application for a certificate does not exist for a boiler, and the affidavit of the chief inspector or a deputy inspector that the operation of the boiler constitutes a menace to the life and safety of persons in or about the premises, are sufficient proof to warrant the immediate issuance of a temporary restraining order.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 234, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 26.015, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 755.043: General Criminal Penalty

(a) A person, firm, or corporation commits an offense if:

(1) the person, firm, or corporation owns a boiler in this state, has the custody, management, use, or operation of a boiler in this state, or is otherwise subject to this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter; and

(2) the person, firm, or corporation violates this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, or an order issued by the commission, the executive director, or a regularly employed inspector authorized to enforce this chapter and rules and orders.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 235, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 5.011, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 755.045: Notice of Rule Or Order Required Before Prosecution

A criminal action may not be maintained against any person relating to the violation of a rule adopted or an order issued under this chapter until the commission gives notice of the rule or order.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 5.012, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 755.046: Affidavit of Orders

An affidavit is admissible as evidence in any civil or criminal action involving an order adopted by the commission or the executive director and the publication of the order, without further proof of the order's issuance or publication or of the contents of the order, if the affidavit:

(1) is issued under the seal of the commission or the executive director;

(2) is executed by the commission, the executive director, the chief inspector, or a deputy inspector;

(3) states the terms of the order;

(4) states that the order was issued and published; and

(5) states that the order was in effect during the period specified by the affidavit.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 5.013, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Subchapter E

Sec. 755.071: Restriction on Regulation

Notwithstanding any other law, a state agency or political subdivision may not restrict the use or installation of a specific fuel gas pipe product that is approved for use and installation by the International Fuel Gas Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (H.B. 3257), Sec. 4, eff. May 29, 2017.

Sec. 755.072: Conflict of Law

To the extent of a conflict between this subchapter and another law, this subchapter controls.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 284 (H.B. 3257), Sec. 4, eff. May 29, 2017.

Chapter 756

Subchapter A

Sec. 756.001: Covering Large Well Or Cistern; Criminal Penalty

(a) The owner or operator of a well or cistern that is at least 10 feet deep and not less than 10 inches nor more than six feet in diameter shall keep it entirely covered at all times except when the owner or operator is actually using the well or cistern.

(b) The cover required by this section must be capable of sustaining at least 200 pounds of weight.

(c) A person commits an offense if the person fails to cover a well or cistern as required by this section. An offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $500.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 756.002: Covering Or Plugging Small Well Or Hole; Criminal Penalty

(a) A person who drills, digs, or otherwise creates or causes to be drilled, dug, or otherwise created a well or hole that is at least 10 feet deep and less than 10 inches in diameter may not abandon the hole unless the person first:

(1) completely fills the well or hole from its total depth to the surface; or

(2) plugs the well or hole with a permanent plug not less than 10 feet from the surface and completely fills the well or hole from the plug to the surface.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person abandons a well or hole in violation of this section. An offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $500.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Subchapter B

Sec. 756.011: Types of Refrigerators and Containers Covered

This subchapter applies only to a refrigerator, ice box, or other airtight or semi-airtight container that has:

(1) a capacity of at least 1-1/2 cubic feet;

(2) an opening of at least 50 square inches; and

(3) a door or lid equipped with a latch or other fastening device capable of securing the door or lid shut.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 756.012: Leaving Refrigerator Or Container Accessible to Children

(a) A person may not place a container described by Section 756.011 outside of a structure or in a warehouse, storage room, or unoccupied or abandoned structure so that the container is accessible to children.

(b) A person may not permit a container described by Section 756.011 to remain in an area specified by Subsection (a) so that the container is accessible to children.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 756.013: Criminal Penalty

(a) A person commits an offense if the person violates Section 756.012.

(b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $5 or more than $200.

(c) Each day of a continuing violation constitutes a separate offense.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Subchapter C

Sec. 756.021: Definition

In this subchapter, "trench" has the meaning assigned by the standards adopted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 237, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 756.022: Trench Excavation in State

(a) The bid documents, if bids are used, and the contract for a construction project in this state on which a contractor is employed and that includes a trench excavation exceeding a depth of five feet must include:

(1) a reference to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards for trench safety that will be in effect during the period of construction of the project;

(2) a copy of special shoring requirements, if any, of the state or of a political subdivision in which the construction project is located, with a separate pay item for the special shoring requirements;

(3) a copy of any geotechnical information that was obtained by the owner for use in the design of the trench safety system; and

(4) a separate pay item for trench excavation safety protection.

(b) The separate pay item for trench excavation safety protection must be based on the linear feet of trench excavated. The separate pay item for special shoring requirements, if any, of the state or of any political subdivision in which the construction project is located must be based on the square feet of shoring used.

(c) A municipality may adopt an ordinance that requires the refusal of a building permit to a person who fails to certify in writing that the requirement of Subsection (a) has been satisfied. A municipality, in lieu of or in addition to the written certification, may require an applicant for a building permit to produce for inspection or file with the municipality a copy of a contract that complies with Subsection (a) as a condition of issuance of a building permit.

(d) This section does not apply to a contract:

(1) governed by Section 756.023;

(2) governed by Subtitle D, Title 10, Government Code; or

(3) entered into by a person subject to the safety standards adopted under and the administrative penalty provisions of Subchapter E, Chapter 121, Utilities Code.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Redesignated from Health & Safety Code Sec. 756.021 and amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 237, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 17.19(4), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 18.31, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 756.023: Trench Excavation for Political Subdivision

(a) On a project for a political subdivision of the state in which trench excavation will exceed a depth of five feet, the bid documents provided to all bidders and the contract must include:

(1) a reference to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards for trench safety in effect during the period of construction of the project;

(2) a copy of special shoring requirements, if any, of the political subdivision, with a separate pay item for the special shoring requirements;

(3) a copy of any geotechnical information that was obtained by the owner for use by the contractor in the design of the trench safety system; and

(4) a separate pay item for trench excavation safety protection.

(b) The separate pay item for trench excavation safety protection must be based on the linear feet of trench excavated. The separate pay item for special shoring requirements, if any, of the political subdivision must be based on the square feet of shoring used.

(c) A political subdivision may require a bidder to attend a prebid conference to coordinate a geotechnical investigation of the project site by bidders. In awarding a contract, a political subdivision may not consider a bid from a bidder who failed to attend a required prebid conference.

(d) This section does not apply to a person subject to the safety standards adopted under and the administrative penalty provisions of Subchapter E, Chapter 121, Utilities Code.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Redesignated from Health & Safety Code Sec. 756.022 and amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 237, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 18.32, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Subchapter D

Sec. 756.041: Definition

In this subchapter, "outdoor shooting range" means an outdoor shooting range, outdoor firing range, or other open property on which persons may fire a weapon for a fee or other remuneration but does not include a deer lease or other similar leases of property for the purpose of hunting or an archery range.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 310, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1991.

Sec. 756.0411: Applicability

This subchapter applies only to an outdoor shooting range located in a county with a population of more than 150,000.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 310, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1991.

Sec. 756.042: Construction Standards

The owner of an outdoor shooting range shall construct and maintain the range according to standards that are at least as stringent as the standards printed in the National Rifle Association range manual.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 310, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1991.

Sec. 756.043: Civil Penalty

(a) The owner of an outdoor shooting range who fails to comply with Section 756.042 is liable within 60 days after a finding of noncompliance for a civil penalty of $50 for each day of noncompliance; the aggregate amount not to exceed $500.

(b) The attorney general or the appropriate district attorney, criminal district attorney, or county attorney shall recover the civil penalty in a suit on behalf of the state. If the attorney general brings the suit, the penalty shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the general revenue fund. If another attorney brings the suit, the penalty shall be deposited in the general fund of the county in which the violation occurred.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 310, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1991.

Sec. 756.044: Criminal Penalties

(a) The owner of an outdoor shooting range commits an offense if the owner intentionally or recklessly fails to comply with Section 756.042 and that failure results in injury to another person.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor, except that if it is shown on the trial of the defendant that the defendant has previously been convicted of an offense under this section, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 310, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1991.

Sec. 756.045: Insurance Required

(a) The owner of an outdoor shooting range shall purchase and maintain an insurance policy that provides coverage of at least $500,000 for bodily injuries or death and another policy that provides that level of coverage for property damage resulting from firing any weapon while on the shooting range.

(b) The owner of an outdoor shooting range shall prominently display a sign at the shooting range stating that the owner has purchased insurance to cover bodily injury, death, or property damage occurring from activities at the shooting range.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 310, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 26, 1991.

Subchapter E

Sec. 756.061: Compliance with Safety Standards

(a) Notwithstanding any other rule or statute, and except as provided by Subsection (b), on or after September 1, 2009, public funds may not be used:

(1) to purchase playground equipment that:

(A) does not comply with each applicable provision of ASTM Standard F1487-07ae1, "Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use" published by ASTM International; or

(B) has a horizontal bare metal platform or a bare metal step or slide, unless the bare metal is shielded from direct sun by a covering provided with the equipment or by a shaded area in the location where the equipment is installed;

(2) to purchase surfacing for the area under and around playground equipment if the surfacing will not comply, on completion of installation of the surfacing, with each applicable provision of ASTM Standard F2223-04e1, "Standard Guide for ASTM Standards on Playground Surfacing" published by ASTM International; or

(3) to pay for installation of playground equipment or surfacing if the installation will not comply, on completion of the installation, with each applicable provision of the specifications described by Subdivision (1) or (2), as applicable.

(b) Public funds may be used for maintenance of playground equipment or surfacing for the area under and around playground equipment that was purchased before September 1, 2009, even if the equipment or surfacing does not comply, on completion of the maintenance, with each applicable provision of the specifications described by Subsections (a)(1) and (a)(2).

(c) This section:

(1) does not create, increase, decrease, or otherwise affect a person's liability for damages for injury, death, or other harm caused by playground equipment, surfacing, or the installation of the equipment or surfacing; and

(2) is not a waiver of sovereign immunity of any governmental entity.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 896, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1009 (H.B. 4127), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Subchapter F

Sec. 756.081: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Bedroom" means an area of a dwelling intended as sleeping quarters.

(2) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 3.1639(113), eff. April 2, 2015.

(3) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 3.1639(113), eff. April 2, 2015.

(4) "Residential dwelling" includes a single-family home, a duplex, a triplex, an apartment, a motel or hotel, and a mobile home.

(5) "Security bars" means burglar bars or other bars located on the inside or outside of a door or window of a residential dwelling.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1522, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1639(113), eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 756.082: Security Bars on Residential Dwelling

A person may not install security bars on a door or window of a bedroom in a residential dwelling unless:

(1) the security bars on at least one door or window in the bedroom have an interior release mechanism; or

(2) at least one window or door from the bedroom to the exterior may be opened for emergency escape or rescue.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1522, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 756.083: Labeling Requirement

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person may not sell security bars or offer security bars for sale in this state unless the security bars or their packaging are labeled in accordance with rules adopted by the state fire marshal. The required label must state the requirements of Section 756.082.

(b) A person who is not regularly and actively engaged in business as a wholesale or retail dealer may sell or offer to sell security bars in this state provided that proper written notice of the requirements of Section 756.082 is provided to the buyer in a form approved by the state fire marshal.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1522, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 756.084: Recommended Release Mechanism

(a) The state fire marshal or a testing laboratory under conditions and procedures approved by the state fire marshal may recommend an interior release mechanism that has been shown to be effective.

(b) The state fire marshal shall adopt rules to implement this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1522, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Subchapter G

Sec. 756.101: Authorization

To protect the public health, safety, or welfare, a municipality may provide landscaping services, including tree-trimming, tree disposal, remediation, cleanup, and recycling services, to any person who resides or business that operates inside or outside the corporate limits of the municipality only if the governing body of the municipality makes written findings as required by Section 756.102.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 340, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 756.102: Findings Required

The written findings must:

(1) identify the problem requiring the need for providing municipal landscaping services;

(2) identify the public health, safety, or welfare concern;

(3) describe any reasonable actions previously taken to alleviate the problem; and

(4) specify a period of definite duration necessary to address the problem.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 340, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 756.103: Exception

The limitations and requirements of this subchapter do not apply to a municipality in times of emergency, catastrophe, or other calamity.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 340, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Subchapter H

Sec. 756.121: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Construction" means a building, structure, driveway, roadway, or other construction any part of which is physically located on, across, over, or under the easement or right-of-way of a pipeline facility or that physically impacts or creates a risk to a pipeline facility.

(2) "Constructor" means a person that builds, operates, repairs, replaces, or maintains a construction or causes a construction to be built, operated, repaired, maintained, or replaced.

(3) "Pipeline facility" means a pipeline used to transmit or distribute natural gas or to gather or transmit oil, gas, or the products of oil or gas.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1082, Sec. 2(a), eff. June 20, 2003.

Renumbered from Health and Safety Code, Section 756.101 by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728 (H.B. 2018), Sec. 23.001(53), eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 756.122: Applicability

(a) This subchapter applies to a construction or the repair, replacement, or maintenance of a construction unless there is a written agreement, including a Texas Department of Transportation right-of-way agreement, to the contrary between the owner or operator of the affected pipeline facility and the person that places or causes a construction to be placed on the easement or right-of-way of a pipeline facility.

(b) This subchapter does not apply to:

(1) construction done by a municipality on property owned by the municipality, unless the construction is for private commercial use; or

(2) construction or repair, replacement, or maintenance of construction on property owned by a navigation district or port authority created or operating under Section 52, Article III, or Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1082, Sec. 2(a), eff. June 20, 2003.

Renumbered from Health and Safety Code, Section 756.102 by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728 (H.B. 2018), Sec. 23.001(53), eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 756.123: Prohibition of Construction Without Notice

A person may not build, repair, replace, or maintain a construction on, across, over, or under the easement or right-of-way for a pipeline facility unless notice of the construction is given the operator of the pipeline facility and:

(1) the operator of the pipeline facility determines that the construction will not increase a risk to the public or increase a risk of a break, leak, rupture, or other damage to the pipeline facility;

(2) if the operator of the pipeline facility determines that the construction will increase risk to the public or the pipeline facility, the constructor pays the reasonable, necessary, and documented cost of the additional fortifications, barriers, conduits, or other changes or improvements necessary to protect the public or pipeline facility from that risk before proceeding with the construction;

(3) the building, repair, replacement, or maintenance is conducted under an existing written agreement; or

(4) the building, repair, replacement, or maintenance is required to be done promptly by a regulated utility company because of the effects of a natural disaster.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1082, Sec. 2(a), eff. June 20, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 530 (H.B. 951), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Renumbered from Health and Safety Code, Section 756.103 by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728 (H.B. 2018), Sec. 23.001(53), eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 756.124: Civil Liability

A constuctor who violates this subchapter is liable to the owner or operator of a pipeline facility for damages to the facility proximately caused by the violation, including any liability the owner or operator of the pipeline facility incurs as a result of the violation. This section does not affect the right of a surface owner to recover for any damages to the owner's property.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 530 (H.B. 951), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 756.125: Injunctive Relief

(a) A suit for injunctive relief to prevent or abate the violation of this subchapter may be brought by the county attorney for the county in which the pipeline facility is located, by the attorney general, or by the owner or operator of the pipeline facility.

(b) The court in which the suit is brought may grant any prohibitory or mandatory injunction the facts warrant, including a temporary restraining order, temporary injunction, or permanent injunction. The court may grant the relief without requiring a bond or other undertaking.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 530 (H.B. 951), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 756.126: Safety Standards and Best Practices

The Railroad Commission of Texas shall adopt and enforce rules prescribing safety standards and best practices, including those described by 49 U.S.C. Section 6105 et seq., relating to the prevention of damage by a person to a facility, including an interstate or intrastate pipeline facility, under the jurisdiction of the commission.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1337 (S.B. 9), Sec. 19, eff. June 18, 2005.

Renumbered from Health and Safety Code, Section 756.106 by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 921 (H.B. 3167), Sec. 17.001(49), eff. September 1, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 57 (H.B. 1818), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2017.

Chapter 757

Sec. 757.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Self-closing and self-latching device" means a device that causes a gate to automatically close without human or electrical power after it has been opened and to automatically latch without human or electrical power when the gate closes.

(2) "Doorknob lock" means a lock that is in a doorknob and that is operated from the exterior by a key, card, or combination and from the interior without a key, card, or combination.

(3) "Dwelling" or "rental dwelling" means one or more rooms rented to one or more tenants for use as a permanent residence under a lease. The term does not include a room rented to overnight guests.

(4) "French doors" means double doors, sometimes called double-hinged patio doors, that provide access from a dwelling interior to the exterior and in which each of the two doors are hinged and closable so that the edge of one door closes immediately adjacent to the edge of the other door with no partition between the doors. "French door" means either one of the two doors.

(5) "Keyed dead bolt" means a door lock that is not in the doorknob, that locks by a bolt in the doorjamb, that has a bolt with at least a one-inch throw if installed after September 1, 1993, and that is operated from the exterior by a key, card, or combination and operated from the interior by a knob or lever without a key, card, or combination. The term includes a doorknob lock that contains a bolt with at least a one-inch throw.

(6) (A) "Keyless bolting device" means a door lock not in the doorknob that locks:

(i) with a bolt with a one-inch throw into a strike plate screwed into the portion of the doorjamb surface that faces the edge of the door when the door is closed or into a metal doorjamb that serves as the strike plate, operable only by knob or lever from the door's interior and not in any manner from the door's exterior, and that is commonly known as a keyless dead bolt;

(ii) by a drop bolt system operated by placing a central metal plate over a metal doorjamb restraint which protrudes from the doorjamb and which is affixed to the doorjamb frame by means of three case-hardened screws at least three inches in length. One half of the central plate must overlap the interior surface of the door and the other half of the central plate must overlap the doorjamb when the plate is placed over the doorjamb restraint. The drop bolt system must prevent the door from being opened unless the central plate is lifted off of the doorjamb restraint by a person who is on the interior side of the door; or

(iii) by a metal bar or metal tube that is placed across the entire interior side of the door and secured in place at each end of the bar or tube by heavy-duty metal screw hooks. The screw hooks must be at least three inches in length and must be screwed into the door frame stud or wall stud on each side of the door. The bar or tube must be capable of being secured to both of the screw hooks and must be permanently attached in some way to the door frame stud or wall stud. When secured to the screw hooks, the bar or tube must prevent the door from being opened unless the bar or tube is removed by a person who is on the interior side of the door.

(B) The term does not include a chain latch, flip latch, surface-mounted slide bolt, mortise door bolt, surface-mounted barrel bolt, surface-mounted swing bar door guard, spring-loaded nightlatch, foot bolt, or other lock or latch.

(7) "Multiunit rental complex" means two or more dwelling units in one or more buildings that are under common ownership, managed by the same owner, managing agent, or management company, and located on the same lot or tract of land or adjacent lots or tracts of land. The term includes a condominium project. The term does not include:

(A) a facility primarily renting rooms to overnight guests; or

(B) a single-family home or adjacent single-family homes that are not part of a condominium project.

(8) "Pool" means a permanent swimming pool, permanent wading or reflection pool, or permanent hot tub or spa over 18 inches deep, located at ground level, above ground, below ground, or indoors.

(9) "Pool yard" means an area that contains a pool.

(10) "Pool yard enclosure" or "enclosure" means a fence, wall, or combination of fences, walls, gates, windows, or doors that completely surround a pool.

(11) "Property owners association" means an association of property owners for a residential subdivision, condominium, cooperative, town home project, or other project involving residential dwellings.

(12) "Sliding door handle latch" means a latch or lock that is near the handle on a sliding glass door, that is operated with or without a key, and that is designed to prevent the door from being opened.

(13) "Sliding door pin lock" means a pin or rod that is inserted from the interior side of a sliding glass door at the side opposite the door's handle and that is designed to prevent the door from being opened or lifted.

(14) "Sliding door security bar" means a bar or rod that can be placed at the bottom of or across the interior side of the fixed panel of a sliding glass door and that is designed to prevent the sliding panel of the door from being opened.

(15) "Tenant" means a person who is obligated to pay rent or other consideration and who is authorized to occupy a dwelling, to the exclusion of others, under a verbal or written lease or rental agreement.

(16) "Window latch" means a device on a window or window screen that prevents the window or window screen from being opened and that is operated without a key and only from the interior.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 517, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Sec. 757.002: Application

This chapter applies only to:

(1) a pool owned, controlled, or maintained by the owner of a multiunit rental complex or by a property owners association; and

(2) doors and windows of rental dwellings opening into the pool yard of a multiunit rental complex or condominium, cooperative, or town home project.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 517, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Sec. 757.003: Enclosure for Pool Yard

(a) Except as otherwise provided by Section 757.005, the owner of a multiunit rental complex with a pool or a property owners association that owns, controls, or maintains a pool shall completely enclose the pool yard with a pool yard enclosure.

(b) The height of the pool yard enclosure must be at least 48 inches as measured from the ground on the side away from the pool.

(c) Openings under the pool yard enclosure may not allow a sphere four inches in diameter to pass under the pool yard enclosure.

(d) If the pool yard enclosure is constructed with horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is at least 45 inches, the openings may not allow a sphere four inches in diameter to pass through the enclosure.

(e) If the pool yard enclosure is constructed with horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is less than 45 inches, the openings may not allow a sphere 1-3/4 inches in diameter to pass through the enclosure.

(f) The use of chain link fencing materials is prohibited entirely for a new pool yard enclosure that is constructed after January 1, 1994. The use of diagonal fencing members that are lower than 49 inches above the ground is prohibited for a new pool yard enclosure that is constructed after January 1, 1994.

(g) Decorative designs or cutouts on or in the pool yard enclosure may not contain any openings greater than 1-3/4 inches in any direction.

(h) Indentations or protrusions in a solid pool yard enclosure without any openings may not be greater than normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints on the side away from the pool.

(i) Permanent equipment or structures may not be constructed or placed in a manner that makes them readily available for climbing over the pool yard enclosure.

(j) The wall of a building may be part of the pool yard enclosure only if the doors and windows in the wall comply with Sections 757.006 and 757.007.

(k) The owner of a multiunit rental complex with a pool or a property owners association that owns, controls, or maintains a pool is not required to:

(1) build a pool yard enclosure at specified locations or distances from the pool other than distances for minimum walkways around the pool; or

(2) conform secondary pool yard enclosures, located inside or outside the primary pool yard enclosure, to the requirements of this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 517, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Sec. 757.004: Gates

(a) Except as otherwise provided by Section 757.005, a gate in a fence or wall enclosing a pool yard as required by Section 757.003 must:

(1) have a self-closing and self-latching device;

(2) have hardware enabling it to be locked, at the option of whoever controls the gate, by a padlock or a built-in lock operated by key, card, or combination; and

(3) open outward away from the pool yard.

(b) Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (c) and Section 757.005, a gate latch must be installed so that it is at least 60 inches above the ground, except that it may be installed lower if:

(1) the latch is installed on the pool yard side of the gate only and is at least three inches below the top of the gate; and

(2) the gate or enclosure has no opening greater than one-half inch in any direction within 18 inches from the latch, including the space between the gate and the gate post to which the gate latches.

(c) A gate latch may be located 42 inches or higher above the ground if the gate cannot be opened except by key, card, or combination on both sides of the gate.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 517, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Sec. 757.005: Existing Pool Yard Enclosures

(a) If a pool yard enclosure is constructed or modified before January 1, 1994, and no municipal ordinance containing standards for pool yard enclosures were applicable at the time of construction or modification, the enclosure must comply with the requirements of Sections 757.003 and 757.004, except that:

(1) if the enclosure is constructed with chain link metal fencing material, the openings in the enclosure may not allow a sphere 2-1/4 inches in diameter to pass through the enclosure; or

(2) if the enclosure is constructed with horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is at least 36 inches, the openings in the enclosure may not allow a sphere four inches in diameter to pass through the enclosure.

(b) If a pool yard enclosure is constructed or modified before January 1, 1994, and if the enclosure is in compliance with applicable municipal ordinances existing on January 1, 1994, and containing standards for pool yard enclosures, Sections 757.003, 757.004(a)(3), and 757.004(b) do not apply to the enclosure.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 517, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Sec. 757.006: Door

(a) A door, sliding glass door, or French door may not open directly into a pool yard if the date of electrical service for initial construction of the building or pool is on or after January 1, 1994.

(b) A door, sliding glass door, or French door may open directly into a pool yard if the date of electrical service for initial construction of the building or pool is before January 1, 1994, and the pool yard enclosure complies with Subsection (c), (d), or (e), as applicable.

(c) If a door of a building, other than a sliding glass door or screen door, opens into the pool yard, the door must have a:

(1) latch that automatically engages when the door is closed;

(2) spring-loaded door-hinge pin, automatic door closer, or similar device to cause the door to close automatically; and

(3) keyless bolting device that is installed not less than 36 inches or more than 48 inches above the interior floor.

(d) If French doors of a building open to the pool yard, one of the French doors must comply with Subsection (c)(1) and the other door must have:

(1) a keyed dead bolt or keyless bolting device capable of insertion into the doorjamb above the door, and a keyless bolting device capable of insertion into the floor or threshold; or

(2) a bolt with at least a 3/4-inch throw installed inside the door and operated from the edge of the door that is capable of insertion into the doorjamb above the door and another bolt with at least a 3/4-inch throw installed inside the door and operated from the edge of the door that is capable of insertion into the floor or threshold.

(e) If a sliding glass door of a building opens into the pool yard, the sliding glass door must have:

(1) a sliding door handle latch or sliding door security bar that is installed not more than 48 inches above the interior floor; and

(2) a sliding door pin lock that is installed not more than 48 inches above the interior floor.

(f) A door, sliding glass door, or French door that opens into a pool yard from an area of a building that is not used by residents and that has no access to an area outside the pool yard is not required to have a lock, latch, dead bolt, or keyless bolting device.

(g) A keyed dead bolt, keyless bolting device, sliding door pin lock, or sliding door security bar installed before September 1, 1993, may be installed not more than 54 inches from the floor.

(h) A keyed dead bolt or keyless dead bolt, as described by Section 757.001(6)(A)(i), installed in a dwelling on or after September 1, 1993, must have a bolt with a throw of not less than one inch.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 517, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Sec. 757.007: Window and Window Screens

A wall of a building constructed before January 1, 1994, may not be used as part of a pool yard enclosure unless each window in the wall has a latch and unless each window screen on a window in the wall is affixed by a window screen latch, screws, or similar means. This section does not require the installation of window screens. A wall of a building constructed on or after January 1, 1994, may not be used as part of a pool yard enclosure unless each ground floor window in the wall is permanently closed and unable to be opened.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 517, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Sec. 757.008: Building in Pool Yard

Each door, sliding glass door, window, and window screen of each dwelling unit in a residential building located in the enclosed pool yard must comply with Sections 757.006 and 757.007.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 517, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Sec. 757.009: Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance

(a) An owner of a multiunit rental complex or a rental dwelling in a condominium, cooperative, or town home project with a pool or a property owners association that owns, controls, or maintains a pool shall exercise ordinary and reasonable care to inspect, maintain, repair, and keep in good working order the pool yard enclosures, gates, and self-closing and self-latching devices required by this chapter and within the control of the owner or property owners association.

(b) An owner of a multiunit rental complex or a rental dwelling in a condominium, cooperative, or town home project with a pool or a property owners association that owns, controls, or maintains a pool shall exercise ordinary and reasonable care to maintain, repair, and keep in good working order the window latches, sliding door handle latches, sliding door pin locks, and sliding door security bars required by this chapter and within the control of the owner or property owners association after request or notice from the tenant that those devices are malfunctioning or in need of repair or replacement. A request or notice under this subsection may be given orally unless a written lease applicable to the tenant or written rules governing the property owners association require the request or notice to be in writing. The requirement in the lease or rules must be in capital letters and underlined or in 10-point boldfaced print.

(c) An owner of a multiunit rental complex or a rental dwelling in a condominium, cooperative, or town home project with a pool or a property owners association that owns, controls, or maintains a pool shall inspect the pool yard enclosures, gates, and self-closing and self-latching devices on gates no less than once every 31 days.

(d) An owner's or property owners association's duty of inspection, repair, and maintenance under this section may not be waived under any circumstances and may not be enlarged except by written agreement with a tenant or occupant of a multiunit rental complex or a member of a property owners association or as may be otherwise allowed by this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 517, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Sec. 757.010: Compliance with Chapter

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b) and Section 757.011, a person who constructs or modifies a pool yard enclosure to conform with this chapter may not be required to construct the enclosure differently by a local governmental entity, common law, or any other law.

(b) An owner of a multiunit rental complex or a rental dwelling in a condominium, cooperative, or town home project with a pool or a property owners association that owns, controls, or maintains a pool may, at the person's option, exceed the standards of this chapter or those adopted under Section 757.011. A tenant or occupant in a multiunit rental complex and a member of a property owners association may, by express written agreement, require the owner of the complex or the association to exceed those standards.

(c) A municipality may continue to require greater overall height requirements for pool yard enclosures if the requirements exist under the municipality's ordinances on January 1, 1994.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 517, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1509, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 757.011: Rulemaking Authority

The executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission may adopt rules requiring standards for design and construction of pool yard enclosures that exceed the requirements of this chapter and that apply to all pools and pool yards subject to this chapter. An owner of a multiunit rental complex or a rental dwelling in a condominium, cooperative, or town home project with a pool or a property owners association that owns, controls, or maintains a pool shall comply with and shall be liable for failure to comply with those rules to the same extent as if they were part of this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 517, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1510, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 757.012: Enforcement

(a) A tenant of an owner of a multiunit rental complex, a member of a property owners association, a governmental entity, or any other person or the person's representative may maintain an action against the owner or property owners association for failure to comply with the requirements of this chapter. In that action, the person may obtain:

(1) a court order directing the owner or property owners association to comply with this chapter;

(2) a judgment against the owner or property owners association for actual damages resulting from the failure to comply with the requirements of this chapter;

(3) a judgment against the owner or property owners association for punitive damages resulting from the failure to comply with the requirements of this chapter if the actual damages to the person were caused by the owner's or property owners association's intentional, malicious, or grossly negligent actions;

(4) a judgment against the owner or property owners association for actual damages, and if appropriate, punitive damages, where the owner or association was in compliance with this chapter at the time of the pool-related damaging event but was consciously indifferent to access being repeatedly gained to the pool yard by unauthorized persons; or

(5) a judgment against the owner or property owners association for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 if the owner or property owners association fails to comply with this chapter within a reasonable time after written notice by a tenant of the multiunit rental complex or a member of the property owners association.

(b) A court may award reasonable attorney fees and costs to the prevailing party in an action brought under Subsection (a)(5).

(c) The attorney general, a local health department, a municipality, or a county having jurisdiction may enforce this chapter by any lawful means, including inspections, permits, fees, civil fines, criminal prosecutions, injunctions, and, after required notice, governmental construction or repair of pool yard enclosures that do not exist or that do not comply with this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 517, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Sec. 757.013: Tenant's Request for Repairs

A tenant in a multiunit rental complex with a pool may verbally request repair of a keyed dead bolt, keyless bolting device, sliding door latch, sliding door pin lock, sliding door security bar, window latch, or window screen latch unless a provision of a written lease executed by the tenant requires that the request be made in writing and the provision is in capital letters and underlined or in 10-point boldfaced print. A request for repair may be given to the owner or the owner's managing agent.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 517, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Sec. 757.014: Application to Other Bodies of Water and Related Facilities

The owner of a multiunit rental complex or a property owners association is not required to enclose a body of water or construct barriers between the owner's or property owners association's property and a body of water such as an ocean, bay, lake, pond, bayou, river, creek, stream, spring, reservoir, stock tank, culvert, drainage ditch, detention pond, or other flood or drainage facility.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 517, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Sec. 757.015: Effect on Other Laws

(a) The duties established by this chapter for an owner of a multiunit dwelling project, an owner of a dwelling in a condominium, cooperative, or town home project, and a property owners association supersede those established by common law, the Property Code, the Health and Safety Code, the Local Government Code other than Section 214.101, and local ordinances relating to duties to inspect, install, repair, or maintain:

(1) pool yard enclosures;

(2) pool yard enclosure gates and gate latches, including self-closing and self-latching devices;

(3) keyed dead bolts, keyless bolting devices, sliding door handle latches, sliding door security bars, self-latching and self-closing devices, and sliding door pin locks on doors that open into a pool yard area and that are owned and controlled by the owner or property owners association; and

(4) latches on windows that open into a pool yard area and that are owned and controlled by the owner or property owners association.

(b) This chapter does not affect any duties of a rental dwelling owner, lessor, sublessor, management company, or managing agent under Subchapter D, Chapter 92, Property Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 517, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Sec. 757.016: Nonexclusive Remedies

The remedies contained in this chapter are not exclusive and are not intended to affect existing remedies allowed by law or other procedure.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 517, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Sec. 757.017: Interpretation and Application

The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed to promote its underlying purpose which is to prevent swimming pool deaths and injuries in this state.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 517, Sec. 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Chapter 758

Sec. 758.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Bicycle" means a human-powered vehicle with two wheels in tandem designed to transport by a pedaling action of a person seated on a saddle seat.

(2) "Department" means the Department of Public Safety.

(3) "Operator" means a person who travels by pedaling on a bicycle seated on a saddle seat.

(4) "Other public right-of-way" means any right-of-way, other than a public roadway or public bicycle path, that is accessible by the public and designed for use by vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

(5) "Public bicycle path" means a right-of-way under the jurisdiction and control of this state or a local political subdivision for use primarily by bicycles or by bicycles and pedestrians.

(6) "Public roadway" means a right-of-way under the jurisdiction and control of this state or a local political subdivision for use primarily by motor vehicles.

(7) "Tricycle" means a three-wheeled human-powered vehicle that is designed to have a seat no more than two feet from the ground and be used as a toy by a child younger than six years of age.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 801, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994. Renumbered from Health & Safety Code Sec. 757.001 by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 17.01(34), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 758.002: Bicycle Safety Education Program

(a) The department may establish and administer a statewide bicycle safety education program and may adopt rules to implement the program. The program must include instruction concerning:

(1) the safe handling and use of bicycles;

(2) high risk traffic situations;

(3) bicycle and traffic handling skills;

(4) on-bike training;

(5) correct use of bicycle helmets; and

(6) traffic laws and regulations.

(b) The department may issue a certificate or other evidence of completion to a person who has successfully completed a bicycle education course.

(c) Subject to the establishment of a bicycle education program by the department, a person born after December 31, 1985, who resides in a metropolitan statistical area as defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget may complete a bicycle education course approved by the department before operating a bicycle on a public roadway, public bicycle path, or other public right-of-way. The course may be completed before the person's 10th birthday.

(d) The department may charge a fee for the course not to exceed $15.

(e) The department may:

(1) determine the qualifications for an instructor in the bicycle education program;

(2) use volunteer instructors; and

(3) certify organizations to recruit and train instructors for the program.

(f) In administering this section, the department may contract with an educational institution, state agency, local government, or nonprofit organization interested in bicycle education.

(g) The department may accept gifts, grants, and donations to be used in administering this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 801, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994. Renumbered from Health & Safety Code Sec. 757.002 by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 17.01(34), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 758.003: Fund

(a) A fee collected by the department under this chapter shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the bicycle safety fund. The department by rule may establish a procedure to allow an educational institution, state agency, local government, or nonprofit organization interested in bicycle safety to retain an amount from the fees collected to cover actual and necessary expenses.

(b) The fund may be used by the department only to:

(1) defray the costs of administering this chapter;

(2) provide a bicycle training course for a child younger than 10 years of age who comes from a low income family; and

(3) if funding permits, assist children from low income families in purchasing bicycle helmets.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 801, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994. Renumbered from Health & Safety Code Sec. 757.003 by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 17.01(34), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Chapter 759

Sec. 759.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Operator" means a person who owns, controls, or has operational responsibility for a roller-skating center.

(2) "Roller-skating center" means a facility or a portion of a facility that is specifically designed for roller skating by the public.

(3) "Spectator" means an individual who is present in a roller-skating center only to observe skating activity, regardless of whether the skating activity is recreational or competitive.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 909, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Renumbered from Health & Safety Code Sec. 757.001 by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 17.01(35), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 759.002: Duties of Operator

An operator shall:

(1) provide at least one individual to act as a floor guard for approximately every 200 skaters;

(2) require each floor guard to:

(A) wear attire that identifies the individual as a floor guard;

(B) be on duty at all times while skating is allowed;

(C) direct and supervise skaters and spectators; and

(D) watch for foreign objects that may have fallen on the floor;

(3) inspect and maintain in good condition the roller-skating surface and the railings, kickboards, and walls surrounding the roller-skating surface;

(4) inspect and maintain in good mechanical condition roller-skating equipment that the operator leases or rents to roller skaters;

(5) comply with the Roller-Skating Rink Safety Standards, 1980 edition, published by the Roller Skating Rink Operators Association of America;

(6) post the duties of roller skaters and spectators prescribed by this chapter in conspicuous places in the roller-skating center; and

(7) maintain the stability and legibility of all required signs, symbols, and posted notices.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 909, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Renumbered from Health & Safety Code Sec. 757.002 by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 17.01(35), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 759.003: Duties of Roller Skaters

(a) A roller skater:

(1) shall comply with each posted sign or warning that relates to the behavior and responsibility of the roller skater in the roller-skating center;

(2) shall obey instructions given by the operator, floor guard, or other roller-skating center personnel;

(3) shall maintain reasonable control over the speed and direction of the roller skater's skating at all times;

(4) shall be reasonably aware of other roller skaters or objects in the roller-skating center to avoid colliding with other roller skaters or objects;

(5) shall know the roller skater's ability to control the intended direction of skating and shall skate within the limits of that ability; and

(6) may not act in a manner that may cause injury to others.

(b) The conduct of a child shall be evaluated based on the child's experience, intelligence, capacity, and age to determine if the child violated this section or Section 757.004.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 909, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Renumbered from Health & Safety Code Sec. 757.003 by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 17.01(35), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 759.004: Duty of Spectator

A spectator shall comply with each posted sign or warning that relates to the behavior of the spectator in the roller-skating center.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 909, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Renumbered from Health & Safety Code Sec. 757.004 by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 17.01(35), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 759.005: Liability

(a) The liability of an operator is limited to those injuries or damages proximately caused by a breach of the operator's duties prescribed by Section 757.002.

(b) The determination of the percentage of responsibility for an injury or damage shall be made according to Chapter 33, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 909, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Renumbered from Health & Safety Code Sec. 757.005 by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 17.01(35), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Chapter 760

Sec. 760.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Ice skating center" means that portion of a facility that is designed for ice skating by the public.

(2) "Operator" means a person who owns, controls, or has operational responsibility for an ice skating center.

(3) "Spectator" means an individual who is present in an ice skating center only to observe ice skating, regardless of whether the skating is recreational or competitive.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 141, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 760.002: Duties of Operator

An operator shall:

(1) provide at least one individual to act as a rink monitor for approximately every 200 ice skaters at any time public skating is allowed;

(2) require a rink monitor to:

(A) wear attire that identifies the individual as a rink monitor;

(B) direct and supervise skaters and spectators; and

(C) watch for and remove in a timely fashion all foreign objects that may have fallen on the ice skating surface;

(3) inspect and maintain in good condition the ice skating surface and the floors, railings, boards, and walls surrounding the ice skating surface;

(4) inspect and maintain in good mechanical condition ice skating equipment that the operator leases or rents to ice skaters;

(5) comply with the risk management guidelines for ice skating rinks endorsed by the board of directors of the Ice Skating Institute of America on August 27, 1996;

(6) post the duties of ice skaters and spectators prescribed by this chapter in conspicuous places in the ice skating center;

(7) maintain the stability and legibility of all required signs, symbols, and posted notices; and

(8) maintain liability insurance of at least $500,000 combined single limits for personal injury, death, or property damage.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 141, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 760.003: Duties of Ice Skaters

(a) An ice skater shall:

(1) comply with each posted sign or warning that relates to the behavior and responsibility of the ice skater in the ice skating center;

(2) obey instructions given by the operator, rink monitor, or other ice skating center personnel;

(3) maintain reasonable control over the speed and direction of the ice skater's skating at all times;

(4) be reasonably aware of other ice skaters or objects in the ice skating center to avoid colliding with other ice skaters or objects; and

(5) know the ice skater's ability to control the intended direction of skating and skate within the limits of that ability.

(b) An ice skater may not act in a manner that may cause injury to others.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 141, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 760.004: Duty of Spectator

A spectator shall comply with each posted sign or warning that relates to the behavior of the spectator in the ice skating center.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 141, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 760.005: Duty of Child

In determining whether the conduct of a child violates Section 760.003 or 760.004, the conduct shall be evaluated based on the child's experience, intelligence, capacity, and age.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 141, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 760.006: Liability

(a) Except for actions against an operator for gross negligence, malice, or intentional conduct, an operator is not liable in negligence for damages for personal injury, property damage, or death unless the personal injury, property damage, or death is caused by a breach of a duty prescribed in Section 760.002.

(b) Chapter 33, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, applies to an action brought against an operator.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 141, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Chapter 765

Sec. 765.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Department" means the Department of Public Safety.

(2) "Dwelling" means one or more rooms rented for residential purposes to one or more tenants.

(3) "Employer" means a person who employs employees to work at a residential dwelling project.

(4) "Employee" means an individual who performs services for compensation at a residential dwelling project and who is employed by the entity that owns the project or represents the owner in managing or leasing dwellings in the project. The term does not include an independent contractor.

(5) "Occupant" means an individual who resides in a dwelling in a residential dwelling project, other than:

(A) a tenant of the dwelling; or

(B) the owner or manager of the dwelling.

(6) "Residential dwelling project" means a house, condominium, apartment building, duplex, or similar facility that is used as a dwelling or a facility that provides lodging to guests for compensation including a hotel, motel, inn, bed and breakfast facility, or similar facility. The term does not include a nursing home or other related institution regulated under Chapter 242.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1194, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 694, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Renumbered from Human Resources Code Sec. 135.001 and amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 572, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 765.002: Application of Chapter; Exception

(a) This chapter applies to each applicant for a position of employment in a residential dwelling project to whom an offer of employment is made and who, in the course and scope of the employment, may be reasonably required to have access to a dwelling in the residential dwelling project.

(b) This chapter does not apply to a person employed by an occupant or tenant of a dwelling in a residential dwelling project.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1194, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 694, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Renumbered from Human Resources Code Sec. 135.002 and amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 572, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 765.003: Verification of Criminal History Record Information

(a) An employer may request an applicant to disclose to the employer the applicant's criminal history at any time before or after an offer of employment is made to the applicant. After an offer of employment is made, the employer may verify through the department any criminal history record information that is maintained by the department relating to that applicant and that the department is authorized to release under Chapter 411, Government Code. The employer may verify the information only with the authorization of the applicant and in compliance with this section.

(b) The department may adopt rules or apply rules adopted under Section 411.086, Government Code, regarding the method of requesting information under this chapter.

(c) The department may adopt rules relating to an employer's access to criminal history record information, including requirements for submission of:

(1) the employer's complete name, current street address, and federal employer identification number;

(2) an affidavit by an authorized representative of the employer that the individual whose criminal history is requested has been offered a position of employment by the employer in a residential dwelling project and that, in the course and scope of the employment, the individual may be reasonably required to have access to a dwelling in the residential dwelling project; and

(3) the complete name, date of birth, social security number, and current street address of the individual signing the affidavit.

(d) An affidavit submitted under Subsection (c) must include a statement, executed by the individual offered the position of employment, that authorizes the employer to obtain the criminal history record of the individual.

(e) The department may not provide an employer with the criminal history record information of an applicant under this chapter unless the employer is entitled to receive the information under Section 411.118, Government Code.

(f) This chapter does not require an employer to obtain criminal history record information under this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1194, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 284(57), eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 694, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Renumbered from Human Resources Code Sec. 135.003 and amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 572, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 765.004: Privilege

Criminal history record information received by an employer under this chapter is privileged and is for the exclusive use of the employer. The employer may disclose the information to an authorized officer, employee, or agent of the employer only for the purpose of making a determination regarding the suitability of an individual for employment. Otherwise, an employer, or any individual to whom the employer may have disclosed information, may not release or otherwise disclose the information received under this chapter to any person or governmental entity except on court order or with the written consent of the individual being investigated.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1194, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 694, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Renumbered from Human Resources Code Sec. 135.004 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 572, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 765.005: Penalty

An individual who is an officer, employee, or agent of an employer and who knowingly or intentionally violates Section 765.004 or submits false information to the department commits an offense. An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1194, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 694, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Renumbered from Human Resources Code Sec. 135.005 and amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 572, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 765.006: Effect of Submission of False Information

An employer may terminate the employment of an individual who, at the time of the individual's application for employment or after the individual has been employed by the employer, submits false information relating to the individual's criminal history.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 694, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Renumbered from V.T.C.A, Human Resources Code Sec. 135.006 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 572, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 765.007: Other Information

This chapter does not prevent an employer from asking an applicant for employment or an employee to provide other information if the request for that information is not otherwise prohibited by law.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 694, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Renumbered from Human Resources Code Sec. 135.007 by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 572, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Chapter 766

Subchapter A

Sec. 766.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Carbon monoxide alarm" means a device that detects and sounds an alarm to indicate the presence of a harmful level of carbon monoxide gas.

(2) "Department" means the Texas Department of Insurance.

(3) "Fossil fuel" includes coal, kerosene, oil, wood, fuel gases, and other petroleum or hydrocarbon products.

(4) "One-family or two-family dwelling" means a structure that has one or two residential units that are occupied as, or designed or intended for occupancy as, a residence by individuals.

(5) "Smoke detector" means a device or a listed component of a system that detects and sounds an alarm to indicate the presence of visible or invisible products of combustion in the air.

(6) "Smoke detector for hearing-impaired persons" has the meaning assigned by Section 792.001.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1051 (H.B. 2118), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 766.002: Smoke Detector Requirement

(a) Each one-family or two-family dwelling constructed in this state must have working smoke detectors installed in the dwelling in accordance with the smoke detector requirements of the building code in effect in the political subdivision in which the dwelling is located, including performance, location, and power source requirements.

(b) If a one-family or two-family dwelling does not comply with the smoke detector requirements of the building code in effect in the political subdivision in which the dwelling is located, any home improvement to the dwelling that requires the issuance of a building permit must include the installation of smoke detectors in accordance with the building code in effect in the political subdivision in which the dwelling is located, including performance, location, and power source requirements.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1051 (H.B. 2118), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 766.0021: Smoke Detector for Hearing-Impaired Persons

(a) A purchaser under a written contract for the sale of a one-family or two-family dwelling may require the seller to install smoke detectors for hearing-impaired persons if:

(1) the purchaser or a member of the purchaser's family who will reside in the dwelling is a hearing-impaired person;

(2) the purchaser provides written evidence of the hearing impairment signed by a licensed physician; and

(3) not later than the 10th day after the effective date of the contract, the purchaser requests in writing that the seller install smoke detectors for hearing-impaired persons and specifies the locations in the dwelling where the smoke detectors are to be installed.

(b) If the seller is required to install smoke detectors for hearing-impaired persons under Subsection (a), the seller and purchaser may agree:

(1) which party will bear the cost of installing the smoke detectors; and

(2) which brand of smoke detectors to install.

(c) The seller must install the smoke detectors not later than the closing date of the sale of the dwelling.

(d) A purchaser may terminate the contract to purchase the dwelling if the seller fails to install smoke detectors for hearing-impaired persons as required by this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1051 (H.B. 2118), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 766.0025: Fraternity and Sorority Houses

(a) In this section, "fraternity or sorority house" means a dwelling that:

(1) is a separate structure and that is not a multiunit residential property composed of multiple independent residential units; and

(2) serves as living quarters for members of a fraternity or sorority.

(b) The owner of a fraternity or sorority house must have working smoke detectors installed in the fraternity house or sorority house in accordance with the smoke detector requirements of the building code in effect in the political subdivision in which the fraternity or sorority house is located, including performance, location, and power source requirements.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1051 (H.B. 2118), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 766.003: Information Relating to Fire Safety and Carbon Monoxide Dangers

(a) The department shall prepare information of public interest relating to:

(1) fire safety in the home; and

(2) the dangers of carbon monoxide.

(b) The information must inform the public about:

(1) ways to prevent fires in the home, and actions to take if a fire occurs in the home;

(2) the need to test smoke detectors every month to ensure the smoke detector is working;

(3) replacing the battery in a battery-operated smoke detector every six months;

(4) the need to have fire safety equipment in the home, including fire extinguishers and emergency escape ladders;

(5) the need to develop and practice a fire escape plan;

(6) the availability of carbon monoxide detectors;

(7) using carbon monoxide alarms as a backup to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning; and

(8) the need to properly use and maintain fossil fuel-burning appliances.

(c) The department shall distribute the information described by this section to the public in any manner the department determines is cost-effective, including providing the information on the department's Internet website and publishing informational pamphlets.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1051 (H.B. 2118), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2007.

Subchapter B

Sec. 766.051: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Fire protection sprinkler system" means an assembly of underground or overhead piping or conduits that conveys water with or without other agents to dispersal openings or devices to:

(A) extinguish, control, or contain fire; and

(B) provide protection from exposure to fire or the products of combustion.

(2) "Residential high-rise building" means a building used primarily for a residential purpose and that extends 75 feet or more from the ground.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 871 (H.B. 3089), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 766.052: Applicability of Subchapter

This subchapter applies only to a residential high-rise building:

(1) that is located in a county with a population of more than 1.5 million in which more than 75 percent of the population resides in a single municipality;

(2) in which at least 50 percent of the residents are elderly individuals, individuals with a disability, or individuals with a mobility impairment; and

(3) that is not designated as a historically or archaeologically significant site by the Texas Historical Commission or the governing body of the county or municipality in which the building is located.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 871 (H.B. 3089), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 766.053: Fire Protection Sprinkler Systems Required; Standard

(a) A residential high-rise building must be equipped with a complete fire protection sprinkler system that is in good working order and is in compliance with this section.

(b) The governing body of a municipality in which a residential high-rise building subject to this subchapter is located or, if the building is not located in a municipality, the commissioners court of the county in which the building is located shall adopt a standard for the installation of fire protection sprinkler systems in a residential high-rise building.

(c) The standard adopted must be in compliance with National Fire Protection Association 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems. Until the governing body of the municipality or commissioners court of the county, as applicable, adopts a standard as required by this section, the standard is the Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems of the National Fire Protection Association, as that standard existed on September 1, 2015.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 871 (H.B. 3089), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 766.054: Phase-in Compliance for Owners of Certain Residential High-Rise Buildings

(a) This section applies only to an owner of a residential high-rise building built before September 1, 2015.

(b) Not later than September 1, 2018, an owner of a residential high-rise building shall provide notice of the owner's intent to comply with this subchapter to:

(1) if the building is located in a municipality, the appropriate code official of the municipality in which the building is located; or

(2) if the building is not located in a municipality, the county clerk of the county in which the building is located.

(c) Not later than September 1, 2021, the owner of a residential high-rise building shall install a water supply on all floors of the building in accordance with National Fire Protection Association 13: Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems.

(d) Not later than September 1, 2024, the owner of a residential high-rise building shall install a fire protection sprinkler system in accordance with this subchapter on at least 50 percent of the floors of the building.

(e) Not later than September 1, 2027, the owner of a residential high-rise building shall install a fire protection sprinkler system in accordance with this subchapter on all floors of the building.

(f) Notwithstanding Subsections (b), (c), (d), and (e), an owner of multiple residential high-rise buildings built before September 1, 2015, is considered to have met the requirements of this section if a fire protection sprinkler system is installed on all floors of:

(1) at least 33 percent of the owner's residential high-rise buildings not later than September 1, 2021;

(2) at least 66 percent of the owner's residential high-rise buildings not later than September 1, 2024; and

(3) all of the owner's residential high-rise buildings not later than September 1, 2027.

(g) If a residential high-rise building is a condominium as defined by Section 81.002 or 82.003, Property Code, the apartment or unit owners of the condominium may comply with this subchapter by acting jointly through the council of owners or unit owners' association, as applicable, of the condominium.

(h) For purposes of Sections 766.055 and 766.056, a residential high-rise building is in compliance with this subchapter if the owner of the building has met the requirements of this section.

(i) This section expires September 1, 2028.

Comments

For expiration of this section, see Subsection (i).

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 871 (H.B. 3089), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 766.055: Injunction

(a) The attorney general, the county attorney of a county in which a residential high-rise building is located, or the district attorney of a county in which the building is located may bring an action in the name of the state for an injunction to enforce this subchapter against the owner or person in charge of a residential high-rise building not in compliance with this subchapter.

(b) The action must be brought in the district court of the county in which the residential high-rise building is located.

(c) The attorney general, county attorney of the county in which the residential high-rise building is located, or district attorney of the county in which the building is located, as applicable, shall give the owner or person in charge of the building notice of the time and place of a hearing for an action brought under this section not later than the 10th day before the date of the hearing.

(d) A district judge may issue a mandatory injunction against the owner or person in charge of a residential high-rise building not in compliance with this subchapter to enforce this subchapter. Violation of an injunction issued under this section constitutes contempt of court and is punishable in the manner provided for contempt.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 871 (H.B. 3089), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 766.056: Criminal Penalty

(a) A person commits an offense if the person is the owner of a residential high-rise building that is not in compliance with this subchapter.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person serves as an agent for an owner who is not a resident of this state in the care, management, supervision, control, or rental of a residential high-rise building not in compliance with this subchapter.

(c) An offense under this section is punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 871 (H.B. 3089), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Chapter 768

Sec. 768.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Bull riding helmet" means a rodeo helmet that is designed to provide substantial protection for a person's head and face during bull riding.

(2) "Child" means a person under 18 years of age.

(3) "Department" means the Department of State Health Services.

(4) "Executive commissioner" means the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission.

(5) "Protective vest" means protective clothing that covers a person's chest and torso to prevent or mitigate injury to those areas.

(6) "Rodeo" means an exhibition or competition, without regard to whether the participants are compensated, involving activities related to cowboy skills, including:

(A) riding a horse, with or without a saddle, with the goal of remaining on the horse while it attempts to throw off the rider;

(B) riding a bull;

(C) roping an animal, including roping as part of a team;

(D) wrestling a steer; and

(E) riding a horse in a pattern around preset barrels or other obstacles.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 868 (S.B. 2505), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 768.002: Protective Gear Required for Children Engaging in Certain Rodeo Activities

(a) A child may not engage in, and a parent or legal guardian of the child may not knowingly or recklessly permit the child to engage in, bull riding, including engaging in bull riding outside a rodeo for the purpose of practicing bull riding, unless the child is wearing a bull riding helmet and a protective vest.

(b) To satisfy the requirements of this section, a helmet or protective vest must meet the standards adopted under Section 768.004.

(c) In a cause of action in which damages are sought for injuries or death suffered by a child in connection with bull riding, the failure of the child or of the parent or legal guardian of the child to comply with this chapter does not constitute responsibility causing or contributing to the cause of the child's injuries or death for purposes of Chapter 33, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 868 (S.B. 2505), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 768.003: Rodeos Associated with School

(a) This section applies only to a primary or secondary school that sponsors, promotes, or otherwise is associated with a rodeo in which children who attend the school are likely to participate.

(b) A primary or secondary school to which this section applies shall, before the first rodeo associated with the school in each school year, conduct a mandatory educational program on safety, including the proper use of protective gear, for children planning to participate in the rodeo. The educational program may consist of an instructional video, subject to department approval.

(c) A child may not participate in a rodeo associated with the child's school during a school year unless the child has completed the educational program under Subsection (b) not more than one year before the first day of the rodeo.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 868 (S.B. 2505), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 768.004: Rules

(a) The executive commissioner by rule shall adopt standards for:

(1) bull riding helmets; and

(2) protective vests.

(b) For purposes of this section, the executive commissioner may adopt standards established under federal law or adopted by a federal agency or a nationally recognized organization.

(c) The executive commissioner shall adopt rules establishing requirements for the educational program under Section 768.003.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 868 (S.B. 2505), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Subtitle B

Chapter 771

Subchapter A

Sec. 771.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Commission" means the Commission on State Emergency Communications.

(2) "Business service user" means a user of business service that provides telecommunications service, including 9-1-1 service, to end users through a publicly or privately owned telephone switch.

(3) "Emergency communication district" means:

(A) a public agency or group of public agencies acting jointly that provided 9-1-1 service before September 1, 1987, or that had voted or contracted before that date to provide that service; or

(B) a district created under Subchapter B, C, D, F, G, or H, Chapter 772.

(4) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 4, Sec. 73.01, eff. September 28, 2011.

(5) "Local exchange service provider" means a telecommunications carrier providing telecommunications service in a local exchange service area under a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

(6) "9-1-1 service" means a communications service that connects users to a public safety answering point through a 9-1-1 system.

(7) "Public agency" means the state, a municipality, a county, an emergency communication district, a regional planning commission, an appraisal district, or any other political subdivision or district that provides, participates in the provision of, or has authority to provide fire-fighting, law enforcement, ambulance, medical, 9-1-1, or other emergency services.

(8) "Public safety agency" means the division of a public agency that provides fire-fighting, police, medical, or other emergency services, or a private entity that provides emergency medical or ambulance services.

(9) "Public safety answering point" means a continuously operated communications facility that is assigned the responsibility to receive 9-1-1 calls and, as appropriate, to dispatch public safety services or to extend, transfer, or relay 9-1-1 calls to appropriate public safety agencies.

(10) "Regional planning commission" means a planning commission established under Chapter 391, Local Government Code.

(11) "Business service" means a telecommunications service classified as a business service under rules adopted by the Public Utility Commission of Texas or under the applicable tariffs of the principal service supplier.

(12) "Wireless service provider" means a provider of commercial mobile service under Section 332(d), Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 (47 U.S.C. Section 151 et seq.), Federal Communications Commission rules, and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (Pub. L. No. 103-66), and includes a provider of wireless two-way communication service, radio-telephone communications related to cellular telephone service, network radio access lines or the equivalent, and personal communication service. The term does not include a provider of:

(A) a service whose users do not have access to 9-1-1 service;

(B) a communication channel used only for data transmission;

(C) a wireless roaming service or other nonlocal radio access line service; or

(D) a private telecommunications service.

(13) "Wireless telecommunications connection" means any voice-capable wireless communication mobile station that is provided to a customer by a wireless service provider.

(14) "Service provider" means a local exchange service provider, a wireless service provider, and any other provider of local exchange access lines or equivalent local exchange access lines.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 735, Sec. 1, eff. June 16, 1993; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1246, Sec. 1, eff; Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1406, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 4 (S.B. 1), Sec. 73.01, eff. September 28, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 4 (S.B. 1), Sec. 73.02, eff. September 28, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 331 (H.B. 1972), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Subchapter B

Sec. 771.031: Composition of Commission

(a) The Commission on State Emergency Communications is composed of nine appointed members and three ex officio members as provided by this section.

(b) The following individuals serve as nonvoting ex officio members:

(1) the executive director of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, or an individual designated by the executive director;

(2) the executive director of the Department of Information Resources, or an individual designated by the executive director; and

(3) the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission, or an individual designated by the executive commissioner.

(c) The lieutenant governor and the speaker of the house of representatives each shall appoint two members as representatives of the general public.

(d) The governor shall appoint:

(1) one member who serves on the governing body of a regional planning commission;

(2) one member who serves as a director of or is on the governing body of an emergency communication district;

(3) one member who serves on the governing body of a county;

(4) one member who serves on the governing body of a home-rule municipality that operates a 9-1-1 system that is independent of the state's system; and

(5) one member as a representative of the general public.

(e) Appointed members of the commission serve staggered terms of six years, with the terms of one-third of the members expiring September 1 of each odd-numbered year.

(f) A vacancy in an appointed position on the commission shall be filled in the same manner as the position of the member whose departure created the vacancy.

(g) The governor shall designate an appointed member of the commission as the presiding officer of the commission to serve in that capacity at the pleasure of the governor.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 937 (H.B. 3560), Sec. 2.06, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 347 (H.B. 1093), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 771.0315: Eligibility for Membership Or to Be General Counsel

(a) A person is not eligible for appointment under Section 771.031 to represent the general public if the person or the person's spouse:

(1) is registered, certified, or licensed by a regulatory agency in the field of telecommunications;

(2) is employed by or participates in the management of a business entity or other organization receiving money from the commission;

(3) owns or controls, directly or indirectly, more than a 10 percent interest in a business entity or other organization receiving money from the commission; or

(4) uses or receives a substantial amount of tangible goods, services, or money from the commission other than compensation or reimbursement authorized by law for commission membership, attendance, or expenses.

(b) In this subsection, "Texas trade association" means a cooperative and voluntarily joined association of business or professional competitors in this state designed to assist its members and its industry or profession in dealing with mutual business or professional problems and in promoting their common interest. A person may not be a member of the commission and may not be a commission employee employed in a "bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity," as that phrase is used for purposes of establishing an exemption to the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Section 201 et seq.) and its subsequent amendments, if:

(1) the person is an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of telecommunications or emergency communications;

(2) the person's spouse is an officer, manager, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of telecommunications or emergency communications;

(3) the person is an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a Texas association of regional councils; or

(4) the person's spouse is an officer, manager, or paid consultant of a Texas association of regional councils.

(c) A person may not be a member of the commission or act as the general counsel to the commission if the person is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code, because of the person's activities for compensation on behalf of a profession related to the operation of the commission.

(d) Appointments to the commission shall be made without regard to the race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin of the appointees.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 771.0316: Grounds for Removal of Commission Member

(a) It is a ground for removal from the commission that a member:

(1) does not have at the time of taking office the qualifications required by Section 771.031;

(2) does not maintain during service the qualifications required by Section 771.031;

(3) is ineligible for membership under Section 771.031 or 771.0315;

(4) cannot, because of illness or disability, discharge the member's duties for a substantial part of the member's term; or

(5) is absent from more than half of the regularly scheduled commission meetings that the member is eligible to attend during a calendar year without an excuse approved by a majority vote of the commission.

(b) The validity of an action of the commission is not affected by the fact that it is taken when a ground for removal of a commission member exists.

(c) If the executive director has knowledge that a potential ground for removal exists, the executive director shall notify the presiding officer of the commission of the potential ground. The presiding officer shall notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists. If the potential ground for removal involves the presiding officer, the executive director shall notify the next highest ranking officer of the commission, who shall then notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 771.032: Application of Sunset Act

The Commission on State Emergency Communications is subject to Chapter 325, Government Code (Texas Sunset Act). Unless continued in existence as provided by that chapter, the commission is abolished and this chapter expires September 1, 2023.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 970, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 511 (H.B. 1861), Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 771.033: Meetings

The commission shall meet in Austin and at other places fixed by the commission at the call of the presiding officer.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 771.034: Expenses

The expenses of a member of the commission shall be paid as provided by the General Appropriations Act.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 771.035: Staff; Personnel Policies

(a) The commission may employ persons as necessary to carry out its functions.

(b) The executive director or the executive director's designee shall prepare and maintain a written policy statement that implements a program of equal employment opportunity to ensure that all personnel decisions are made without regard to race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin.

(c) The policy statement must include:

(1) personnel policies, including policies related to recruitment, evaluation, selection, training, and promotion of personnel, that show the intent of the commission to avoid the unlawful employment practices described by Chapter 21, Labor Code; and

(2) an analysis of the extent to which the composition of the commission's personnel is in accordance with state and federal law and a description of reasonable methods to achieve compliance with state and federal law.

(d) The policy statement must be:

(1) updated annually;

(2) reviewed by the state Commission on Human Rights for compliance with Subsection (c)(1); and

(3) filed with the governor's office.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 771.036: Standards of Conduct

The executive director or the executive director's designee shall provide to members of the commission and to employees of the commission, as often as necessary, information regarding the requirements for office or employment under this chapter, including information regarding a person's responsibilities under applicable laws relating to standards of conduct for state officers or employees.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 771.037: Commission Member Training

(a) A person who is appointed to and qualifies for office as a member of the commission may not vote, deliberate, or be counted as a member in attendance at a meeting of the commission until the person completes a training program that complies with this section.

(b) The training program must provide the person with information regarding:

(1) the legislation that created the commission;

(2) the programs operated by the commission;

(3) the role and functions of the commission;

(4) the rules of the commission, with an emphasis on the rules that relate to disciplinary and investigatory authority;

(5) the current budget of the commission;

(6) the results of the most recent formal audit of the commission;

(7) the requirements of:

(A) the open meetings law, Chapter 551, Government Code;

(B) the public information law, Chapter 552, Government Code;

(C) the administrative procedure law, Chapter 2001, Government Code; and

(D) other laws relating to public officials, including conflict of interest laws; and

(8) any applicable ethics policies adopted by the commission or the Texas Ethics Commission.

(c) A person appointed to the commission is entitled to reimbursement, as provided by the General Appropriations Act, for the travel expenses incurred in attending the training program, regardless of whether the attendance of the program occurs before or after the person qualifies for office.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 771.038: Public Comments

The commission shall develop and implement policies that provide the public with a reasonable opportunity to appear before the commission and to speak on any issue under the jurisdiction of the commission.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 771.039: Complaints

(a) The commission shall maintain a file on each written complaint filed with the commission. The file must include:

(1) the name of the person who filed the complaint;

(2) the date the complaint is received by the commission;

(3) the subject matter of the complaint;

(4) the name of each person contacted in relation to the complaint;

(5) a summary of the results of the review or investigation of the complaint; and

(6) an explanation of the reason the file was closed, if the commission closed the file without taking action other than to investigate the complaint.

(b) The commission shall provide to the person filing the complaint and to each person who is a subject of the complaint a copy of the commission's policies and procedures relating to complaint investigation and resolution.

(c) The commission, at least quarterly and until final disposition of the complaint, shall notify the person filing the complaint and each person who is a subject of the complaint of the status of the investigation unless the notice would jeopardize an undercover investigation.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 771.040: Negotiated Rulemaking and Alternative Dispute Resolution

(a) The commission shall develop and implement a policy to encourage the use of:

(1) negotiated rulemaking procedures under Chapter 2008, Government Code, for the adoption of commission rules; and

(2) appropriate alternative dispute resolution procedures under Chapter 2009, Government Code, to assist in the resolution of internal and external disputes under the commission's jurisdiction.

(b) The commission's procedures relating to alternative dispute resolution must conform, to the extent possible, to any model guidelines issued by the State Office of Administrative Hearings for the use of alternative dispute resolution by state agencies.

(c) The commission shall:

(1) coordinate the implementation of the policy adopted under Subsection (a);

(2) provide training as needed to implement the procedures for negotiated rulemaking or alternative dispute resolution; and

(3) collect data concerning the effectiveness of those procedures.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 511 (H.B. 1861), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Subchapter C

Sec. 771.051: Powers and Duties of Commission

(a) The commission is the state's authority on emergency communications. The commission shall:

(1) administer the implementation of statewide 9-1-1 service and the poison control network, including poison control centers under Chapter 777;

(2) develop minimum performance standards for equipment and operation of 9-1-1 service to be followed in developing regional plans under Section 771.055, including requirements that the plans provide for:

(A) automatic number identification by which the telephone number of the caller is automatically identified at the public safety answering point receiving the call; and

(B) other features the commission considers appropriate;

(3) examine and approve or disapprove regional plans as provided by Section 771.056;

(4) recommend minimum training standards, assist in training, and provide assistance in the establishment and operation of 9-1-1 service;

(5) allocate money to prepare and operate regional plans as provided by Section 771.056;

(6) develop and provide public education materials and training;

(7) plan, implement, operate, and maintain poison control center databases and assist in planning, supporting, and facilitating 9-1-1 databases, as needed;

(8) provide grants or contracts for services that enhance the effectiveness of 9-1-1 service;

(9) coordinate emergency communications services and providers;

(10) make reasonable efforts to gain voluntary cooperation in the commission's activities of emergency communications authorities and providers outside the commission's jurisdiction, including:

(A) making joint communications to state and federal regulators; and

(B) arranging cooperative purchases of equipment or services; and

(11) accept, receive, and deposit in its account in the general revenue fund gifts, grants, and royalties from public and private entities. Gifts, grants, and royalties may be used for the purposes of the commission.

(b) The commission shall comply with state laws requiring state agencies, boards, or commissions generally to submit appropriations requests to the Legislative Budget Board and the governor and to develop a strategic plan for operations.

(c) The commission may obtain a commercial license or sublicense to sell 9-1-1 or poison control public education and training materials in this state or in other states. The commission may use all profits from sales for purposes of the commission.

(d) The commission shall develop and implement policies that clearly separate the policy making responsibilities of the commission and the management responsibilities of the executive director and the staff of the commission.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 36, Sec. 1.05, eff. April 19, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1377, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 347 (H.B. 1093), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 771.0511: Emergency Services Internet Protocol Network; Emergency Communications Advisory Committee

(a) In this section:

(1) "Advisory committee" means the Emergency Communications Advisory Committee.

(2) "State-level emergency services Internet Protocol network" means a private Internet Protocol network or Virtual Private Network that:

(A) is used for communications between and among public safety answering points and other entities that support or are supported by public safety answering points in providing emergency call handling and response; and

(B) will be a part of the Texas Next Generation Emergency Communications System.

(b) The commission, with the assistance of an advisory committee, may coordinate the development, implementation, and management of an interconnected, state-level emergency services Internet Protocol network.

(c) If the commission acts under Subsection (b), the commission shall establish policy and oversee agency involvement in the development and implementation of the interconnected, state-level emergency services Internet Protocol network.

(d) If the commission acts under Subsection (b), the commission shall appoint an advisory committee. The advisory committee must include at least:

(1) one representative from a regional planning commission;

(2) one representative from an emergency communication district, as that term is defined by Section 771.001(3)(A); and

(3) one representative from an emergency communication district, as that term is defined by Section 771.001(3)(B).

(e) In appointing members of an advisory committee, the commission shall consult with regional planning commissions and emergency communication districts throughout the state. The commission shall ensure that each member of the advisory committee has appropriate training, experience, and knowledge in 9-1-1 systems and network management to assist in the implementation and operation of a complex network.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 511 (H.B. 1861), Sec. 3, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 771.0512: Obligations Or Requirements Concerning Voice Over Internet Protocol, Internet Protocol Enabled Service, Or Commercial Mobile Service Or Wireline Service

Defining "9-1-1 service" as a communications service and other amendments effective September 1, 2013, do not expand or change the authority or jurisdiction of a public agency or the commission over commercial mobile service or wireline service including Voice over Internet Protocol service or Internet Protocol enabled service or expand the authority of a public agency or the commission to assess 911 fees. Nothing in this chapter affects Section 52.002(d), Utilities Code. In this section, "Voice over Internet Protocol service," "Internet Protocol enabled service," and "commercial mobile service" have the meanings assigned by Sections 51.002 and 51.003, Utilities Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 331 (H.B. 1972), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 771.052: Agency Cooperation

Each public agency and regional planning commission shall cooperate with the commission to the fullest extent possible.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 771.053: Statewide Limitation on Liability of Service Providers and Certain Public Officers

(a) A service provider of communications service involved in providing 9-1-1 service, a manufacturer of equipment used in providing 9-1-1 service, a developer of software used in providing 9-1-1 service, a third party or other entity involved in providing 9-1-1 service, or an officer, director, or employee of the service provider, manufacturer, developer, third party, or other entity involved in providing 9-1-1 service is not liable for any claim, damage, or loss arising from the provision of 9-1-1 service unless the act or omission proximately causing the claim, damage, or loss constitutes gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

(b) A member of the commission or of the governing body of a public agency is not liable for any claim, damage, or loss arising from the provision of 9-1-1 service unless the act or omission causing the claim, damage, or loss violates a statute or ordinance applicable to the action.

(c) This section shall be interpreted to provide protection relating to confidentiality and immunity and protection from liability with at least the same scope and to at least the same extent as described by federal law, including 47 U.S.C. Section 615a and 47 U.S.C. Section 1472.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 331 (H.B. 1972), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 331 (H.B. 1972), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 771.054: Effect of Chapter on Emergency Communication Districts

Except as expressly provided by this chapter, this chapter does not affect the existence or operation of an emergency communication district or prevent the addition of territory to the area served by an emergency communication district as provided by law.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 771.055: Strategic Planning

(a) Each regional planning commission shall develop a regional plan for the establishment and operation of 9-1-1 service throughout the region that the regional planning commission serves. The 9-1-1 service must meet the standards established by the commission.

(b) A regional plan must describe how the 9-1-1 service is to be administered. The 9-1-1 service may be administered by an emergency communication district, municipality, or county, by a combination formed by interlocal contract, or by other appropriate means as determined by the regional planning commission. In a region in which one or more emergency communication districts exist, a preference shall be given to administration by those districts and expansion of the area served by those districts.

(c) A regional plan must be updated at least once every state fiscal biennium and must include:

(1) a description of how money allocated to the region under this chapter is to be allocated in the region;

(2) projected financial operating information for the two state fiscal years following the submission of the plan; and

(3) strategic planning information for the five state fiscal years following submission of the plan.

(d) In a region in which one or more emergency communication districts exist, if a district chooses to participate in the regional plan, the district shall assist in the development of the regional plan.

(e) For each state fiscal biennium, the commission shall prepare a strategic plan for statewide 9-1-1 service for the following five state fiscal years using information from the strategic information contained in the regional plans and provided by emergency communication districts and home-rule municipalities that operate 9-1-1 systems independent of the state system. The commission shall present the strategic plan to the governor and the Legislative Budget Board, together with the commission's legislative appropriations request. The strategic plan must:

(1) include a survey of the current performance, efficiency, and degree of implementation of emergency communications services throughout the whole state;

(2) provide an assessment of the progress made toward meeting the goals and objectives of the previous strategic plan and a summary of the total expenditures for emergency communications services in this state;

(3) provide a strategic direction for emergency communications services in this state;

(4) establish goals and objectives relating to emergency communications in this state;

(5) provide long-range policy guidelines for emergency communications in this state;

(6) identify major issues relating to improving emergency communications in this state;

(7) identify priorities for this state's emergency communications system; and

(8) detail the financial performance of each regional planning commission in implementing emergency communications service including an accounting of administrative expenses.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 771.056: Submission of Regional Plan to Commission

(a) The regional planning commission shall submit a regional plan, or an amendment to the plan, to the commission for approval or disapproval.

(b) In making its determination, the commission shall consider whether the plan or amendment satisfies the standards established by the commission under this chapter, the cost and effectiveness of the plan or amendment, and the appropriateness of the plan or amendment in the establishment of statewide 9-1-1 service.

(c) The commission shall notify a regional planning commission of the approval or disapproval of the plan or amendment not later than the 90th day after the date the commission receives an administratively complete plan or amendment. If the commission disapproves the plan, it shall specify the reasons for disapproval and set a deadline for submission of a modified plan.

(d) If the commission approves the plan, it shall allocate to the region from the money collected under Sections 771.071, 771.0711, and 771.072 and appropriated to the commission the amount that the commission considers appropriate to operate 9-1-1 service in the region according to the plan and contracts executed under Section 771.078.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 17, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 771.057: Amendment of Plan

A regional plan may be amended according to the procedure determined by the commission.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 18, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 771.058: Optional Participation in Plan

(a) In a county with a population of 120,000 or less, the county or another public agency, other than the state, located in the county is not required to participate in the regional plan applicable to the regional planning commission in which it is located, and the fee imposed under this chapter may not be charged to a customer in the county or territory of the public agency other than the county, unless the county or other public agency chooses to participate in the plan by resolution of its governing body.

(b) On approval by the commission, an emergency communication district may choose to participate in the regional plan applicable to the regional planning commission region in which the district is located. An emergency communication district described by Section 771.001(3)(A) may choose to participate in the regional plan by resolution of its governing body or by adoption of an ordinance. An emergency communication district described by Section 771.001(3)(B) may choose to participate in the regional plan by order of the district's board after a public hearing held in the manner required for a public hearing on the continuation of the district under the law governing the district. Following the adoption of the resolution, ordinance, or order and approval by the commission, the regional planning commission shall amend the regional plan to take into account the participation of the emergency communication district.

(c) Participation in the regional plan by an emergency communication district does not affect the organization or operation of the district, except that the district may not collect an emergency communication fee or other special fee for 9-1-1 service not permitted by this chapter. Participation by the district in the plan does not affect the district's authority to set its own fees in the territory under its jurisdiction on January 1, 1988. Participation in the regional plan by a public agency or group of public agencies operating as an emergency communication district as provided by Subsection (d) does not affect the authority of the public agency or group of public agencies to set its own fees in territory:

(1) under its jurisdiction at the time of recognition; or

(2) added to the district after the recognition.

(d) In a county with a population of 120,000 or less, a public agency or group of public agencies acting jointly that contracted with a service provider before September 1, 1987, to provide 9-1-1 service by resolution of its governing body may withdraw from a regional plan in which it chooses to participate. A public agency or group of public agencies that withdraws from a regional plan under this subsection shall be recognized and operate as an emergency communication district in the agency's or group's geographic jurisdiction. As an emergency communication district, the public agency or group of agencies:

(1) is governed by Subchapter D, Chapter 772; and

(2) may collect all fees authorized by that subchapter or other applicable law.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 670, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 19, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 771.059: Deadline for Statewide 9-1-1 Service

Before September 1, 1995, all parts of the state must be covered by 9-1-1 service.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 771.060: Business Providing Residential Telephone Switches

A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a private telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall provide to those residential end users the same level of 9-1-1 service that a service supplier is providing to other residential end users in the area participating in the regional plan under Section 771.051(2).

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 30, 1993.

Sec. 771.061: Statewide Confidentiality of Information

(a) Information that a service provider of communications service is required to furnish to a governmental entity, including a regional planning commission, emergency communications district, or public safety answering point, in providing 9-1-1 service or that a service provider, third party, or other entity voluntarily furnishes at the request of a governmental entity in providing 9-1-1 service is confidential and is not available for public inspection. Information that is contained in an address database maintained by a governmental entity or a third party used in providing 9-1-1 service is confidential and is not available for public inspection. The service provider or third party is not liable to any person who uses a 9-1-1 service for the release of information furnished by the service provider or third party in providing 9-1-1 service, unless the act or omission proximately causing the claim, damage, or loss constitutes gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

(b) Information that a service provider furnishes to the commission or an emergency communication district to verify or audit emergency service fees or surcharge remittances and that includes access line or market share information of an individual service provider is confidential and not available for public inspection.

(c) This section shall be interpreted to provide protection relating to confidentiality and immunity and protection from liability with at least the same scope and to at least the same extent as described by federal law, including 47 U.S.C. Section 615a and 47 U.S.C. Section 1472.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1377, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 20, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 331 (H.B. 1972), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 771.062: Local Adoption of State Rule

(a) An emergency communication district may adopt any provision of this chapter or any commission rule. The commission may enforce a provision or rule adopted by an emergency communication district under this section.

(b) The commission shall maintain and update at least annually a list of provisions or rules that have been adopted by emergency communication districts under this section.

(c) An emergency communication district or home-rule municipality that operates a 9-1-1 system independent of the state system may voluntarily submit strategic planning information to the commission for use in preparing the strategic plan for statewide 9-1-1 service. This information as determined by the commission, if reported, may:

(1) include a survey of the current performance, efficiency, and degree of implementation of emergency communications services;

(2) detail the progress made toward meeting the goals and objectives of the previous strategic plan;

(3) describe the strategic direction, goals, and objectives for emergency communications services;

(4) identify major issues, long-range policy guidelines, and priorities relating to improving emergency communications services; and

(5) detail the financial performance of each district in implementing emergency communications services.

(d) The commission shall establish reasonable guidelines for use by districts and home-rule municipalities in preparing information for the strategic plan for statewide 9-1-1 services. These guidelines shall include the time frames of information and instructions for submission.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1377, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 21, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 771.063: Definition of Local Exchange Access Line and Equivalent Local Exchange Access Line

(a) The advisory commission shall determine by rulemaking what constitutes a local exchange access line and an equivalent local exchange access line for all 9-1-1 emergency services fees imposed statewide.

(b) By October 1, 1999, the advisory commission shall adopt definitions of a local exchange access line and an equivalent local exchange access line that exclude a line from a telecommunications service provider to an Internet service provider for the Internet service provider's data modem lines used only to provide its Internet access service and that are not capable of transmitting voice messages.

(c) The advisory commission shall annually review the definitions of a local exchange access line and an equivalent local exchange access line to address technical and structural changes in the provision of telecommunications and data services. In that annual review, the advisory commission may include previously excluded Internet service provider data modem lines if it determines that circumstances have changed sufficiently enough that 9-1-1 emergency calls through those lines are done on a regular basis or that the data lines are voice-capable or that the lines are functionally equivalent.

(d) An emergency communication district described by Section 771.001(3)(A) or (B) that has not participated in a regional plan shall use the advisory commission's definitions of a local exchange access line and an equivalent local exchange access line for purposes of imposing its emergency service fees and may not impose an emergency service fee on any line excluded from the advisory commission's definitions.

(e) A service provider shall collect and remit the emergency service fees to the advisory commission or the appropriate emergency communication district, as applicable, in accordance with the advisory commission's definition of a local exchange access line and an equivalent local exchange access line.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1203, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999.

Subchapter D

Sec. 771.071: Emergency Service Fee

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter, the commission may impose a 9-1-1 emergency service fee on each local exchange access line or equivalent local exchange access line, including lines of customers in an area served by an emergency communication district participating in the applicable regional plan. If a business service user provides residential facilities, each line that terminates at a residential unit, and that is a communication link equivalent to a residential local exchange access line, shall be charged the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The fee may not be imposed on a line to coin-operated public telephone equipment or to public telephone equipment operated by coin or by card reader. The fee may also not be imposed on any line that the commission excluded from the definition of a local exchange access line or an equivalent local exchange access line pursuant to Section 771.063.

(b) The amount of the fee may not exceed 50 cents a month for each line.

(c) The commission may set the fee in a different amount in each regional planning commission region based on the cost of providing 9-1-1 service to each region.

(d) The fee does not apply to an emergency communication district not participating in the applicable regional plan. A customer in an area served by an emergency communication district not participating in the regional plan may not be charged a fee under this section. Money collected under this section may not be allocated to an emergency communication district not participating in the applicable regional plan.

(e) A service provider shall collect the fees imposed on its customers under this section. Not later than the 30th day after the last day of the month in which the fees are collected, the service provider shall deliver the fees to the comptroller. The comptroller shall deposit money from the fees to the credit of the 9-1-1 services fee account in the general revenue fund. The comptroller may establish alternative dates for payment of fees under this section, provided that the required payment date be no earlier than the 30th day after the last day of the reporting period in which the fees are collected.

(f) The commission shall distribute money appropriated to the commission from the 9-1-1 services fee fund to regional planning commissions for use in providing 9-1-1 services as provided by contracts executed under Section 771.078. The regional planning commissions shall distribute the money to public agencies for use in providing those services.

(g) Repealed by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1045, Sec. 18, eff. June 18, 1999.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 4, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1157, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1045, Sec. 18, eff. June 18, 1999, Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1203, Sec. 2, eff. June 18, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 22, eff. Sept; 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1158, Sec. 80, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 4 (S.B. 1), Sec. 73.03, eff. September 28, 2011.

Sec. 771.0711: Emergency Service Fee for Wireless Telecommunications Connections

(a) To provide for automatic number identification and automatic location identification of wireless 9-1-1 calls, the commission shall impose on each wireless telecommunications connection a 9-1-1 emergency service fee. A political subdivision may not impose another fee on a wireless service provider or subscriber for 9-1-1 emergency service.

(b) A wireless service provider shall collect the fee in an amount equal to 50 cents a month for each wireless telecommunications connection from its subscribers and shall pay the money collected to the comptroller not later than the 30th day after the last day of the month during which the fees were collected. The comptroller may establish alternative dates for payment of fees under this section. The wireless service provider may retain an administrative fee of one percent of the amount collected. The comptroller shall deposit the money from the fees to the credit of the 9-1-1 services fee account. Until deposited to the credit of the 9-1-1 services fee account as required by Subsection (c), money the comptroller collects under this subsection remains in a trust fund with the state treasury.

(c) Money collected under Subsection (b) may be used only for services related to 9-1-1 services, including automatic number identification and automatic location information services, or as authorized by Section 771.079(c). Not later than the 15th day after the end of the month in which the money is collected, the commission shall distribute to each emergency communication district that does not participate in the state system a portion of the money that bears the same proportion to the total amount collected that the population of the area served by the district bears to the population of the state. The remaining money collected under Subsection (b) shall be deposited to the 9-1-1 services fee account.

(d) A service provider of telecommunications service involved in providing wireless 9-1-1 service is not liable for any claim, damage, or loss arising from the provision of wireless 9-1-1 service unless the act or omission proximately causing the claim, damage, or loss constitutes gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

(e) A member of the commission, the governing body of a public agency, or the Department of Information Resources is not liable for any claim, damage, or loss arising from the provision of wireless 9-1-1 service unless the act or omission causing the claim, damage, or loss violates a statute or ordinance applicable to the action.

(f) A wireless service provider is not required to take legal action to enforce the collection of any wireless 9-1-1 service fee. The comptroller may establish collection procedures and recover the cost of collection from the subscriber liable for the fee. The comptroller may institute legal proceedings to collect a fee and in those proceedings is entitled to recover from the subscriber court costs, attorney's fees, and interest on the amount delinquent.

(g) On receipt of an invoice from a wireless service provider for reasonable expenses for network facilities, including equipment, installation, maintenance, and associated implementation costs, the commission or an emergency services district of a home-rule municipality or an emergency communication district created under Chapter 772 shall reimburse the wireless service provider in accordance with state law for all expenses related to 9-1-1 service.

(h) Information that a wireless service provider is required to furnish to a governmental entity in providing 9-1-1 service is confidential and exempt from disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code. The wireless service provider is not liable to any person who uses a 9-1-1 service created under this subchapter for the release of information furnished by the wireless service provider in providing 9-1-1 service. Information that is confidential under this section may be released only for budgetary calculation purposes and only in aggregate form so that no provider-specific information may be extrapolated.

(i) Nothing in this section may be construed to apply to wireline 9-1-1 service.

(j) Nothing in this section precludes funds collected under Section 771.072 (Equalization Surcharge) from being used to cover costs under Subsection (g), as necessary and appropriate, including for rural areas that may need additional funds for wireless 9-1-1.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1246, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1158, Sec. 81, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 937 (H.B. 3560), Sec. 2.07, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 835 (H.B. 7), Sec. 6, eff. June 14, 2013.

Sec. 771.0712: Prepaid 9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee

(a) To ensure that all 9-1-1 agencies under Section 418.051, Government Code, are adequately funded, beginning on June 1, 2010, a prepaid wireless 9-1-1 emergency services fee of two percent of the purchase price of each prepaid wireless telecommunications service purchased by any method, shall be collected by the seller from the consumer at the time of each retail transaction of prepaid wireless telecommunications service occurring in this state and remitted to the comptroller consistent with Chapter 151, Tax Code, and distributed consistent with the procedures in place for the emergency services fee in Section 771.0711, Health and Safety Code. A seller may deduct and retain two percent of prepaid wireless 9-1-1 emergency services fees that it collects under this section to offset its costs in administering this fee.

(b) The comptroller shall adopt rules to implement this section by June 1, 2010.

(c) A seller who fails to file a report or remit a fee collected or payable as provided by this section and comptroller rules shall pay five percent of the amount due and payable as a penalty, and if the seller fails to file the report or remit the fee within 30 days after the day the fee or report is due, the seller shall pay an additional five percent of the amount due and payable as an additional penalty.

(d) In addition to any other penalty authorized by this section, a seller who fails to file a report as provided by this section shall pay a penalty of $50. The penalty provided by this subsection is assessed without regard to whether the seller subsequently files the report or whether any taxes were due from the seller for the reporting period under the required report.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1280 (H.B. 1831), Sec. 3.03a, eff. September 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 4 (S.B. 1), Sec. 14.10, eff. October 1, 2011.

Sec. 771.072: Equalization Surcharge

(a) In addition to the fees imposed under Sections 771.071 and 771.0711, the commission shall impose a 9-1-1 equalization surcharge on each local exchange access line or equivalent local exchange access line and each wireless telecommunications connection. The surcharge may not be imposed on:

(1) a line to coin-operated public telephone equipment or to public telephone equipment operated by coin or by card reader;

(2) any line that the commission excluded from the definition of a local exchange access line or an equivalent local exchange access line under Section 771.063; or

(3) any wireless telecommunications connection that constitutes prepaid wireless telecommunications service subject to Section 771.0712.

(b) The surcharge must be a fixed amount, not to exceed 10 cents per month for each local exchange access line, equivalent local exchange access line, or wireless telecommunications connection.

(c) Except as provided by Section 771.073(f), each service provider shall collect the surcharge imposed on its customers under this section and shall deliver the surcharges to the comptroller not later than the date specified by the comptroller, provided that the required payment date be no earlier than the 30th day after the last day of the reporting period in which the surcharge is collected. If the comptroller does not specify a date, the provider shall deliver the surcharges to the comptroller not later than the 30th day after the last day of the month in which the surcharges are collected.

(d) From the revenue received from the surcharge imposed under this section, not more than 40 percent of the amount derived from the application of the surcharge shall be allocated to regional planning commissions or other public agencies designated by the regional planning commissions for use in carrying out the regional plans provided for by this chapter. The allocations to the regional planning commissions are not required to be equal, but should be made to carry out the policy of this chapter to implement 9-1-1 service statewide. Money collected under this section may be allocated to an emergency communication district regardless of whether the district is participating in the applicable regional plan.

(e) From the revenue received from the surcharge imposed by this section, not more than 60 percent of the amount derived from the application of the surcharge shall be periodically allocated to fund grants awarded under Section 777.009 and other activities related to the poison control centers as required by Chapter 777.

(f) The comptroller shall deposit the surcharges and any prior balances in accounts in the general revenue fund in the state treasury until they are allocated to regional planning commissions, other 9-1-1 jurisdictions, and regional poison control centers in accordance with this section. From those accounts, the amount necessary for the commission to fund approved plans of regional planning commissions and regional poison control centers and to carry out its duties under this chapter shall be appropriated to the commission. Section 403.095, Government Code, does not apply to an account established by this subsection.

(g) Notwithstanding any other law, revenue derived from the equalization surcharge imposed under this section may be appropriated to the commission only for the purposes described by Sections 773.122 through 773.124.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 36, Sec. 1.06, eff. Aug. 31, 1994; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 670, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1045, Sec. 15, eff. June 18, 1999, Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 24, eff. Sept; 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1158, Sec. 82, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 347 (H.B. 1093), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 4 (S.B. 1), Sec. 73.04, eff. September 28, 2011.

Sec. 771.0725: Establishment of Rates for Fees

(a) Repealed by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 448, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 448, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

(c) Repealed by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 448, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 448, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

(e) The commission shall establish the rate for the equalization surcharge imposed under Section 771.072 for each state fiscal biennium in an amount that ensures the aggregate of the anticipated surcharges collected from all customers for the following 12 months does not exceed the aggregate of the surcharges collected from all customers during the preceding 12 months. Any change in the equalization surcharge rate may not become effective before the 90th day after the date notice of the change is provided by the commission to the service providers.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1241, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 18.33, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 25, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 4 (S.B. 1), Sec. 73.05, eff. September 28, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 448 (S.B. 809), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 771.073: Collection of Fees and Surcharges

(a) A customer on which a fee or surcharge is imposed under this subchapter is liable for the fee or surcharge in the same manner as the customer is liable for the charges for services provided by the service provider. The service provider shall collect the fees and surcharges in the same manner it collects those charges for service, except that the service provider is not required to take legal action to enforce the collection of the fees or surcharges. Other than the fee imposed under Section 771.0712, a fee or surcharge imposed under this subchapter must be either stated separately on the customer's bill or combined in an appropriately labeled single line item on the customer's bill with all other fees and surcharges that are imposed under this subchapter or that are imposed for 9-1-1 emergency service by a political subdivision. A service provider that combines the fees and surcharges into a single line item for billing purposes must maintain books and records reflecting the collection of each separate fee and surcharge.

(b) A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a private telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall collect the 9-1-1 emergency service fee and transmit the fees monthly to the comptroller. A business service user that does not collect and remit the 9-1-1 emergency service fee as required is subject to a civil cause of action. A court may award to the comptroller court costs, attorney's fees, and interest on the amount delinquent, to be paid by the nonpaying business service user. A certificate of the comptroller specifying the unremitted fees is prima facie evidence that the fees were not remitted and of the amount of the unremitted fees.

(c) The comptroller may establish collection procedures and recover the cost of collection from the customer liable for the fee or surcharge. The comptroller may institute legal proceedings to collect a fee or surcharge and in those proceedings is entitled to recover from the customer court costs, attorney's fees, and an interest on the amount delinquent.

(d) A service provider may not disconnect services for nonpayment of a fee or surcharge imposed under this subchapter.

(e) A service provider collecting fees or surcharges under this subchapter may retain as an administrative fee an amount equal to one percent of the total amount collected.

(f) The commission may establish payment schedules and minimum payment thresholds for fees and surcharges imposed under this subchapter.

(g) A 9-1-1 service provider is responsible for correctly billing and remitting applicable 9-1-1 fees, charges, and equalization surcharges. Any 9-1-1 fees, charges, or equalization surcharges erroneously billed to a subscriber by a 9-1-1 service provider and erroneously remitted to the commission or an emergency communication district may not be recovered from the commission or emergency communication district unless the fees or charges were adjusted due to a refund to the subscriber by the local exchange carrier or interexchange carrier.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 5, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1377, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1158, Sec. 83, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 4 (S.B. 1), Sec. 73.06, eff. September 28, 2011.

Sec. 771.0735: Sourcing of Charges for Mobile Telecommunications Services

The federal Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing Act (4 U.S.C. Sections 116-126) governs the sourcing of charges for mobile telecommunications services. In accordance with that Act:

(1) mobile telecommunications services provided in a taxing jurisdiction to a customer, the charges for which are billed by or for the customer's home service provider, shall be deemed to be provided by the customer's home service provider;

(2) all charges for mobile telecommunications services that are deemed to be provided by the customer's home service provider in accordance with the Act are authorized to be subjected to tax, charge, or fee by the taxing jurisdictions whose territorial limits encompass the customer's place of primary use, regardless of where the mobile telecommunications services originate, terminate, or pass through, and no other taxing jurisdiction may impose taxes, charges, or fees on charges for such mobile telecommunications services; and

(3) the fee and the surcharge imposed on wireless telecommunications bills shall be administered in accordance with Section 151.061, Tax Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 370, Sec. 4, eff. Aug. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 4 (S.B. 1), Sec. 73.07, eff. September 28, 2011.

Sec. 771.074: Exemption

A fee or surcharge authorized by this subchapter, Chapter 772, or a home-rule municipality may not be imposed on or collected from the state or the federal government.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1377, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1158, Sec. 84, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Sec. 771.075: Use of Revenue

Except as provided by Section 771.0751, 771.072(e), 771.072(f), or 771.073(e), fees and surcharges collected under this subchapter may be used only for planning, development, provision, and enhancement of the effectiveness of 9-1-1 service as approved by the commission.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 670, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 6, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 6, eff; Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 27, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 258, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1324, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.

Sec. 771.0751: Use of Revenue in Certain Counties

(a) This section applies only to the use of fees and surcharges collected under this subchapter in the county that has the highest population within a region subject to this subchapter.

(b) In addition to use authorized or required by Section 771.072(e) or (f), 771.073(e), or 771.075, fees and surcharges collected under this subchapter may be used for any costs considered necessary by the commission and attributable to:

(1) designing a 9-1-1 system; or

(2) obtaining and maintaining equipment and personnel necessary to establish and operate:

(A) a public safety answering point and related operations; or

(B) other related answering points and operations.

Comments

Text of section added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1324, Sec. 2

For text of section as added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 258, Sec. 2, see other Sec. 771.0751

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1324, Sec. 2, eff. June 20, 2003.

Sec. 771.0751: Use of Revenue in Certain Counties

(a) This section applies only to the use of fees and surcharges collected under this subchapter in a county subject to this subchapter with a population of at least one million.

(b) In addition to use authorized or required by Section 771.072(e) or (f), 771.073(e), or 771.075, fees and surcharges collected under this subchapter may be used for any costs considered necessary by the commission and attributable to:

(1) designing a 9-1-1 system; or

(2) obtaining and maintaining equipment and personnel necessary to establish and operate:

(A) a public safety answering point and related operations; or

(B) other related answering points and operations.

Comments

Text of section added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 258, Sec. 2

For text of section as added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1324, Sec. 2, see other Sec. 771.0751

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 258, Sec. 2, eff. June 18, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1163 (H.B. 2702), Sec. 50, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 771.076: Audits

(a) The commission or an employee of the commission may notify the comptroller of any irregularity that may indicate that an audit of a service provider collecting a fee or surcharge under this subchapter is warranted. The comptroller also may audit a service provider at the comptroller's discretion, without first receiving a notification from the commission or an employee of the commission. The cost of the audit shall not be assessed against the service provider. The commission may require at its own expense that an audit be conducted of a public agency receiving money under this chapter.

(b) If the comptroller conducts an audit of a service provider that collects and disburses fees or surcharges under this subchapter, the comptroller shall also audit those collections and disbursements to determine if the provider is complying with this chapter.

(c) At the request of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the state auditor may audit a regional planning commission or other public agency designated by the regional planning commission that receives money under this subchapter.

(d) The audit of a public agency under Subsection (a) or (c) must be limited to the collection, remittance, and expenditure of money collected under this subchapter.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1241, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 28, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1158, Sec. 85, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Sec. 771.077: Collection of Fees and Surcharges

(a) The comptroller may establish collection procedures to collect past due amounts and may recover the costs of collection from a service provider or business service user that fails to timely deliver the fees and the equalization surcharge to the comptroller. Subtitles A and B, Title 2, Tax Code, apply to the administration and collection of amounts by the comptroller under this subchapter.

(b) The comptroller may establish procedures to be used by the commission to notify the comptroller of a service provider's or business service user's failure to timely deliver the fees or surcharges.

(c) The comptroller shall deposit amounts received as costs of collection in the general revenue fund.

(d) The comptroller shall:

(1) remit to the commission money collected under this section for fees provided by Section 771.0711 and associated late penalties;

(2) deposit to the 9-1-1 services fee account any money collected under this section for fees provided by Section 771.071 and associated late penalties; and

(3) deposit to the account as authorized by Section 771.072 any money collected under this section for fees provided by Section 771.072 and associated late penalties.

(e) The commission shall:

(1) deposit or distribute the money remitted under Subsection (d)(1) as Section 771.0711 provides for fees received under that section; and

(2) distribute the money remitted under Subsection (d)(2) and appropriated to the commission under contracts as provided by Section 771.078(b)(1).

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 29, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1158, Sec. 86, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Sec. 771.078: Contracts for Services

(a) The commission shall contract with regional planning commissions for the provision of 9-1-1 service. The commission by rule shall adopt standard provisions for the contracts.

(b) In making contracts under this section, the commission shall ensure that each regional planning commission receives money for 9-1-1 service in two separately computed amounts as provided by this subsection. The commission must provide each regional planning commission with:

(1) an amount of money equal to the total of the revenue from the emergency service fees collected under Section 771.071 that is deposited in the treasury and appropriated to the commission multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the amount of those fees collected from the region and the denominator of which is the total amount of those fees collected in this state; and

(2) an amount of money equal to the total of the revenue from the emergency service fee for wireless telecommunications connections under Section 771.0711 that is deposited in the treasury and appropriated to the commission multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the population of the region and the denominator of which is the population of this state.

(c) Contracts under this section must provide for:

(1) the reporting of financial information regarding administrative expenses by regional planning commissions in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles;

(2) the reporting of information regarding the current performance, efficiency, and degree of implementation of emergency communications services in each regional planning commission's service area;

(3) the collection of efficiency data on the operation of 9-1-1 answering points;

(4) standards for the use of answering points and the creation of new answering points;

(5) quarterly disbursements of money due under the contract, except as provided by Subdivision (6);

(6) the commission to withhold disbursement to a regional planning commission that does not follow a standard imposed by the contract, a commission rule, or a statute; and

(7) a means for the commission to give an advance on a quarterly distribution under the contract to a regional planning commission that has a financial emergency.

(d) Not more than 10 percent of the money received by a regional planning commission under Subsection (b) may be used for the regional planning commission's indirect costs. In this subsection, "indirect costs" means costs that are not directly attributable to a single action of a commission. The governor shall use the federal Office of Management and Budget circulars A-87 and A-122 or use any rules relating to the determination of indirect costs adopted under Chapter 783, Government Code, in administering this section.

(e) The commission may allocate surcharges under Section 771.072(d) by means of a contract under this section.

(f) Promptly after the commission receives a request from a regional planning commission, the commission shall provide the regional planning commission with adequate documentation and financial records of the amount of money collected in that region or of an amount of money allocated to the regional planning commission in accordance with this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 30, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 771.079: 9-1-1 Services Fee Fund

(a) The 9-1-1 services fee fund is an account in the general revenue fund.

(b) The account consists of:

(1) fees deposited in the fund as provided by Sections 771.071 and 771.0711; and

(2) notwithstanding Section 404.071, Government Code, all interest attributable to money held in the account.

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (c-1), money in the account may be appropriated only to the commission for planning, development, provision, or enhancement of the effectiveness of 9-1-1 service or for contracts with regional planning commissions for 9-1-1 service, including for the purposes of:

(1) maintaining 9-1-1 service levels while providing for a transition to a system capable of addressing newer technologies and capable of addressing other needs;

(2) planning and deploying statewide, regional, and local emergency network systems; and

(3) updating geospatial mapping technologies.

(c-1) The legislature may appropriate money from the account to provide assistance to volunteer fire departments under Subchapter G, Chapter 614, Government Code, only if:

(1) the purposes described by Subsection (c) have been accomplished or are fully funded for the fiscal period for which an appropriation under this subsection is made; and

(2) all other sources of revenue dedicated for the purposes of providing assistance to volunteer fire departments under Subchapter G, Chapter 614, Government Code, are obligated for the fiscal period for which an appropriation under this subsection is made.

(d) Section 403.095, Government Code, does not apply to the account.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 31, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 835 (H.B. 7), Sec. 7, eff. June 14, 2013.

Subchapter E

Sec. 771.102: Establishment of the Emergency Medical Dispatch Resource Centers Program

(a) The commission, with the assistance of the advisory council appointed under Section 773.012, shall administer the program in which emergency medical dispatchers located in regional emergency medical dispatch resource centers are used to provide life-saving and other emergency medical instructions to persons who need guidance while awaiting the arrival of emergency medical personnel. The purpose of a regional emergency medical dispatch resource center is not to dispatch personnel or equipment resources but to serve as a resource to provide pre-arrival instructions that may be accessed by selected public safety answering points that are not adequately staffed or funded to provide those services.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 , Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2015.

(c) The commission, with the assistance of the advisory council, shall:

(1) design criteria and protocols and provide oversight as needed to conduct the program;

(2) collect the necessary data to evaluate the program; and

(3) report its findings to the legislature.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 874, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1345, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 15 (S.B. 523), Sec. 1, eff. May 3, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1196 (H.B. 1412), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 479), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 479), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 771.103: Participation in Program

(a) The commission shall determine which public safety answering points are interested in participating in the program.

(b) Participating public safety answering points must agree to participate in any required training and to provide regular reports required by the commission for the program.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 874, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1345, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 15 (S.B. 523), Sec. 1, eff. May 3, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1196 (H.B. 1412), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 479), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 771.104: Selection of Program Participants and Regional Emergency Medical Dispatch Resource Centers

(a) The commission, with the assistance of the advisory council, may select public safety answering points to participate in the program or to serve as regional emergency medical dispatch resource centers. A public safety answering point may participate in the program and serve as a regional emergency medical dispatch resource center. A public safety answering point selected for the program or to serve as a resource center must:

(1) have a fully functional quality assurance program that measures each emergency medical dispatcher's compliance with the medical protocol;

(2) have dispatch personnel who meet the requirements for emergency medical dispatcher certification or the equivalent as determined by the Department of State Health Services;

(3) use emergency medical dispatch protocols approved by a physician medical director knowledgeable in emergency medical dispatch;

(4) have sufficient experience in providing pre-arrival instructions; and

(5) have sufficient resources to handle the additional workload and responsibilities of the program.

(b) In selecting an existing public safety answering point to act as a resource center, the commission shall consider a public safety answering point's ability to keep records and produce reports to measure the effectiveness of the program. The commission shall share information regarding a public safety answering point's abilities with the advisory council.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 874, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1345, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 15 (S.B. 523), Sec. 1, eff. May 3, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1196 (H.B. 1412), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 479), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 771.105: Criteria for Emergency Medical Dispatch Intervention

The commission, with the assistance of the advisory council, shall define criteria that establish the need for emergency medical dispatch intervention to be used by participating public safety answering points to determine which calls are to be transferred to the regional emergency medical dispatch resource center for emergency medical dispatch intervention.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 874, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1345, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 15 (S.B. 523), Sec. 1, eff. May 3, 2005.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 479), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 771.106: Funding of Program

(a) State funds may be appropriated to the commission to fund the program.

(b) The commission may seek grant funding for the program.

(c) A political subdivision that participates in the program may pay an appropriate share of the cost of the program.

(d) The provisions in this subchapter that require the commission to conduct and evaluate the program are contingent on the commission receiving funding in accordance with this section. If a sufficient number of political subdivisions in a region that could be served by a program offer to pay the commission an amount that in the aggregate, together with any other funding received under this section, is sufficient to fund the program for the region, the commission:

(1) shall enter into contracts with the offering political subdivisions under which each will pay an appropriate share of the cost; and

(2) when the amount under the signed contracts, together with any other funding received under this section, is sufficient to fund the program for the region, shall implement the program for the region.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 874, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1345, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 1, eff. May 27, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 15 (S.B. 523), Sec. 1, eff. May 3, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1196 (H.B. 1412), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 479), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 771.107: Report to Legislature

The commission shall biennially report its findings to the governor, the presiding officer of each house of the legislature, and the advisory council no later than January 1 of each odd-numbered year.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 874, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1345, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 2, eff. May 27, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 15 (S.B. 523), Sec. 1, eff. May 3, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1196 (H.B. 1412), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 479), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 771.108: Liability

The operations of the regional emergency medical dispatch resource center are considered to be the provision of 9-1-1 services for purposes of Section 771.053. Employees of and volunteers at the center have the same protection from liability as a member of the governing body of a public agency under Section 771.053.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 874, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1345, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 15 (S.B. 523), Sec. 1, eff. May 3, 2005.

Sec. 771.109: Work Group

(a) The commission may appoint a program work group to assist the commission in implementing and evaluating the program and preparing a report on the commission's findings.

(b) A member of the work group receives no additional compensation for serving on the program work group and may not be reimbursed for travel or other expenses incurred while conducting the business of the program work group.

(c) The program work group is not subject to Chapter 2110, Government Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 3, eff. May 27, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 15 (S.B. 523), Sec. 1, eff. May 3, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1196 (H.B. 1412), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 479), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2015.

Subchapter F

Sec. 771.151: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Center" means the area health education center at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center that meets the requirements of 42 U.S.C. Section 294a and has received federal funding as an area health education center.

(2) "Emergency medical services" means services used to respond to an individual's perceived need for immediate medical care and to prevent death or aggravation of physiological or psychological illness or injury.

(3) "Emergency medical services provider" means a person who uses or maintains emergency medical services vehicles, medical equipment, and emergency medical services personnel to provide emergency medical services.

(4) "Emergency prehospital care" means care provided to the sick or injured before or during transportation to a medical facility, and includes any necessary stabilization of the sick or injured in connection with that transportation.

(5) "Regional trauma resource center" means a trauma facility that the center selects to participate in the project.

(6) "Rural area" means:

(A) a county with a population of 50,000 or less; or

(B) a large, isolated, and sparsely populated area of a county with a population of more than 50,000.

(7) "Telemedicine medical service" has the meaning assigned by Section 111.001, Occupations Code.

(8) "Trauma facility" means a health care facility that is capable of comprehensive treatment of seriously injured persons and is a part of an emergency medical services and trauma care system.

Comments

For expiration of this subchapter, see Section 771.160.

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 479), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2015.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 205 (S.B. 1107), Sec. 11, eff. May 27, 2017.

Sec. 771.152: Establishment of Pilot Project

(a) The commission, with the assistance of the center, shall establish a pilot project to provide emergency medical services instruction and emergency prehospital care instruction through a telemedicine medical service provided by regional trauma resource centers to:

(1) health care providers in rural area trauma facilities; and

(2) emergency medical services providers in rural areas.

(b) The commission shall provide technical assistance to the center in implementing the pilot project.

(c) The center, with the assistance of the commission, shall:

(1) design criteria and protocols for the telemedicine medical service and related instruction and provide the oversight necessary to conduct the pilot project;

(2) define criteria to determine when telemedicine medical services that provide instructions for emergency medical services, emergency prehospital care, and trauma care should be transferred to an emergency medical resource center for intervention; and

(3) collect the data necessary to evaluate the project.

(d) The center may make available appropriate resources for individuals who do not speak English.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 479), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 771.153: Staff

The center shall provide the telemedicine medical service and related instruction for the pilot project through health care providers in regional trauma resource centers, including physicians, pharmacists, emergency medical personnel, and other health professionals acting under physician delegation and supervision.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 479), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 771.154: Participation in Pilot Project

(a) The center shall determine the trauma facilities and emergency medical services providers that are interested in participating in the pilot project.

(b) A trauma facility or emergency medical services provider participating in the pilot project must agree to successfully complete any required training and to provide all reports required by the center for the project.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 479), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 771.155: Selection of Project Participants and Regional Trauma Resource Centers

(a) The center, with the assistance of the commission, may select trauma facilities and emergency medical services providers to participate in the pilot project and select trauma facilities to serve as regional trauma resource centers.

(b) A trauma facility may not be selected to participate in the project or to serve as a regional trauma resource center unless the facility:

(1) has a quality assurance program that measures each health care provider's compliance with the medical protocol;

(2) uses emergency medical services and emergency prehospital care protocols approved by a physician medical director knowledgeable in emergency medical services and emergency prehospital care;

(3) has experience in providing emergency medical services and emergency prehospital care that the center determines is sufficient; and

(4) has resources sufficient to provide the additional telemedicine medical services and related instruction required for the pilot project in addition to the health care services already provided by the facility.

(c) In selecting a trauma facility to serve as a regional trauma resource center, the center shall consider the facility personnel's ability to maintain records and produce reports to measure the effectiveness of the pilot project. The center shall share information regarding that ability with the commission.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 479), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 771.156: Funding of Pilot Project

(a) Money collected under Section 771.072(f) may be appropriated to the commission to fund the pilot project.

(b) The center may seek grants to fund the pilot project.

(c) A political subdivision with a trauma facility that participates in the pilot project may pay part of the costs of the pilot project.

(d) If a sufficient number of political subdivisions in a region that may be served by the pilot project agree to pay the center an amount that together with other funding received under this section is sufficient to fund the pilot project for the region, the center shall:

(1) contract with the political subdivisions for each to pay an appropriate share of the cost; and

(2) implement the project for the region when the amounts agreed to in the contracts and any other funding received under this section are sufficient to fund the project for the region.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 479), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 771.157: Report to Legislature

The center, in cooperation with the commission, shall report its findings to the governor and the presiding officer of each house of the legislature, not later than December 31, 2020.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 479), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 771.158: Liability

The operations of the center and a regional trauma resource center are considered to be the provision of 9-1-1 services for purposes of Section 771.053. Employees of and volunteers at the regional trauma resource center have the same protection from liability as a member of the governing body of a public agency under Section 771.053.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 479), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 771.159: Work Group

(a) The center may appoint a project work group to assist the center in developing, implementing, and evaluating the project and preparing a report on the center's findings.

(b) A member of the work group is not entitled to compensation for serving on the project work group and may not be reimbursed for travel or other expenses incurred while conducting the business of the project work group.

(c) The project work group is not subject to Chapter 2110, Government Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 479), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 771.160: Expiration

This subchapter expires January 1, 2021.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 457 (H.B. 479), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2015.

Chapter 771A

Sec. 771A.001: Direct Access to 9-1-1 Service Required

(a) In this chapter:

(1) "9-1-1 service" means a communications service that connects users to a public safety answering point through a 9-1-1 system.

(2) "Business service user" means a user of business service that provides telecommunications service, including 9-1-1 service, to end users through a publicly or privately owned or controlled telephone switch.

(3) "Commission" means the Commission on State Emergency Communications.

(4) "Emergency communication district" means:

(A) a public agency or group of public agencies acting jointly that provided 9-1-1 service before September 1, 1987, or that had voted or contracted before that date to provide that service; or

(B) a district created under Subchapter B, C, D, F, or G, Chapter 772.

(5) "Internet Protocol enabled service" has the meaning assigned by Section 51.002, Utilities Code.

(6) "Telephone system" includes a multiline telephone system.

(b) This section applies to the extent the section is not inconsistent with or preempted by federal law.

(c) Notwithstanding any other law, a business service user that owns or controls a telephone system or an equivalent system that uses Internet Protocol enabled service and provides outbound dialing capacity or access shall configure the telephone system or equivalent system to allow a person initiating a 9-1-1 call on the system to directly access 9-1-1 service by dialing the digits 9-1-1 without an additional code, digit, prefix, postfix, or trunk-access code.

(d) A business service user that provides residential or business facilities, owns or controls a telephone system or an equivalent system that uses Internet Protocol enabled service, and provides outbound dialing capacity or access shall configure the telephone system or equivalent system to provide a notification to a central location on the site of the residential or business facility when a person within the residential or business facility dials 9-1-1 if the system is able to be configured to provide the notification without an improvement to the system's hardware. This subsection does not require a business service user to have a person available at the central location to receive a notification.

(e) The commission or the applicable emergency communication district shall grant a one-year waiver of the requirements under this section to a business service user if:

(1) the requirements would be unduly and unreasonably cost prohibitive for a business service user to comply with; and

(2) the business service user provides an affidavit not later than September 1 of each year stating:

(A) the manufacturer and model number of the telephone system or equivalent system that needs to be reprogrammed or replaced;

(B) that the business service user made a good faith attempt to reprogram or replace the system; and

(C) if the telephone system or equivalent system does not comply with Subsection (c), that the business service user agrees to place an instructional sticker immediately adjacent to each telephone that is accessed using the noncompliant system indicating that during the waiver period the telephone is unable to directly dial 9-1-1 and providing instructions for accessing 9-1-1 in case of an emergency. The instructional sticker must be printed in at least 16-point boldface type in a contrasting color using a font that is easily readable.

(f) The commission may adopt rules to implement this section for areas that are governed by a regional plan, and an emergency communication district may adopt those rules in accordance with Section 771.062.

(g) On the request of the business service user, the commission, an emergency communication district, or a home-rule municipality that independently operates a 9-1-1 system shall provide assistance to a business service user that is within the applicable governmental entity's jurisdiction in complying with this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 21 (S.B. 788), Sec. 2, eff. May 15, 2015.

Chapter 772

Subchapter A

Sec. 772.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Automatic location identification" means a feature corresponding to automatic number identification by which the number provided by the automatic number identification feature is matched with the address or location of the telephone from which the call is made and is presented to the public safety answering point along with the number in a computerized 9-1-1 system.

(2) "Automatic number identification" means a feature that enables a service supplier to identify the telephone number of a caller and that operates by forwarding the caller's telephone number to the public safety answering point, where the data is received by equipment that translates it into a visual display.

(3) "Base rate" means the rate or rates billed by a service supplier, as stated in the service supplier's charges approved by the appropriate regulatory authority, that represent the service supplier's recurring charges for local exchange access lines or their equivalent, exclusive of all taxes, fees, license costs, or similar charges.

(4) "Dispatch method" means the method of responding to a telephone request for emergency service by which a public safety answering point decides on the proper action to be taken and dispatches, when necessary, the appropriate emergency service unit.

(4-a) "Emergency services district" means an emergency services district created under Chapter 775.

(5) "Local exchange access lines" means all types of lines or trunks that connect a service user to the service supplier's local telephone exchange office.

(6) "9-1-1 service" means a communications service that connects users to a public safety answering point through a 9-1-1 system.

(7) "9-1-1 system" means a system of processing emergency 9-1-1 calls.

(8) "Participating jurisdiction" means a public agency that by vote consents to receive 9-1-1 service from an emergency communication district.

(9) "Principal service supplier" means the entity that provides the most central office lines to an emergency communication district.

(10) "Private safety entity" means a private entity that provides emergency fire-fighting, ambulance, or medical services.

(11) "Public agency" means a municipality or county in this state that provides or has authority to provide fire-fighting, law enforcement, ambulance, medical, or other emergency services.

(12) "Public safety agency" means the division of a public agency that provides fire-fighting, law enforcement, ambulance, medical, or other emergency services.

(13) "Public safety answering point" means a communications facility that:

(A) is operated continuously;

(B) is assigned the responsibility to receive 9-1-1 calls and, as appropriate, to dispatch emergency response services directly or to transfer or relay emergency 9-1-1 calls to other public safety agencies;

(C) is the first point of reception by a public safety agency of a 9-1-1 call; and

(D) serves the jurisdictions in which it is located or other participating jurisdictions.

(14) "Relay method" means the method of responding to a telephone request for emergency service by which a public safety answering point notes pertinent information and relays that information to the appropriate public safety agency or other provider of emergency services for appropriate action.

(15) "Selective routing" means the feature provided with computerized 9-1-1 service by which 9-1-1 calls are automatically routed to the answering point serving the place from which the call originates.

(16) "Service supplier" means an entity providing local exchange access lines to a service user in an emergency communication district.

(17) "Service user" means a person that is provided local exchange access lines, or their equivalent, in an emergency communication district.

(18) "Transfer method" means the method of responding to a telephone request for emergency service by which a public safety answering point transfers the call directly to the appropriate public safety agency or other provider of emergency services for appropriate action.

(19) "Data base" means the information stored in a management system that is a system of manual procedures and computer programs used to create, store, and update the data required for the selective routing and automatic location identification features in the provision of computerized 9-1-1 service.

(20) "Business service user" means a user of business service that provides telecommunications service, including 9-1-1 service, to end users through a publicly or privately owned telephone switch.

(21) "Business service" means a telecommunications service classified as a business service under rules adopted by the Public Utility Commission of Texas or under the applicable tariffs of the principal service supplier.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 7, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 331 (H.B. 1972), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1194 (H.B. 4350), Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2019.

Sec. 772.002: Information Relating to Collection and Remittance of 9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee

(a) This section applies only to a district created under this chapter that collects a 9-1-1 emergency service fee from a service supplier or business service user. This section does not apply to an incumbent local exchange company as defined in Section 51.002, Utilities Code.

(b) The board of managers of a district by order may require a service supplier or business service user to provide to the district any information the board requires so long as that information and the format requested are readily available for the service provider's records to determine whether the service provider or business service user is correctly billing and collecting the 9-1-1 emergency service fee and remitting the fee to the district. The information required from a service provider under this subsection may include:

(1) the number of local exchange access lines that the service provider has in the district; and

(2) the number of those local exchange access lines that the Commission on State Emergency Communications excluded from the definition of a local exchange access line or an equivalent local exchange access line under Section 771.063.

(c) The district shall maintain the confidentiality of information provided under this section that a service provider or business service user claims is confidential for competitive purposes. The confidential information is exempt from disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code.

(d) The district may bring suit to enforce this section or to collect fees billed and collected by a service provider or business service user but not remitted to the district. In a proceeding to collect unremitted fees, a sworn affidavit of the district specifying the amount of unremitted fees is prima facie evidence that the fees were not remitted and of the amount of the unremitted fees.

(e) The Public Utility Commission of Texas may impose an administrative penalty under Subchapter B, Chapter 15, Utilities Code, against a service provider who is a person regulated under the Utilities Code if the person:

(1) does not provide information required by a district under this section; or

(2) bills and collects a 9-1-1 emergency service fee as required by this chapter but does not remit the fee to the appropriate district.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 952 (H.B. 1583), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 772.003: Obligations Or Requirements Concerning Voice Over Internet Protocol, Internet Protocol Enabled Service, Or Commercial Mobile Service Or Wireline Service

Defining "9-1-1 service" as a communications service and other amendments effective September 1, 2013, do not expand or change the authority or jurisdiction of a public agency or the commission over commercial mobile service or wireline service including Voice over Internet Protocol service or Internet Protocol enabled service or expand the authority of a public agency or the commission to assess 911 fees. Nothing in this chapter affects Section 52.002(d), Utilities Code. In this section, "Voice over Internet Protocol service," "Internet Protocol enabled service," and "commercial mobile service" have the meanings assigned by Sections 51.002 and 51.003, Utilities Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 331 (H.B. 1972), Sec. 11, eff. September 1, 2013.

Subchapter B

Sec. 772.101: Short Title

This subchapter may be cited as the 9-1-1 Emergency Number Act.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.102: Purpose

It is the purpose of this subchapter to establish the number 9-1-1 as the primary emergency telephone number for use by certain local governments in this state and to encourage units of local government and combinations of the units to develop and improve emergency communication procedures and facilities in a manner that makes possible the quick response to any person calling the telephone number 9-1-1 seeking police, fire, medical, rescue, and other emergency services. To this purpose the legislature finds that:

(1) it is in the public interest to shorten the time required for a citizen to request and receive emergency aid;

(2) there exist thousands of different emergency telephone numbers throughout the state, and telephone exchange boundaries and central office service areas do not necessarily correspond to public safety and political boundaries;

(3) a dominant part of the state's population is located in rapidly expanding metropolitan areas that generally cross the boundary lines of local jurisdictions and often extend into two or more counties; and

(4) provision of a single, primary three-digit emergency number through which emergency services can be quickly and efficiently obtained would provide a significant contribution to law enforcement and other public safety efforts by making it less difficult to notify public safety personnel quickly.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.103: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Board" means the board of managers of a district.

(2) "District" means a communication district created under this subchapter.

(3) "Principal municipality" means the municipality with the largest population in a county.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.104: Application of Subchapter

This subchapter applies to a county with a population of more than 3.3 million and the adjacent territory described by Section 772.105 in which a district was created under Chapter 97, Acts of the 68th Legislature, Regular Session, 1983, before January 1, 1988.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 669, Sec. 41, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 772.105: Territory of District

(a) The territory of a district consists of:

(1) the territory of the county for which the district is established; and

(2) for each municipality partially located in the county for which the district is established, the territory of that municipality located in another county.

(b) If a municipality that is part of a district annexes territory that is not part of the district, the annexed territory becomes part of the district.

(c) A public agency located wholly or partly in a county adjoining the county for which the district is created and that has received 9-1-1 service through a regional planning commission interlocal agreement with the district for at least 10 years may become part of the district by resolution of the agency's governing body and approval by the board.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 314 (S.B. 621), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 772.106: Board of Managers

(a) The district is governed by a board of managers consisting of:

(1) one member appointed by the commissioners court of the county;

(2) two members appointed by the mayor of the principal municipality, with approval of the city council;

(3) one member appointed jointly by the volunteer fire departments operating in whole or part in the district, with the selection process coordinated by the county fire marshal;

(4) one member appointed jointly by the municipalities other than the principal municipality that are participating jurisdictions; and

(5) one member appointed by the principal service supplier.

(b) The board member appointed by the principal service supplier is a nonvoting member.

(c) Board members are appointed for staggered terms of two years, with three members' terms expiring each year.

(d) A board member may be removed from office at will by the entity that appointed the member.

(e) A vacancy on the board shall be filled for the remainder of the term in the manner provided for the original appointment to that position.

(f) Board members serve without compensation. The district shall pay all expenses necessarily incurred by the board in performing its functions under this subchapter.

(g) The board may appoint from among its membership a presiding officer and any other officers it considers necessary.

(h) The director of the district or a board member may be appointed as secretary of the board. The board shall require the secretary to keep suitable records of all proceedings of each board meeting. After each meeting the presiding officer or other member presiding at the meeting shall read and sign the record and the secretary shall attest the record.

(i) A majority of the voting members of the board constitutes a quorum.

(j) Voting members of the board may meet in executive session in accordance with Chapter 551, Government Code.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(82), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 772.107: Powers and Duties of Board

(a) The board shall name, control, and manage the district.

(b) The board may adopt rules for the operation of the district.

(c) The board may contract with any public or private entity to carry out the purposes of this subchapter, including the operation of a 9-1-1 system.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.108: Director of District

(a) The board shall appoint a director of the district and shall establish the director's compensation. The director must be qualified by training and experience for the position.

(b) The board may remove the director at any time.

(c) With the board's approval, the director may employ any experts, employees, or consultants that the board considers necessary to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

(d) The director shall perform all duties that the board requires and shall supervise as general manager the operations of the district subject to any limitations prescribed by the board.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.109: Budget; Annual Report; Audit

(a) The director shall prepare under the direction of the board an annual budget for the district. To be effective, the budget must be approved by the board and then presented to and approved by the commissioners court of the county for which the district is established and the governing body of the principal municipality. A revision of the budget must be approved by the same entities in the same manner as the budget.

(b) As soon as practicable after the end of each district fiscal year, the director shall prepare and present to the board and to all participating public agencies in writing a sworn statement of all money received by the district and how the money was disbursed or otherwise disposed of during the preceding fiscal year. The report must show in detail the operations of the district for the period covered by the report.

(c) The board shall perform an independent financial audit of the district annually.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.110: Establishment of 9-1-1 Service

(a) A district shall provide 9-1-1 service to each participating jurisdiction through one or a combination of the following methods and features or equivalent state-of-the-art technology:

(1) the transfer method;

(2) the relay method;

(3) the dispatch method;

(4) automatic number identification;

(5) automatic location identification; or

(6) selective routing.

(b) A district shall provide 9-1-1 service using one or both of the following plans:

(1) the district may design, implement, and operate a 9-1-1 system for each participating jurisdiction with the consent of the jurisdiction; or

(2) the district may design, implement, and operate a 9-1-1 system for two or more participating jurisdictions with the consent of each of those jurisdictions if a joint operation would be more economically feasible than separate systems for each jurisdiction.

(c) Under either plan authorized by Subsection (b), the final plans for the particular system must have the approval of each participating jurisdiction covered by the system.

(d) The district shall recommend minimum standards for a 9-1-1 system. A 9-1-1 system in a district under this subchapter must be computerized.

(e) 9-1-1 service is mandatory for each individual telephone subscriber in the district and is not an optional service under any definitions of terms relating to telephone service.

(f) A service supplier involved in providing 9-1-1 service, a manufacturer of equipment used in providing 9-1-1 service, or an officer or employee of a service supplier involved in providing 9-1-1 service is not liable for any claim, damage, or loss arising from the provision of 9-1-1 service unless the act or omission proximately causing the claim, damage, or loss constitutes gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 772.111: Primary Emergency Telephone Number

The digits 9-1-1 are the primary emergency telephone number in a district. A public safety agency whose services are available through a 9-1-1 system may maintain a separate number or numbers for emergencies and shall maintain a separate number or numbers for nonemergency telephone calls.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.112: Transmitting Requests for Emergency Aid

(a) A 9-1-1 system established under this subchapter must be capable of transmitting requests for fire-fighting, law enforcement, ambulance, and medical services to a public safety agency or agencies that provide the requested service at the place from which the call originates. A 9-1-1 system may also provide for transmitting requests for other emergency services such as poison control, suicide prevention, and civil defense.

(b) A public safety answering point may transmit emergency response requests to private safety entities, with the approval of the board and the consent of each participating jurisdiction and emergency services district serving the relevant area. A participating jurisdiction's or emergency services district's consent may be withdrawn at any time.

(c) With the consent of a participating jurisdiction, a privately owned automatic intrusion alarm or other privately owned automatic alerting device may be installed to cause the number 9-1-1 to be dialed in order to gain access to emergency services.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1194 (H.B. 4350), Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2019.

Sec. 772.113: Powers of District

(a) The district is a public body corporate and politic, exercising public and essential governmental functions and having all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes and provisions of this subchapter, including the capacity to sue or be sued.

(b) To fund the district, the district may receive federal, state, county, or municipal funds and private funds and may spend those funds for the purpose of this subchapter. The board shall determine the method and sources of funding for the district.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.114: 9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee

(a) The board may impose a 9-1-1 emergency service fee on service users in the district if authorized to do so by a majority of the votes cast in the election to confirm the creation of the district and by a majority vote of the governing body of each participating jurisdiction. For purposes of this subsection, the jurisdiction of the county is the unincorporated area of the county.

(b) The fee may be imposed only on the base rate charge or its equivalent, excluding charges for coin-operated telephone equipment. The fee may not be imposed on more than 100 local exchange access lines or their equivalent for a single business entity at a single location, unless the lines are used by residents of the location. The fee may also not be imposed on any line that the Advisory Commission on State Emergency Communications excluded from the definition of a local exchange access line or an equivalent local exchange access line pursuant to Section 771.063. If a business service user provides residential facilities, each line that terminates at a residential unit and that is a communication link equivalent to a residential local exchange access line, shall be charged the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The fee must have uniform application and must be imposed in each participating jurisdiction.

(c) The rate of the fee may not exceed six percent of the monthly base rate charged a service user by the principal service supplier in the participating jurisdiction.

(d) The board shall set the amount of the fee each year as part of the annual budget. The board shall notify each service supplier of a change in the amount of the fee not later than the 91st day before the date the change takes effect.

(e) In imposing the fee, the board shall attempt to match the district's revenues to its operating expenditures and to provide reasonable reserves for contingencies and for the purchase and installation of 9-1-1 emergency service equipment. If the revenue received from the fee exceeds the amount of money needed to fund the district, the board by resolution shall reduce the rate of the fee to an amount adequate to fund the district as required by this subsection or suspend the imposition of the fee. If the board suspends the imposition of the fee, the board by resolution may reinstitute the fee if money received by the district is not adequate to fund the district.

(f) In a public agency whose governing body at a later date votes to receive 9-1-1 service from the district, at a later date, the fee is imposed beginning on the date specified by the board. The board may charge the incoming agency an additional amount of money to cover the initial cost of providing 9-1-1 service to that agency. The fee authorized to be charged in a district applies to new territory added to the district under Section 772.105(b) when the territory becomes part of the district.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 8, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1203, Sec. 3, eff. June 18, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1342 (S.B. 314), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 772.115: Collection of Fee

(a) Each billed service user is liable for the fee imposed under Section 772.114 until the fee is paid to the service supplier. The fee must be added to and stated separately in the service user's bill from the service supplier. The service supplier shall collect the fee at the same time as the service charge to the service user in accordance with the regular billing practice of the service supplier. A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall collect the 9-1-1 emergency service fee and transmit the fees monthly to the district.

(b) The amount collected by a service supplier from the fee is due quarterly. The service supplier shall remit the amount collected in a calendar quarter to the district not later than the 60th day after the last day of the calendar quarter. With each payment the service supplier shall file a return in a form prescribed by the board.

(c) Both a service supplier and a business service user under Subsection (a) shall maintain records of the amount of fees it collects for at least two years after the date of collection. The board may require at the board's expense an annual audit of a service supplier's books and records or the books and records of a business service user described by Subsection (a) with respect to the collection and remittance of the fees.

(d) A business service user that does not collect and remit the 9-1-1 emergency service fee as required is subject to a civil cause of action under Subsection (g). A sworn affidavit by the district specifying the unremitted fees is prima facie evidence that the fees were not remitted and of the amount of the unremitted fees.

(e) A service supplier is entitled to retain an administrative fee from the amount of fees it collects. The amount of the administrative fee is two percent of the amount of fees it collects under this section.

(f) A service supplier is not required to take any legal action to enforce the collection of the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. However, the service supplier shall provide the district with an annual certificate of delinquency that includes the amount of all delinquent fees and the name and address of each nonpaying service user. The certificate of delinquency is prima facie evidence that a fee included in the certificate is delinquent. A service user account is considered delinquent if the fee is not paid to the service supplier before the 31st day after the payment due date stated on the user's bill from the service supplier.

(g) The district may institute legal proceedings to collect fees not paid and may establish internal collection procedures and recover the cost of collection from the nonpaying service user. If legal proceedings are established, the court may award the district court costs, attorney's fees, and interest to be paid by the nonpaying service user. A delinquent fee accrues interest at an annual rate of 12 percent beginning on the date the payment becomes due.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 9, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 772.116: District Depository

(a) The board shall select a depository for the district in the manner provided by law for the selection of a county depository.

(b) A depository selected by the board is the district's depository for two years after the date of its selection and until a successor depository is selected and qualified.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.117: Allowable Expenses

Allowable operating expenses of a district include all costs attributable to designing a 9-1-1 system and to all equipment and personnel necessary to establish and operate a public safety answering point and other related answering points that the board considers necessary.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.118: Number and Location Identification

(a) As part of computerized 9-1-1 service, a service supplier shall furnish for each call the telephone number of the subscribers and the address associated with the number.

(b) A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall provide to those residential end users the same level of 9-1-1 service that a service supplier is required to provide under Subsection (a) to other residential end users in the district.

(c) Information furnished under this section is confidential and is not available for public inspection.

(d) A service supplier or a business service user under Subsection (b) is not liable to a person who uses a 9-1-1 system created under this subchapter for the release to the district of the information specified in Subsections (a) and (b).

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 10, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 772.119: Public Review

(a) Periodically, the board shall solicit public comments and hold a public review hearing on the continuation of the district and the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The first hearing shall be held three years after the date the order certifying the creation of the district is filed with the county clerk. Subsequent hearings shall be held three years after the date each order required by Subsection (d) is adopted.

(b) The board shall publish notice of the time and place of the hearing once a week for two consecutive weeks in a daily newspaper of general circulation published in the district. The first notice must be published not later than the 16th day before the date set for the hearing.

(c) At the hearing, the board shall also solicit comments on the participation of the district in the applicable regional plan for 9-1-1 service under Chapter 771. After the hearing, the board may choose to participate in the regional plan as provided by that chapter.

(d) After the hearing, the board shall adopt an order on the continuation or dissolution of the district and the 9-1-1 emergency service fee.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.120: Dissolution Procedures

(a) If a district is dissolved, 9-1-1 service must be discontinued on the date of the dissolution. The commissioners court of the county in which the principal part of the district was located shall assume the assets of the district and pay the district's debts. If the district's assets are insufficient to retire all existing debts of the district on the date of dissolution, the commissioners court shall continue to impose the 9-1-1 service fee, and each service supplier shall continue to collect the fee for the commissioners court. Proceeds from the imposition of the fee by the county after dissolution of the district may be used only to retire the outstanding debts of the district.

(b) The commissioners court shall retire the district's debts to the extent practicable according to the terms of the instruments creating the debts and the terms of the orders and resolutions authorizing creation of the debts.

(c) The commissioners court by order may adopt the rules necessary to administer this section.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.121: Issuance of Bonds

The board may issue and sell bonds in the name of the district to finance:

(1) the acquisition by any method of facilities, equipment, or supplies necessary for the district to begin providing 9-1-1 service to all participating jurisdictions; or

(2) the installation of equipment necessary for the district to begin providing 9-1-1 service to all participating jurisdictions.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.122: Repayment of Bonds

The board may provide for the payment of principal of and interest on the bonds by pledging all or any part of the district's revenues from the 9-1-1 emergency service fee or from other sources.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.123: Additional Security for Bonds

(a) The bonds may be additionally secured by a deed of trust or mortgage lien on part or all of the physical properties of the district and rights appurtenant to those properties, vesting in the trustee power to sell the properties for payment of the indebtedness, power to operate the properties, and all other powers necessary for the further security of the bonds.

(b) The trust indenture, regardless of the existence of the deed of trust or mortgage lien on the properties, may contain provisions prescribed by the board for the security of the bonds and the preservation of the trust estate, may make provisions for amendment or modification, and may make provisions for investment of funds of the district.

(c) A purchaser under a sale under the deed of trust or mortgage lien is the absolute owner of the properties and rights purchased and may maintain and operate them.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.124: Form of Bonds

(a) A district may issue its bonds in various series or issues.

(b) Bonds may mature serially or otherwise not more than 25 years after their date of issue and shall bear interest at any rate permitted by state law.

(c) A district's bonds and interest coupons, if any, are investment securities under the terms of Chapter 8, Business & Commerce Code, may be issued registrable as to principal or as to both principal and interest, and may be made redeemable before maturity, at the option of the district, or contain a mandatory redemption provision.

(d) A district may issue its bonds in the form, denominations, and manner and under the terms, and the bonds shall be signed and executed, as provided by the board in the resolution or order authorizing their issuance.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.125: Provisions of Bonds

(a) In the orders or resolutions authorizing the issuance of bonds, including refunding bonds, the board may provide for the flow of funds and the establishment and maintenance of the interest and sinking fund, the reserve fund, and other funds, and may make additional covenants with respect to the bonds, the pledged revenues, and the operation and maintenance of any facilities the revenue of which is pledged.

(b) The orders or resolutions of the board authorizing the issuance of bonds may also prohibit the further issuance of bonds or other obligations payable from the pledged revenue or may reserve the right to issue additional bonds to be secured by a pledge of and payable from the revenue on a parity with or subordinate to the lien and pledge in support of the bonds being issued.

(c) The orders or resolutions of the board issuing bonds may contain other provisions and covenants as the board may determine.

(d) The board may adopt and have executed any other proceedings or instruments necessary and convenient in the issuance of bonds.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.126: Approval and Registration of Bonds

(a) Bonds issued by a district must be submitted to the attorney general for examination.

(b) If the attorney general finds that the bonds have been authorized in accordance with law, the attorney general shall approve them. On approval by the attorney general, the comptroller shall register the bonds.

(c) After the approval and registration of bonds, the bonds are incontestable in any court or other forum for any reason and are valid and binding obligations in accordance with their terms for all purposes.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.127: Refunding Bonds

(a) A district may issue bonds to refund all or any part of its outstanding bonds, including matured but unpaid interest coupons.

(b) Refunding bonds shall mature serially or otherwise not more than 25 years after their date of issue and shall bear interest at any rate or rates permitted by state law.

(c) Refunding bonds may be payable from the same source as the bonds being refunded or from other sources.

(d) The refunding bonds must be approved by the attorney general in the same manner as the district's other bonds and shall be registered by the comptroller on the surrender and cancellation of the bonds being refunded.

(e) The orders or resolutions authorizing the issuance of the refunding bonds may provide that they be sold and the proceeds deposited in the place or places at which the bonds being refunded are payable, in which case the refunding bonds may be issued before the cancellation of the bonds being refunded. If refunding bonds are issued before cancellation of the other bonds, an amount sufficient to pay the principal of the bonds being refunded and interest on those bonds accruing to their maturity dates or to their option dates if the bonds have been duly called for payment before maturity according to their terms shall be deposited in the place or places at which the bonds being refunded are payable. The comptroller shall register the refunding bonds without the surrender and cancellation of bonds being refunded.

(f) A refunding may be accomplished in one or in several installment deliveries. Refunding bonds and their interest coupons are investment securities under Chapter 8, Business & Commerce Code.

(g) In lieu of the method set forth in Subsections (a)-(f), a district may refund bonds, notes, or other obligations as provided by the general laws of the state.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.128: Bonds As Investments and Security for Deposits

(a) District bonds are legal and authorized investments for:

(1) a bank;

(2) a savings bank;

(3) a trust company;

(4) a savings and loan association;

(5) an insurance company;

(6) a fiduciary;

(7) a trustee;

(8) a guardian; and

(9) a sinking fund of a municipality, county, school district, and other political subdivision of the state and other public funds of the state and its agencies, including the permanent school fund.

(b) District bonds are eligible to secure deposits of public funds of the state and municipalities, counties, school districts, and other political subdivisions of the state. The bonds are lawful and sufficient security for deposits to the extent of their value when accompanied by all unmatured coupons.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.129: Tax Status of Bonds

Because a district created under this subchapter is a public entity performing an essential public function, bonds issued by the district, any transaction relating to the bonds, and profits made in the sale of the bonds are exempt from taxation by the state or by any municipality, county, special district, or other political subdivision of the state.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Subchapter C

Sec. 772.201: Short Title

This subchapter may be cited as the Emergency Communication District Act.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.202: Purpose

It is the purpose of this subchapter to establish the number 9-1-1 as the primary emergency telephone number for use by certain local governments in this state and to encourage units of local government and combinations of those units to develop and improve emergency communication procedures and facilities in a manner that will make possible the quick response to any person calling the telephone number 9-1-1 seeking police, fire, medical, rescue, and other emergency services. To this purpose the legislature finds that:

(1) it is in the public interest to shorten the time required for a citizen to request and receive emergency aid;

(2) there exist thousands of different emergency telephone numbers throughout the state, and telephone exchange boundaries and central office service areas do not necessarily correspond to public safety and political boundaries;

(3) a dominant part of the state's population is located in rapidly expanding metropolitan areas that generally cross the boundary lines of local jurisdictions and often extend into two or more counties; and

(4) provision of a single, primary three-digit emergency number through which emergency services can be quickly and efficiently obtained would provide a significant contribution to law enforcement and other public safety efforts by making it less difficult to notify public safety personnel quickly.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.203: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Board" means the board of managers of a district.

(2) "Director" means the director of communication for a district.

(3) "District" means an emergency communication district created under this subchapter.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.204: Application of Subchapter

This subchapter applies to a county with a population of more than 1.5 million in which an emergency communication district was created under Chapter 7, Acts of the 68th Legislature, 2nd Called Session, 1984, before January 1, 1988.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1163 (H.B. 2702), Sec. 51, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 772.205: Additional Territory

(a) If a municipality that is part of a district annexes territory that is not part of the district, the annexed territory becomes part of the district.

(b) A public agency located in the county for which the district is created or a public agency located in whole or part in a county adjoining the county for which the district is created, by resolution adopted by its governing body and approved by the board of the district, may become part of the district and subject to its benefits and requirements.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.206: Board of Managers

(a) A district is governed by a board of managers consisting of:

(1) one member appointed by the commissioners court of the county for which the district is established;

(2) two members appointed by the governing body of the most populous municipality located wholly or partly in the county for which the district is established, if that municipality has a population of more than 150,000, or, if that municipality has a population of 150,000 or less, one member appointed by the governing body;

(3) one member appointed by the governing body of the second most populous municipality located wholly or partly in the county for which the district is established;

(4) one member appointed by the governing body of the third most populous municipality located wholly or partly in the county for which the district is established;

(5) one member appointed by the principal service supplier;

(6) one member appointed by the governing body of the most populous municipality that is a member of the district and is located wholly outside the county for which the district is established; and

(7) one member appointed as provided by this section to represent the other municipalities located wholly or partly in the district.

(b) The board member appointed by the principal service supplier is a nonvoting member.

(c) The board member appointed under Subsection (a)(7) is appointed by the mayor's council established to administer urban development block grant funds, if one exists in the district. Otherwise, the member is appointed by the other members of the board on the advice and recommendation of the governing bodies of all the municipalities represented by the member. The governing bodies of those municipalities, by agreement of their presiding officers, shall set the time and place to meet and the procedures for selecting the board member.

(d) Board members are appointed for staggered terms of two years, with as near as possible to one-half of the members' terms expiring each year.

(e) A board member may be removed from office at will by the entity that appointed the member.

(f) A vacancy on the board shall be filled for the remainder of the term in the manner provided for the original appointment to that position.

(g) Board members serve without compensation. The district shall pay all expenses necessarily incurred by the board in performing its functions under this subchapter.

(h) The board may appoint from among its membership a presiding officer and any other officers it considers necessary.

(i) The director or a board member may be appointed as secretary of the board. The board shall require the secretary to keep suitable records of all proceedings of each board meeting. After each meeting the presiding officer at the meeting shall read and sign the record and the secretary shall attest the record.

(j) Voting members of the board may meet in executive session in accordance with Chapter 551, Government Code.

(k) A majority of the voting members of the board constitutes a quorum.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 238, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(82), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1288, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 772.207: Powers and Duties of Board

(a) The board shall control and manage the district.

(b) The board may adopt rules for the operation of the district.

(c) The board may contract with any public or private entity to carry out the purposes of this subchapter, including the operation of a 9-1-1 system.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.208: Director of District

(a) The board shall appoint a director of communication for the district and shall establish the director's compensation. The director must be qualified by training and experience for the position.

(b) The board may remove the director at any time.

(c) With the board's approval, the director may employ any experts, employees, or consultants that the director considers necessary to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

(d) The director shall perform all duties that the board requires and shall supervise as general manager the operations of the district subject to any limitations prescribed by the board.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.209: Budget; Annual Report; Audit

(a) The director shall prepare under the direction of the board an annual budget for the district. To be effective, the budget must:

(1) be approved by the board;

(2) be presented to the commissioners court of the county in which the majority of the district is located;

(3) be presented to the governing body of each municipality eligible to appoint a member of the board of managers under Sections 772.206(a)(2)-(4) and (6);

(4) be presented to the governing body of each other participating jurisdiction as provided by Subsection (b); and

(5) subject to Subsection (c), be approved by a majority of the entities to which the budget must be presented under Subdivisions (2) through (4).

(b) For purposes of Subsection (a)(4), the proposed budget must be presented to:

(1) the mayor's council established to administer urban development block grant funds, if one exists in the district; or

(2) if a mayor's council does not exist in the district, the governing bodies of the other participating jurisdictions.

(c) For the purpose of determining approval by a majority under Subsection (a)(5) if the budget is required to be presented under Subsection (b)(2), the other participating jurisdictions are considered to be acting jointly as one entity.

(d) A revision of the budget must be approved in the same manner as the budget.

(e) As soon as practicable after the end of each district fiscal year, the director shall prepare and present to the board and to each participating jurisdiction in writing a sworn statement of all money received by the district and how the money was used during the preceding fiscal year. The report must state in detail the operations of the district for the fiscal year covered by the report.

(f) The board shall have an independent financial audit of the district performed annually.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1288, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 772.210: Establishment of 9-1-1 Service

(a) A district shall provide 9-1-1 service to each participating jurisdiction through one or a combination of the following methods and features:

(1) the transfer method;

(2) the relay method;

(3) the dispatch method;

(4) automatic number identification;

(5) automatic location identification;

(6) selective routing; or

(7) any equivalent method.

(b) A district shall provide 9-1-1 service using one or both of the following plans:

(1) the district may design, implement, and operate a 9-1-1 system for each participating jurisdiction with the consent of the jurisdiction; or

(2) the district may design, implement, and operate a 9-1-1 system for two or more participating jurisdictions with the consent of each of those jurisdictions if a joint operation would be more economically feasible than separate systems for each jurisdiction.

(c) Under either plan authorized by Subsection (b), the final plans for the particular system must have the approval of each participating jurisdiction covered by the system.

(d) The district shall recommend minimum standards for a 9-1-1 system. A 9-1-1 system in a district created under this subchapter must be computerized.

(e) A service supplier involved in providing 9-1-1 service, a manufacturer of equipment used in providing 9-1-1 service, or an officer or employee of a service supplier involved in providing 9-1-1 service is not liable for any claim, damage, or loss arising from the provision of 9-1-1 service unless the act or omission proximately causing the claim, damage, or loss constitutes gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 772.211: Primary Emergency Telephone Number

The digits 9-1-1 are the primary emergency telephone number in a district. A public safety agency whose services are available through a 9-1-1 system may maintain a separate number or numbers for emergencies and shall maintain a separate number or numbers for nonemergency telephone calls.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.212: Transmitting Requests for Emergency Aid

(a) A 9-1-1 system established under this subchapter must be capable of transmitting requests for fire-fighting, law enforcement, ambulance, and medical services to a public safety agency or agencies that provide the requested service at the place from which the call originates. A 9-1-1 system may also provide for transmitting requests for other emergency services, such as poison control, suicide prevention, and civil defense, with the approval of the board and the consent of the participating jurisdiction.

(b) A public safety answering point may transmit emergency response requests to private safety entities, with the approval of the board and the consent of each participating jurisdiction and emergency services district serving the relevant area. A participating jurisdiction's or emergency services district's consent may be withdrawn at any time.

(c) With the consent of a participating jurisdiction, a privately owned automatic intrusion alarm or other privately owned automatic alerting device may be installed to cause the number 9-1-1 to be dialed in order to gain access to emergency services.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1194 (H.B. 4350), Sec. 3, eff. June 14, 2019.

Sec. 772.213: Powers of District

(a) The district is a body corporate and politic, exercising public and essential governmental functions and having all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes and provisions of this subchapter, including the capacity to sue or be sued.

(b) To fund the district, the district may apply for, accept, and receive federal, state, county, or municipal funds and private funds and may spend those funds for the purposes of this subchapter. The board shall determine the method and sources of funding for the district.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.214: 9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee

(a) The board may impose a 9-1-1 emergency service fee on service users in the district.

(b) The fee may be imposed only on the base rate charge or its equivalent, excluding charges for coin-operated telephone equipment. The fee may not be imposed on more than 100 local exchange access lines or their equivalent for a single business entity at a single location, unless the lines are used by residents of the location. The fee may also not be imposed on any line that the Advisory Commission on State Emergency Communications excluded from the definition of a local exchange access line or an equivalent local exchange access line pursuant to Section 771.063. If a business service user provides residential facilities, each line that terminates at a residential unit and that is a communication link equivalent to a residential local exchange access line shall be charged the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The fee must have uniform application and must be imposed in each participating jurisdiction.

(c) The rate of the fee may not exceed six percent of the monthly base rate charged a service user by the principal service supplier in the participating jurisdiction.

(d) The board shall set the amount of the fee each year as part of the annual budget. The board shall notify each service supplier of a change in the amount of the fee not later than the 91st day before the date the change takes effect.

(e) In imposing the fee, the board shall attempt to match the district's revenues to its operating expenditures and to provide reasonable reserves for contingencies and for the purchase and installation of 9-1-1 emergency service equipment. If the revenue received from the fee exceeds the amount of money needed to fund the district, the board by resolution shall reduce the rate of the fee to an amount adequate to fund the district or suspend the imposition of the fee. If the board suspends the imposition of the fee, the board by resolution may reinstitute the fee if money received by the district is not adequate to fund the district.

(f) In a public agency whose governing body at a later date votes to receive 9-1-1 service from the district, the fee is imposed beginning on the date the board approves making the public agency a participating jurisdiction. The fee authorized to be charged in a district applies to new territory added to the district when the territory becomes part of the district.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 11, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1203, Sec. 4, eff. June 18, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1340 (S.B. 171), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 772.215: Collection of Fee

(a) Each billed service user is liable for the fee imposed under Section 772.214 until the fee is paid to the service supplier. The fee must be added to and stated separately in the service user's bill from the service supplier. The service supplier shall collect the fee at the same time as the service charge to the service user in accordance with the regular billing practice of the service supplier. A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall collect the 9-1-1 emergency service fee and transmit the fees monthly to the district.

(b) The amount collected by a service supplier from the fee is due monthly. The service supplier shall remit the amount collected in a calendar month to the district not later than the 60th day after the last day of the calendar month. With each payment the service supplier shall file a return in a form prescribed by the board.

(c) Both a service supplier and a business service user under Subsection (a) shall maintain records of the amount of fees it collects for at least two years after the date of collection. The board may require at the board's expense an annual audit of a service supplier's books and records or the books and records of a business service user described by Subsection (a) with respect to the collection and remittance of the fees.

(d) A business service user that does not collect and remit the 9-1-1 emergency service fee as required is subject to a civil cause of action under Subsection (g). A sworn affidavit by the district specifying the unremitted fees is prima facie evidence that the fees were not remitted and of the amount of the unremitted fees.

(e) A service supplier is entitled to retain an administrative fee from the amount of fees it collects. The amount of the administrative fee is two percent of the amount of fees it collects under this section.

(f) A service supplier is not required to take any legal action to enforce the collection of the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. However, the service supplier shall provide the district with an annual certificate of delinquency that includes the amount of all delinquent fees and the name and address of each nonpaying service user. The certificate of delinquency is prima facie evidence that a fee included in the certificate is delinquent. A service user account is considered delinquent if the fee is not paid to the service supplier before the 31st day after the payment due date stated on the user's bill from the service supplier.

(g) The district may institute legal proceedings to collect fees not paid and may establish internal collection procedures and recover the cost of collection from the nonpaying service user. If the district prevails in legal proceedings instituted to collect a fee, the court may award the district court costs, attorney's fees, and interest in addition to other amounts recovered. A delinquent fee accrues interest at an annual rate of 12 percent beginning on the date the payment becomes due.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 12, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 772.216: District Depository

(a) The board shall select a depository for the district in the manner provided by law for the selection of a county depository.

(b) A depository selected by the board is the district's depository for two years after the date of its selection and until a successor depository is selected and qualified.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.217: Allowable Expenses

Allowable operating expenses of a district include all costs attributable to designing and operating a 9-1-1 system and costs for related services that the board considers necessary.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 39, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 772.218: Number and Location Identification

(a) As part of computerized 9-1-1 service, a service supplier shall furnish for each call the telephone number of the subscriber and the address associated with the number.

(b) A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall provide to those residential end users the same level of 9-1-1 service that a service supplier is required to provide under Subsection (a) to other residential end users in the district.

(c) Information furnished under this section is confidential and is not available for public inspection.

(d) A business service user that owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone services to nonaffiliated businesses shall provide to those business end users the same level of 9-1-1 service that a service supplier is required to provide under Subsection (a) to other business end users in the district.

(e) A business service user that owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to consolidate telephone services at two or more physical addresses shall provide a level of 9-1-1 service that identifies an accurate physical address and telephone number for each 9-1-1 call. For purposes of this section, each floor of a multitenant building is a different physical address.

(f) A hotel, motel, or similar lodging facility that does not operate with a 24-hour, seven-day on-site telephone operator must use a system that furnishes the telephone number and location of the individual unit from which a 9-1-1 call is placed.

(g) A service supplier, business service user, or lodging facility that implements the network and database enhancements necessary to provide a service described in Subsection (b), (d), (e), or (f), including a supplier, user, or facility that is not required to provide the service, is not liable to a person who uses a 9-1-1 system created under this subchapter for the release to the district of the information specified in this section.

(h) Subsections (d) and (e) do not apply to a telecommunications system installed by a public school district or a state agency.

(i) Subsections (d), (e), and (f) apply only to a telecommunications system installed on or after September 1, 2003.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 13, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 84, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 772.219: Public Review

(a) Periodically, the board shall solicit public comments and hold a public review hearing on the continuation of the district and the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The first hearing shall be held three years after the date the order certifying the creation of the district is filed with the county clerk. Subsequent hearings shall be held three years after the date each order required by Subsection (d) is adopted.

(b) The board shall publish notice of the time and place of the hearing once a week for two consecutive weeks in a daily newspaper of general circulation published in the district. The first notice must be published not later than the 16th day before the date set for the hearing.

(c) At the hearing, the board shall also solicit comments on the participation of the district in the applicable regional plan for 9-1-1 service under Chapter 771. After the hearing, the board may choose to participate in the regional plan as provided by that chapter.

(d) After the hearing, the board shall adopt an order on the continuation or dissolution of the district and the 9-1-1 emergency service fee.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.220: Dissolution Procedures

(a) If a district is dissolved, 9-1-1 service must be discontinued on the date of the dissolution. The commissioners court of the county in which the district was located shall assume the assets of the district and pay the district's debts. If the district's assets are insufficient to retire the outstanding bonded indebtedness of the district, the commissioners court shall continue to impose the 9-1-1 service fee, and each service supplier shall continue to collect the fee for the commissioners court. Proceeds from the imposition of the fee after dissolution of the district may be used only to retire the outstanding bonded indebtedness of the district.

(b) The commissioners court shall retire the district's indebtedness to the extent practicable according to the terms of the bonds and the terms of the orders and resolutions authorizing issuance of the bonds.

(c) The commissioners court by order may adopt the rules necessary to administer this section.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.221: Issuance of Bonds

The board may issue and sell bonds in the name of the district to finance:

(1) the acquisition by any method of facilities, equipment, or supplies necessary for the district to begin providing 9-1-1 service to all participating jurisdictions; and

(2) the installation of equipment necessary for the district to begin providing 9-1-1 service to all participating jurisdictions.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.222: Repayment of Bonds

The board may provide for the payment of the principal of and interest on the bonds by pledging all or any part of the district's revenues from the 9-1-1 emergency service fee or from other sources.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.223: Additional Security for Bonds

(a) The bonds may be additionally secured by a deed of trust or mortgage lien on part or all of the physical properties of the district and rights appurtenant to those properties, vesting in the trustee power to sell the properties for payment of the indebtedness, power to operate the properties, and all other powers necessary for the further security of the bonds.

(b) The trust indenture, regardless of the existence of the deed of trust or mortgage lien on the properties, may include provisions prescribed by the board for the security of the bonds and the preservation of the trust estate and may make provisions for investment of funds of the district.

(c) A purchaser under a sale under the deed of trust or mortgage lien is the absolute owner of the properties and rights purchased and may maintain and operate them.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.224: Form of Bonds

(a) A district may issue its bonds in various series or issues.

(b) Bonds may mature serially or otherwise not more than 25 years after their date of issue and shall bear interest at any rate permitted by state law.

(c) A district's bonds and interest coupons, if any, are investment securities under the terms of Chapter 8, Business & Commerce Code, may be issued registrable as to principal or as to both principal and interest, and may be made redeemable before maturity, at the option of the district, or contain a mandatory redemption provision.

(d) A district may issue its bonds in the form, denominations, and manner and under the terms, and the bonds shall be signed and executed, as provided by the board in the resolution or order authorizing their issuance.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.225: Provisions of Bonds

(a) In the orders or resolutions authorizing the issuance of bonds, including refunding bonds, the board may provide for the flow of funds and the establishment and maintenance of the interest and sinking fund, the reserve fund, and other funds and may make additional covenants with respect to the bonds, the pledged revenues, and the operation and maintenance of any facilities, the revenue of which is pledged.

(b) The orders or resolutions of the board authorizing the issuance of bonds may also prohibit the further issuance of bonds or other obligations payable from the pledged revenue or may reserve the right to issue additional bonds to be secured by a pledge of and payable from the revenue on a parity with or subordinate to the lien and pledge in support of the bonds being issued.

(c) The orders or resolutions of the board issuing bonds may contain other provisions and covenants as the board may determine.

(d) The board may adopt and have executed any other proceedings or instruments necessary and convenient in the issuance of bonds.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.226: Approval and Registration of Bonds

(a) Bonds issued by a district must be submitted to the attorney general for examination.

(b) If the attorney general finds that the bonds have been authorized in accordance with law, the attorney general shall approve them. On approval by the attorney general, the comptroller shall register the bonds.

(c) After the approval and registration of bonds, the bonds are incontestable in any court or other forum for any reason and are valid and binding obligations according to their terms for all purposes.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.227: Refunding Bonds

(a) A district may issue bonds to refund all or any part of its outstanding bonds, including matured but unpaid interest coupons.

(b) Refunding bonds shall mature serially or otherwise not more than 25 years after their date of issue and shall bear interest at any rate or rates permitted by state law.

(c) Refunding bonds may be payable from the same source as the bonds being refunded or from other sources.

(d) The refunding bonds must be approved by the attorney general as provided by Section 772.226 and shall be registered by the comptroller on the surrender and cancellation of the bonds being refunded.

(e) The orders or resolutions authorizing the issuance of the refunding bonds may provide that they be sold and the proceeds deposited in the place or places at which the bonds being refunded are payable, in which case the refunding bonds may be issued before the cancellation of the bonds being refunded. If refunding bonds are issued before cancellation of the other bonds, an amount sufficient to pay the principal of the bonds being refunded and interest on those bonds accruing to their maturity dates or to their option dates if the bonds have been duly called for payment before maturity according to their terms shall be deposited in the place or places at which the bonds being refunded are payable. The comptroller shall register the refunding bonds without the surrender and cancellation of bonds being refunded.

(f) A refunding may be accomplished in one or in several installment deliveries. Refunding bonds and their interest coupons are investment securities under Chapter 8, Business & Commerce Code.

(g) In lieu of the method set forth in Subsections (a)-(f), a district may refund bonds, notes, or other obligations as provided by the general laws of this state.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.228: Bonds As Investments and Security for Deposits

(a) District bonds are legal and authorized investments for:

(1) a bank;

(2) a savings bank;

(3) a trust company;

(4) a savings and loan association;

(5) an insurance company;

(6) a fiduciary;

(7) a trustee;

(8) a guardian; and

(9) a sinking fund of a municipality, county, school district, and other political subdivision of the state and other public funds of the state and its agencies, including the permanent school fund.

(b) District bonds are eligible to secure deposits of public funds of the state and municipalities, counties, school districts, and other political subdivisions of the state. The bonds are lawful and sufficient security for deposits to the extent of their value when accompanied by all unmatured coupons.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.229: Tax Status of Bonds

Because a district created under this subchapter is a public entity performing an essential public function, bonds issued by the district, any transaction relating to the bonds and profits made in the sale of the bonds are exempt from taxation by the state or by any municipality, county, special district, or other political subdivision of the state.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Subchapter D

Sec. 772.301: Short Title

This subchapter may be cited as the Emergency Telephone Number Act.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.302: Purpose

It is the purpose of this subchapter to establish the number 9-1-1 as the primary emergency telephone number for use by certain local governments in this state and to encourage units of local government and combinations of those units to develop and improve emergency communication procedures and facilities in a manner that will make possible the quick response to any person calling the telephone number 9-1-1 seeking police, fire, medical, rescue, and other emergency services. To this purpose the legislature finds that:

(1) it is in the public interest to shorten the time required for a citizen to request and receive emergency aid;

(2) there exist thousands of different emergency telephone numbers throughout the state, and telephone exchange boundaries and central office service areas do not necessarily correspond to public safety and political boundaries;

(3) a dominant part of the state's population is located in rapidly expanding metropolitan areas that generally cross the boundary lines of local jurisdictions and often extend into two or more counties; and

(4) provision of a single, primary three-digit emergency number through which emergency services can be quickly and efficiently obtained would provide a significant contribution to law enforcement and other public safety efforts by making it less difficult to notify public safety personnel quickly.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.303: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Board" means the board of managers of a district.

(2) "Director" means the director of communication for a district.

(3) "District" means an emergency communication district created under this subchapter.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.304: Application of Subchapter

(a) This subchapter applies only to a county with a population of more than 20,000 or to a group of two or more contiguous counties each with a population of 20,000 or more in which an emergency communication district was created under Chapter 288, Acts of the 69th Legislature, Regular Session, 1985, before January 1, 1988, or to a public agency or group of public agencies that withdraws from participation in a regional plan under Section 771.058(d).

(b) This subchapter does not affect the authority of a public agency to operate under another law authorizing the creation of a district in which 9-1-1 service is provided.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 32, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 772.305: Additional Territory

(a) If a municipality that is part of a district annexes territory that is not part of the district, the annexed territory becomes part of the district.

(b) A public agency located in whole or part in a county adjoining the district, by resolution adopted by its governing body and approved by the board of the district, may become part of the district and subject to its benefits and requirements.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.3051: Removal of Certain Municipal Territory

(a) A municipality that is a participating jurisdiction may request that the municipality be removed from the district if the municipality operated a consolidated public safety answering point with at least three emergency communication districts described by Section 771.001(3)(A) for at least a three-year period before September 1, 2019.

(b) The board of a district that receives a request under Subsection (a) shall approve the request and, not later than the 91st day before the date the removal will take effect, notify each service supplier providing service in the district of the scheduled removal. The removal must take effect on a date that:

(1) allows the board to comply with the notice requirements of this section; and

(2) is not later than the 180th day after the date the board receives the request.

(c) Removal of a municipality under this section does not diminish or impair the rights of the holders of any outstanding and unpaid bonds, warrants, or other obligations of the district.

(d) If a municipality is removed under this section, the municipality shall compensate the district in an amount equal to the municipality's pro rata share of the district's indebtedness at the time the municipality is removed. The district shall apply compensation received from a municipality under this subsection exclusively to the payment of the municipality's pro rata share of the district's indebtedness.

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 819 (H.B. 2461), Sec. 1, eff. June 10, 2019.

Sec. 772.306: Board of Managers

(a) A district is governed by a board of managers.

(b) If the most populous municipality in the district has a population of more than 140,000, the board consists of:

(1) one member for each county in the district appointed by the commissioners court of each county;

(2) two members appointed by the governing body of the most populous municipality in the district;

(3) one member appointed by the governing body of the second most populous municipality in the district;

(4) one member appointed as provided by this section to represent the other municipalities located in whole or part in the district; and

(5) one member appointed by the principal service supplier.

(c) If Subsection (b) does not apply to a district, the board consists of:

(1) the following members representing the county or counties in the district:

(A) if the district contains only one county, two members appointed by the commissioners court of the county;

(B) if the district originally contained only one county but contains more than one county when the appointment is made, two members appointed by the commissioners court of the county in which the district was originally located, and one member appointed by the commissioners court of each other county in the district; or

(C) if the district originally contained more than one county and the district contains more than one county when the appointment is made, one member appointed by the commissioners court of each county in the district;

(2) two members appointed jointly by the majority vote of the municipalities voting on the appointment and located in whole or part in the district;

(3) one member appointed jointly by the volunteer fire departments operating wholly or partly in the district, with the appointment process coordinated by the county fire marshal or marshals of the county or counties in the district; and

(4) one member appointed by the principal service supplier.

(d) The board member appointed by the principal service supplier is a nonvoting member. If the board is appointed under Subsection (c), the principal service supplier may waive its right to appoint the board member and designate another service supplier serving all or part of the district to make the appointment.

(e) The board member appointed under Subsection (b)(4) is appointed by the mayor's council established to administer urban development block grant funds, if one exists in the district. Otherwise, the member is appointed by the other members of the board on the advice and recommendation of the governing bodies of all the municipalities represented by the member.

(f) The initial board members appointed by municipalities under Subsection (c)(2) are appointed by all the municipalities located in whole or part in the district.

(g) Board members are appointed for staggered terms of two years, with as near as possible to one-half of the members' terms expiring each year.

(h) A board member may be removed from office at will by the entity that appointed the member.

(i) A vacancy on the board shall be filled for the remainder of the term in the manner provided for the original appointment to that position.

(j) Board members serve without compensation. The district shall pay all expenses necessarily incurred by the board in performing its functions under this subchapter.

(k) The board may appoint from among its membership a presiding officer and any other officers it considers necessary.

(l) The director or a board member may be appointed as secretary of the board. The board shall require the secretary to keep suitable records of all proceedings of each board meeting. After each meeting the presiding officer at the meeting shall read and sign the record and the secretary shall attest the record.

(m) Voting members of the board may meet in executive session in accordance with Chapter 551, Government Code.

(n) A majority of the voting members of the board constitutes a quorum.

(o) In an emergency communication district subject to this subchapter located entirely in a county with a population of less than 30,000, the board consists of:

(1) the appropriate members listed in Subsection (c); and

(2) a peace officer licensed under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code, appointed by the county sheriff.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(82), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 901, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 622 (H.B. 1187), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 772.307: Powers and Duties of Board

(a) The board shall control and manage the district.

(b) The board may adopt rules for the operation of the district.

(c) The board may contract with any public or private entity to carry out the purposes of this subchapter, including the operation of a 9-1-1 system.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.308: Director of District

(a) The board shall appoint a director of communication for the district and shall establish the director's compensation. The director must be qualified by training and experience for the position.

(b) The board may remove the director at any time.

(c) With the board's approval, the director may employ any experts, employees, or consultants that the director considers necessary to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

(d) The director shall perform all duties that the board requires and shall supervise as general manager the operations of the district subject to any limitations prescribed by the board.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.309: Budget; Annual Report; Audit

(a) The director shall prepare under the direction of the board an annual budget for the district. To be effective, the budget must:

(1) be approved by the board;

(2) be presented to and approved by the commissioners court of each county in the district;

(3) be presented to and approved by the governing body of the most populous municipality in the district, if that municipality has a population of more than 140,000; and

(4) be presented to the governing body of each other participating jurisdiction and approved by a majority of those jurisdictions.

(b) The board shall submit a draft of the proposed budget to the governing bodies of the participating jurisdictions not later than the 45th day before the date the board adopts the budget. The participating jurisdictions shall review the proposed budget and submit any comments regarding the budget to the board.

(c) If the governing body of a county, municipality, or other participating jurisdiction does not approve or disapprove the budget before the 61st day after the date the body received the proposed budget for review, the budget is approved by operation of law.

(d) A revision of the budget must be approved in the same manner as the budget.

(e) As soon as practicable after the end of each district fiscal year, the director shall prepare and present to the board and to each participating jurisdiction in writing a sworn statement of all money received by the district and how the money was used during the preceding fiscal year. The report must show in detail the operations of the district for the fiscal year covered by the report.

(f) The board shall have an independent financial audit of the district performed annually.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1406, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

Sec. 772.310: Establishment of 9-1-1 Service

(a) A district shall provide 9-1-1 service to each participating jurisdiction through one or a combination of the following methods and features:

(1) the transfer method;

(2) the relay method;

(3) the dispatch method;

(4) automatic number identification;

(5) automatic location identification;

(6) selective routing; or

(7) any equivalent method.

(b) A district shall provide 9-1-1 service using one or both of the following plans:

(1) the district may design, implement, and operate a 9-1-1 system for each participating jurisdiction with the consent of the jurisdiction; or

(2) the district may design, implement, and operate a 9-1-1 system for two or more participating jurisdictions with the consent of each of those jurisdictions if a joint operation would be more economically feasible than separate systems for each jurisdiction.

(c) Under either plan authorized by Subsection (b), the final plans for the particular system must have the approval of each participating jurisdiction covered by the system.

(d) The district shall recommend minimum standards for a 9-1-1 system.

(e) A service supplier involved in providing 9-1-1 service, a manufacturer of equipment used in providing 9-1-1 service, or an officer or employee of a service supplier involved in providing 9-1-1 service is not liable for any claim, damage, or loss arising from the provision of 9-1-1 service unless the act or omission proximately causing the claim, damage, or loss constitutes gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 772.311: Primary Emergency Telephone Number

The digits 9-1-1 are the primary emergency telephone number in a district. A public safety agency whose services are available through a 9-1-1 system may maintain a separate number or numbers for emergencies and shall maintain a separate number or numbers for nonemergency telephone calls.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.312: Transmitting Requests for Emergency Aid

(a) A 9-1-1 system established under this subchapter must be capable of transmitting requests for fire-fighting, law enforcement, ambulance, and medical services to a public safety agency or agencies that provide the requested service at the place from which the call originates. A 9-1-1 system may also provide for transmitting requests for other emergency services such as poison control, suicide prevention, and civil defense.

(b) A public safety answering point may transmit emergency response requests to private safety entities, with the approval of the board and the consent of each participating jurisdiction and emergency services district serving the relevant area. A participating jurisdiction's or emergency services district's consent may be withdrawn at any time.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1194 (H.B. 4350), Sec. 4, eff. June 14, 2019.

Sec. 772.313: Powers of District

(a) The district is a body corporate and politic, exercising public and essential governmental functions and having all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes and provisions of this subchapter, including the capacity to sue or be sued.

(b) To fund the district, the district may apply for, accept, and receive federal, state, county, or municipal funds and private funds and may spend those funds for the purposes of this subchapter. The board shall determine the method and sources of funding for the district.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.314: 9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee

(a) The board may impose a 9-1-1 emergency service fee on service users in the district.

(b) The fee may be imposed only on the base rate charge or its equivalent, excluding charges for coin-operated telephone equipment. The fee may not be imposed on more than 100 local exchange access lines or their equivalent for a single business entity at a single location, unless the lines are used by residents of the location. The fee may also not be imposed on any line that the Advisory Commission on State Emergency Communications excluded from the definition of a local exchange access line or an equivalent local exchange access line pursuant to Section 771.063. If a business service user provides residential facilities, each line that terminates at a residential unit and that is a communication link equivalent to a residential local exchange access line shall be charged the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The fee must have uniform application and must be imposed in each participating jurisdiction.

(c) The rate of the fee may not exceed six percent of the monthly base rate in a service year charged a service user by the principal service supplier in the participating jurisdiction. For purposes of this subsection, the jurisdiction of the county is the unincorporated area of the county.

(c-1) The board may impose the fee at the rate authorized by Subsection (c) regardless of whether an election was held for the district under Chapter 288 (S.B. 750), Acts of the 69th Legislature, Regular Session, 1985, or former Article 1432e, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes, at which the voters authorized a different rate.

(d) The board shall set the amount of the fee each year as part of the annual budget. The board shall notify each service supplier of a change in the amount of the fee not later than the 91st day before the date the change takes effect.

(e) In imposing the fee, the board shall attempt to match the district's revenues to its operating expenditures and to provide reasonable reserves for contingencies and for the purchase and installation of 9-1-1 emergency service equipment. If the revenue generated by the fee exceeds the amount of money needed to fund the district, the board by resolution shall reduce the rate of the fee to an amount adequate to fund the district or suspend the imposition of the fee. If the board suspends the imposition of the fee, the board by resolution may reinstitute the fee if money generated by the district is not adequate to fund the district.

(f) In a public agency whose governing body at a later date votes to receive 9-1-1 service from the district, the fee is imposed beginning on the date specified by the board. The board may charge the incoming agency an additional amount of money to cover the initial cost of providing 9-1-1 service to that agency. The fee authorized to be charged in a district applies to new territory added to the district when the territory becomes part of the district.

(g) For the purposes of this section, the jurisdiction of the county is the unincorporated area of the county.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 14, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1203, Sec. 5, eff. June 18, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 819 (H.B. 2461), Sec. 2, eff. June 10, 2019.

Sec. 772.315: Collection of Fee

(a) Each billed service user is liable for the fee imposed under Section 772.314 until the fee is paid to the service supplier. The fee must be added to and stated separately in the service user's bill from the service supplier. The service supplier shall collect the fee at the same time as the service charge to the service user in accordance with the regular billing practice of the service supplier. A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall collect the 9-1-1 emergency service fee and transmit the fees monthly to the district.

(b) The amount collected by a service supplier from the fee is due monthly. The service supplier shall remit the amount collected in a calendar month to the district not later than the 60th day after the last day of the calendar month. With each payment the service supplier shall file a return in a form prescribed by the board.

(c) Both a service supplier and a business service user under Subsection (a) shall maintain records of the amount of fees it collects for at least two years after the date of collection. The board may require at the board's expense an annual audit of a service supplier's books and records or the books and records of a business service user described by Subsection (a) with respect to the collection and remittance of the fees.

(d) A business service user that does not collect and remit the 9-1-1 emergency service fee as required is subject to a civil cause of action under Subsection (g). A sworn affidavit by the district specifying the unremitted fees is prima facie evidence that the fees were not remitted and of the amount of the unremitted fees.

(e) A service supplier is entitled to retain an administrative fee from the amount of fees it collects. The amount of the administrative fee is two percent of the amount of fees it collects under this section.

(f) A service supplier is not required to take any legal action to enforce the collection of the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. However, the service supplier shall provide the district with an annual certificate of delinquency that includes the amount of all delinquent fees and the name and address of each nonpaying service user. The certificate of delinquency is prima facie evidence that a fee included in the certificate is delinquent. A service user account is considered delinquent if the fee is not paid to the service supplier before the 31st day after the payment due date stated on the user's bill from the service supplier.

(g) The district may institute legal proceedings to collect fees not paid and may establish internal collection procedures and recover the cost of collection from the nonpaying service user. If the district prevails in legal proceedings instituted to collect a fee, the court may award the district court costs, attorney's fees, and interest in addition to other amounts recovered. A delinquent fee accrues interest at an annual rate of 12 percent beginning on the date the payment becomes due.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 15, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 17, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 772.316: District Depository

(a) The board shall select a depository for the district in the manner provided by law for the selection of a county depository.

(b) A depository selected by the board is the district's depository for two years after the date of its selection and until a successor depository is selected and qualified.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.317: Allowable Expenses

Allowable operating expenses of a district include all costs attributable to designing a 9-1-1 system and to all equipment and personnel necessary to establish and operate a public safety answering point and other related answering points that the board considers necessary.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.318: Number and Location Identification

(a) As part of computerized 9-1-1 service, a service supplier shall furnish current telephone numbers of subscribers and the addresses associated with the numbers on a call-by-call basis.

(b) A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall provide to those residential end users the same level of 9-1-1 service that a service supplier is required to provide under Subsection (a) to other residential end users in the district.

(c) Information furnished under this section is confidential and is not available for public inspection.

(d) A service supplier or business service user under Subsection (b) is not liable to a person who uses a 9-1-1 system created under this subchapter for the release to the district of the information specified in Subsections (a) and (b).

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 16, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 18, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 772.319: Public Review

(a) Periodically, the board shall solicit public comments and hold a public review hearing on the continuation of the district and the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The first hearing shall be held three years after the date the order certifying the creation of the district is filed with the county clerks. Subsequent hearings shall be held three years after the date each order required by Subsection (d) is adopted.

(b) The board shall publish notice of the time and place of the hearing once a week for two consecutive weeks in a daily newspaper of general circulation published in the district. The first notice must be published not later than the 16th day before the date set for the hearing.

(c) At the hearing, the board shall also solicit comments on the participation of the district in the applicable regional plan for 9-1-1 service under Chapter 771. After the hearing, the board may choose to participate in the regional plan as provided by that chapter.

(d) After the hearing, the board shall adopt an order on the continuation or dissolution of the district and the 9-1-1 emergency service fee.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.320: Dissolution Procedures

(a) If a district is dissolved, 9-1-1 service must be discontinued on the date of the dissolution. The commissioners court of the county in which the district was located or, if the district contains more than one county, the commissioners courts of those counties acting jointly, shall assume the assets of the district and pay the district's debts. If the district's assets are insufficient to retire all existing debts of the district on the date of dissolution, the commissioners court or courts acting jointly shall continue to impose the 9-1-1 service fee, and each service supplier shall continue to collect the fee for the commissioners court or courts. Proceeds from the imposition of the fee after dissolution of the district may be used only to retire the outstanding debts of the district.

(b) The commissioners court or courts shall retire the district's debts to the extent practicable according to the terms of the instruments creating the debts and the terms of the orders and resolutions authorizing creation of the debts.

(c) The commissioners court or courts by order may adopt the rules necessary to administer this section.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.321: Issuance of Bonds

The board may issue and sell bonds in the name of the district to finance:

(1) the acquisition by any method of facilities, equipment, or supplies necessary for the district to begin providing 9-1-1 service to all participating jurisdictions; and

(2) the installation of equipment necessary for the district to begin providing 9-1-1 service to all participating jurisdictions.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.322: Repayment of Bonds

The board may provide for the payment of the principal of and interest on the bonds by pledging all or any part of the district's revenues from the 9-1-1 emergency service fee or from other sources.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.323: Additional Security for Bonds

(a) The bonds may be additionally secured by a deed of trust or mortgage lien on part or all of the physical properties of the district and the rights appurtenant to those properties, vesting in the trustee power to sell the properties for payment of the indebtedness, power to operate the properties, and all other powers necessary for the further security of the bonds.

(b) The trust indenture, regardless of the existence of the deed of trust or mortgage lien on the properties, may include provisions prescribed by the board for the security of the bonds and the preservation of the trust estate and may make provisions for investment of funds of the district.

(c) A purchaser under a sale under the deed of trust or mortgage lien is the absolute owner of the properties and rights purchased and may maintain and operate them.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.324: Form of Bonds

(a) A district may issue its bonds in various series or issues.

(b) Bonds may mature serially or otherwise not more than 25 years after their date of issue and shall bear interest at any rate permitted by state law.

(c) A district's bonds and interest coupons, if any, are investment securities under the terms of Chapter 8, Business & Commerce Code, may be issued registrable as to principal or as to both principal and interest, and may be made redeemable before maturity, at the option of the district, or contain a mandatory redemption provision.

(d) A district may issue its bonds in the form, denominations, and manner and under the terms, and the bonds shall be signed and executed, as provided by the board in the resolution or order authorizing their issuance.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.325: Provisions of Bonds

(a) In the orders or resolutions authorizing the issuance of bonds, including refunding bonds, the board may provide for the flow of funds and the establishment and maintenance of the interest and sinking fund, the reserve fund, and other funds and may make additional covenants with respect to the bonds, the pledge revenues, and the operation and maintenance of any facilities the revenue of which is pledged.

(b) The orders or resolutions of the board authorizing the issuance of bonds may also prohibit the further issuance of bonds or other obligations payable from the pledged revenue or may reserve the right to issue additional bonds to be secured by a pledge of and payable from the revenue on a parity with or subordinate to the lien and pledge in support of the bonds being issued.

(c) The orders or resolutions of the board issuing bonds may contain other provisions and covenants as the board may determine.

(d) The board may adopt and have executed any other proceedings or instruments necessary and convenient in the issuance of bonds.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.326: Approval and Registration of Bonds

(a) Bonds issued by a district must be submitted to the attorney general for examination.

(b) If the attorney general finds that the bonds have been authorized in accordance with law, the attorney general shall approve them. On approval by the attorney general, the comptroller shall register the bonds.

(c) After the approval and registration of bonds, the bonds are incontestable in any court or other forum for any reason and are valid and binding obligations according to their terms for all purposes.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.327: Refunding Bonds

(a) A district may issue bonds to refund all or any part of its outstanding bonds, including matured but unpaid interest coupons.

(b) Refunding bonds shall mature serially or otherwise not more than 25 years after their date of issue and shall bear interest at any rate or rates permitted by state law.

(c) Refunding bonds may be payable from the same source as the bonds being refunded or from other sources.

(d) The refunding bonds must be approved by the attorney general as provided by Section 772.326 and shall be registered by the comptroller on the surrender and cancellation of the bonds refunded.

(e) The orders or resolutions authorizing the issuance of the refunding bonds may provide that they be sold and the proceeds deposited in the place or places at which the bonds being refunded are payable, in which case the refunding bonds may be issued before the cancellation of the bonds being refunded. If refunding bonds are issued before cancellation of the other bonds, an amount sufficient to pay the principal of the bonds being refunded and interest on those bonds accruing to their maturity dates or to their option dates if the bonds have been duly called for payment before maturity according to their terms shall be deposited in the place or places at which the bonds being refunded are payable. The comptroller shall register the refunding bonds without the surrender and cancellation of bonds being refunded.

(f) A refunding may be accomplished in one or in several installment deliveries. Refunding bonds and their interest coupons are investment securities under Chapter 8, Business & Commerce Code.

(g) In lieu of the method set forth in Subsections (a)-(f), a district may refund bonds, notes, or other obligations as provided by the general laws of this state.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.328: Bonds As Investments and Security for Deposits

(a) District bonds are legal and authorized investments for:

(1) a bank;

(2) a savings bank;

(3) a trust company;

(4) a savings and loan association;

(5) an insurance company;

(6) a fiduciary;

(7) a trustee;

(8) a guardian; and

(9) a sinking fund of a municipality, county, school district, and other political subdivision of the state and other public funds of the state and its agencies, including the permanent school fund.

(b) District bonds are eligible to secure deposits of public funds of the state and municipalities, counties, school districts, and other political subdivisions of the state. The bonds are lawful and sufficient security for deposits to the extent of their value when accompanied by all unmatured coupons.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.329: Tax Status of Bonds

Because a district created under this subchapter is a public entity performing an essential public function, bonds issued by the district, any transaction relating to the bonds, and profits made in the sale of the bonds are exempt from taxation by the state or by any municipality, county, special district, or other political subdivision of the state.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Subchapter E

Sec. 772.402: Application of Subchapter

This subchapter applies only to a county having a population of more than two million in which a communication district has not been created under Subchapter B.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1163 (H.B. 2702), Sec. 52, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 772.403: Implementation of 9-1-1 Service and Fee

(a) A county to which this subchapter applies may implement a system for providing 9-1-1 service in the unincorporated areas of the county and may impose a service fee on local exchange telephone service customers in the area served. The fee may not be imposed on any line that the Advisory Commission on State Emergency Communications excluded from the definition of a local exchange access line or an equivalent local exchange access line pursuant to Section 771.063. If a business service user provides residential facilities, each line that terminates at a residential unit and that is a communication link equivalent to a residential local exchange access line shall be charged the 9-1-1 emergency service fee.

(b) The commissioners court shall set the fee in an amount reasonable to cover the costs of providing the 9-1-1 service.

(c) Revenue from the fee may be used only for the planning, development, and provision of 9-1-1 service.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 17, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1203, Sec. 6, eff. June 18, 1999.

Sec. 772.404: Collection of Fee

(a) A telecommunications carrier providing local exchange service in a county that imposes a fee under this subchapter shall collect the fees and deliver them to the commissioners court not later than the 60th day after the last day of the month during which the fees were collected.

(b) A customer on whom a fee is imposed under this subchapter is liable for the fee in the same manner the customer is liable for charges for service provided by the local exchange service provider. The fee must be stated separately in the customer's bill.

(c) A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall collect the 9-1-1 emergency service fee and transmit the fees monthly to the county.

(d) A local exchange service provider collecting fees under this subchapter may retain as an administrative fee an amount equal to two percent of the total amount of the fees it collects.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 18, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 19, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 772.405: Audit of Service Provider

The commissioners court of a county may require at the county's expense an audit of a local exchange service provider collecting fees or surcharges under this subchapter. The audit must be limited to the collection and remittance of money collected under this subchapter.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 772.406: Number and Location Identification

A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall provide to those residential end users the same level of 9-1-1 service relating to number and location identification that a service supplier provides to other residential end users in the county.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 19, eff. Aug. 30, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 20, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 772.407: Liability of Service Providers

A service supplier involved in providing 9-1-1 service, a manufacturer of equipment used in providing 9-1-1 service, or an officer or employee of a service supplier involved in providing 9-1-1 service is not liable for any claim, damage, or loss arising from the provision of 9-1-1 service unless the act or omission proximately causing the claim, damage, or loss constitutes gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

Comments

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 21, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Subchapter F

Sec. 772.451: Consolidation Procedure

(a) Two or more districts governed by this chapter may consolidate into a single district as provided by this section.

(b) If the board of managers of each district to be consolidated finds that the consolidation of the districts would benefit the participating jurisdictions of the district, the board may call and hold an election in the district's participating jurisdictions to approve the consolidation.

(c) The election in each district must be held on the same uniform election date provided by Chapter 41, Election Code.

(d) Each district shall pay the election expenses for its participating jurisdictions.

(e) The ballot for the election to approve the consolidation must be printed to permit voting for or against the proposition that the district may consolidate with other named districts.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1406, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

Sec. 772.452: Consolidation Planning

(a) If a majority of the voters voting at the election approve the consolidation, the board of managers of the district shall conduct a planning meeting with the boards of managers of the other districts whose voters have approved the consolidation.

(b) The meeting must be a public meeting. At the meeting, the boards of managers shall devise a consolidation plan to:

(1) combine the debts and assets of the districts;

(2) pay outstanding bonds of the districts and issue refunding bonds as necessary to pay the bonds;

(3) impose a uniform 9-1-1 emergency service fee; and

(4) adjust the membership and qualifications of the board of managers of the consolidated district.

(c) If a consolidated district is not created under Section 772.453 before the first anniversary of the date of the election held under Section 772.451, a consolidated district may not be created until:

(1) the districts make another finding that the consolidation would benefit the participating jurisdictions; and

(2) the consolidation is approved at another election held under Section 772.451.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1406, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

Sec. 772.453: Creation of Consolidated District

(a) When the board of managers of each district has adopted the same consolidation plan, the combined boards of managers shall declare the consolidated district created.

(b) If the board of managers of a district does not agree to a consolidation plan, the remaining districts may consolidate on the terms of a mutually agreeable consolidation plan.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1406, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

Sec. 772.454: Board of Managers

(a) The consolidated district is governed by a board of managers appointed in accordance with the order issued by the temporary board of managers under Subsection (b). The members of the boards of managers of all the districts consolidated serve as a temporary board until all members of the initial board of managers are appointed and qualify. The temporary board has all authority necessary to operate and administer the district.

(b) Before the 45th day after the date the district is created, the temporary board of managers by order shall adjust the membership of the board. The order must be substantially in accordance with the consolidation plan and must specify:

(1) the number of members of the board;

(2) the entity or combination of entities that appoints each member;

(3) whether each member may or may not vote; and

(4) the term of each member of the initial board so that as near to one-half of the members as is practical serve terms that expire in even-numbered years and the remaining members serve terms that expire in odd-numbered years.

(c) The order issued under Subsection (b) must preserve as nearly as possible the proportional representation of interests exhibited by the memberships of the boards of managers of the several districts before consolidation.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1406, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

Sec. 772.455: Governance of Consolidated District

The consolidated district and its board of managers are governed by the provisions of this chapter that governed the most populous of the districts before the consolidation, except as provided by this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1406, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

Subchapter G

Sec. 772.501: Short Title

This subchapter may be cited as the Regional Emergency Communications District Act.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.502: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Board" means the board of managers of a district.

(2) "District" means a regional emergency communications district created under this subchapter.

(3) "Participating jurisdiction" means a county or principal municipality that adopts a resolution to participate in a district created under this subchapter.

(4) "Principal municipality" means the municipality with the largest population in a region.

(5) "Region" means a state planning region established under Chapter 391, Local Government Code.

(6) "Regional planning commission" means a commission or council of governments created under Chapter 391, Local Government Code, for a designated region.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.503: Application of Subchapter

This subchapter applies to a region:

(1) with a population of more than 1.5 million;

(2) composed of counties and municipalities that operate a 9-1-1 system solely through a regional planning commission; and

(3) in which the governing bodies of each county and the principal municipality in the region adopt a resolution under Section 772.504 to participate in the district.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.504: Creation of District

(a) A district is created when the governing bodies of each county and the principal municipality in a region adopt a resolution approving the district's creation and the county's or municipality's participation in the district. The district's creation is effective on the date the last county or municipal governing body in the region adopts the resolution.

(b) The district shall file with the county clerk of each county in which the district is located a certificate declaring the creation of the district.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.505: Political Subdivision; District Powers

(a) A district is a political subdivision of this state created to carry out essential governmental functions.

(b) A district may exercise all powers necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes and provisions of this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.506: Territory of District

(a) The territory of a district consists of:

(1) the territory of the region in which the district is established; and

(2) for each municipality partially located in the region, the territory of that municipality located in another region.

(b) If a municipality in the district annexes territory that is outside the boundaries of the district, the annexed territory becomes part of the district.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.507: Board

(a) A district is governed by a board of managers composed of the members of the governing body of the regional planning commission for the region in which the district is established. Service on the board by a member of the governing body is an additional duty of the member's office or employment.

(b) A board member serves without compensation. The district shall pay all reasonable expenses necessarily incurred by the board member in performing the board's functions under this subchapter.

(c) A majority of the voting members of the board constitutes a quorum.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.508: Powers and Duties of Board

(a) The board shall name, control, and manage the district.

(b) The board may adopt orders, rules, and policies governing the operations of the board and the district.

(c) The board may contract with any person to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

(d) The board shall determine the nature and sources of funding for the district. The board may accept grants or other funding from the federal or state government, a county, a municipality, or a private person.

(e) The board may sue in the district's name.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.509: Advisory Committee

(a) The board shall appoint an advisory committee consisting of representatives of the participating jurisdictions. The advisory committee shall review, advise, and provide recommendations to the board on district issues, including equipment, training, budget, and general operational issues.

(b) An advisory committee member must have the training and experience necessary to perform the duties assigned by the board.

(c) Chapter 2110, Government Code, does not apply to the advisory committee.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.510: Director of District; Staff

(a) The executive director of the regional planning commission in the district's region serves as director of the district.

(b) The director shall:

(1) perform all duties required by the board;

(2) ensure that board policies and procedures are implemented for the purposes of this subchapter; and

(3) assign employees of the regional planning commission to perform duties under this subchapter as necessary to carry out the district's operations.

(c) The director may use district money to compensate an employee assigned duties under this subchapter and the director.

(d) The director and an employee assigned duties under this subchapter are employees of the regional planning commission for all purposes.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.511: Budget; Annual Report; Audit

(a) The director shall prepare, under the direction of the board, an annual budget for the district. The budget and any revision of the budget must be approved by the board.

(b) As soon as practicable after the end of each district fiscal year, the director shall prepare and present to the board a written report of all money received by the district and how the money was spent during the preceding fiscal year. The report must show, in detail, the operations of the district for the period covered by the report.

(c) The board annually shall have an independent financial audit made of the district.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.512: Provision of 9-1-1 Service

(a) A district shall provide 9-1-1 service to each participating jurisdiction through one or a combination of the following methods and features or equivalent state-of-the-art technology:

(1) the transfer method;

(2) the relay method;

(3) the dispatch method;

(4) automatic number identification;

(5) automatic location identification; or

(6) selective routing.

(b) The district shall recommend minimum standards for a 9-1-1 system. The 9-1-1 system must be computerized.

(c) For each individual telephone subscriber in the district, 9-1-1 service is mandatory and is not an optional service under any definition of terms relating to telephone service.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.513: Liability

A service supplier involved in providing 9-1-1 service, a manufacturer of equipment used in providing 9-1-1 service, or an officer or employee of a service supplier involved in providing 9-1-1 service may not be held liable for any claim, damage, or loss arising from the provision of 9-1-1 service unless the act or omission proximately causing the claim, damage, or loss constitutes gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.514: Primary Emergency Telephone Number

The digits 9-1-1 are the primary emergency telephone number in a district. A public safety agency whose services are available through a 9-1-1 system:

(1) may maintain a separate number for an emergency telephone call; and

(2) shall maintain a separate number for a nonemergency telephone call.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.515: Transmitting Requests for Emergency Aid

(a) A 9-1-1 system established under this subchapter must be capable of transmitting requests for firefighting, law enforcement, ambulance, and medical services to a public safety agency that provides the requested service at the location from which the call originates. A 9-1-1 system may provide for transmitting requests for other emergency services, including poison control, suicide prevention, and civil defense.

(b) A public safety answering point may transmit emergency response requests to private safety entities, with the approval of the board and the consent of each participating jurisdiction and emergency services district serving the relevant area. A participating jurisdiction's or emergency services district's consent may be withdrawn at any time.

(c) With the consent of a participating jurisdiction, a privately owned automatic intrusion alarm or other privately owned automatic alerting device may be installed to cause the number 9-1-1 to be dialed to gain access to emergency services.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1194 (H.B. 4350), Sec. 5, eff. June 14, 2019.

Sec. 772.516: 9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee

(a) The board may impose a 9-1-1 emergency service fee on service users in the district.

(b) The fee may be imposed only on the base rate charge or the charge's equivalent, excluding charges for coin-operated telephone equipment. The fee may not be imposed on:

(1) more than 100 local exchange access lines or the lines' equivalent for a single business entity at a single location, unless the lines are used by residents of the location; or

(2) any line that the Commission on State Emergency Communications has excluded from the definition of a local exchange access line or equivalent local exchange access line under Section 771.063.

(c) If a business service user provides residential facilities, each line that terminates at a residential unit and is a communication link equivalent to a residential local exchange access line shall be charged the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The fee must have uniform application throughout the district and be imposed in each participating jurisdiction in the district.

(d) The rate of the fee may not exceed six percent of the monthly base rate the principal service supplier in the participating jurisdiction charges a service user.

(e) The board shall set the amount of the fee each year as part of the annual budget. The board shall notify each service supplier of a change in the amount of the fee not later than the 91st day before the date the change takes effect.

(f) In imposing the fee, the board shall attempt to match the district's revenues to the district's operating expenditures and to provide reasonable reserves for contingencies and for the purchase and installation of 9-1-1 emergency service equipment. If the revenue received from the fee exceeds the amount of money needed to fund the district, the board by resolution shall reduce the rate of the fee to an amount adequate to fund the district as required by this subsection or suspend the imposition of the fee. If the board suspends the imposition of the fee, the board by resolution may reinstitute the fee if money received by the district is not adequate to fund the district.

(g) For a county or municipality whose governing body at a later date votes to receive 9-1-1 service from the district, the fee is imposed beginning on the date specified by the board. The board may charge the incoming county or municipality an additional amount of money to cover the initial cost of providing 9-1-1 service to that county or municipality. The fee authorized to be charged in a district applies to new territory added to the district under Section 772.506(b) when the territory becomes part of the district.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.517: Collection of Fee

(a) Each billed service user is liable for the fee imposed under Section 772.516 until the fee is paid to the service supplier. The fee must be added to and stated separately in the service user's bill from the service supplier. The service supplier shall collect the fee at the same time as the service charge to the service user in accordance with the service supplier's regular billing practice. A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall collect the 9-1-1 emergency service fee and transmit the fees monthly to the district.

(b) The amount collected by a service supplier from the fee is due quarterly. The service supplier shall remit the amount collected in a calendar quarter to the district not later than the 60th day after the last day of the calendar quarter. With each payment, the service supplier shall file a return in a form prescribed by the board.

(c) Both a service supplier and a business service user under Subsection (a) shall maintain records of the amount of fees the service supplier or business service user collects until at least the second anniversary of the date of collection. The board may require, at the board's expense, an annual audit of the service supplier's or business service user's books and records with respect to the collection and remittance of the fees.

(d) A business service user that does not collect and remit the 9-1-1 emergency service fee as required is subject to a civil cause of action under Subsection (g). A sworn affidavit by the district specifying the unremitted fees is prima facie evidence that the fees were not remitted and of the amount of the unremitted fees.

(e) A service supplier may retain an administrative fee of two percent of the amount of fees the service supplier collects under this section.

(f) A service supplier is not required to take any legal action to enforce the collection of the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The service supplier shall provide the district with an annual certificate of delinquency that includes the amount of all delinquent fees and the name and address of each nonpaying service user. The certificate of delinquency is prima facie evidence that a fee included in the certificate is delinquent and of the amount of the delinquent fee. A service user account is considered delinquent if the fee is not paid to the service supplier before the 31st day after the payment due date stated on the user's bill from the service supplier.

(g) The district may file legal proceedings against a service user to collect fees not paid by the service user and may establish internal collection procedures and recover the cost of collection from the nonpaying service user. If legal proceedings are filed by the district, the court may award costs, attorney's fees, and interest to be paid by the nonpaying service user. A delinquent fee accrues interest at the legal rate beginning on the date the payment becomes due.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.518: District Depository

(a) The board shall select a depository for the district in the manner provided by law for the selection of a county depository.

(b) A depository selected by the board is the district's depository until the second anniversary of the date of selection and until a successor depository is selected and qualified.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.519: Allowable Expenses

A district's allowable operating expenses include all costs attributable to designing a 9-1-1 system and all equipment and personnel necessary to establish and operate a public safety answering point and other related operations that the board considers necessary.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.520: Number and Location Identification

(a) As part of computerized 9-1-1 service, a service supplier shall furnish, for each call, the telephone number of the subscriber and the address associated with the number.

(b) A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall provide to those residential end users the same level of 9-1-1 service that a service supplier is required to provide under Subsection (a) to other residential end users in the district.

(c) Information furnished under this section is confidential and is not available for public inspection.

(d) A service supplier or business service user under Subsection (b) may not be held liable to a person who uses a 9-1-1 system created under this subchapter for the release to the district of the information specified in Subsections (a) and (b).

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.521: Public Review

(a) Periodically, the board shall solicit public comments and hold a public review hearing on the continuation of the district and the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The first hearing shall be held on or before the third anniversary of the date of the district's creation. Subsequent hearings shall be held on or before the third anniversary of the date each resolution required by Subsection (c) is adopted.

(b) The board shall publish notice of the time and place of a hearing once a week for two consecutive weeks in a daily newspaper of general circulation published in the district. The first notice must be published not later than the 16th day before the date set for the hearing.

(c) After the hearing, the board shall adopt a resolution on the continuation or dissolution of the district and the 9-1-1 emergency service fee.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.522: Dissolution Procedures

(a) If a district is dissolved, 9-1-1 service must be discontinued. The regional planning commission for the district's region shall assume the district's assets, provide 9-1-1 service, and pay the district's debts. If the district's assets are insufficient to retire all existing debts of the district on the date of dissolution, the regional planning commission shall continue to impose the 9-1-1 emergency service fee, and each service supplier shall continue to collect the fee for the regional planning commission. Proceeds from the imposition of the fee by the regional planning commission after dissolution of the district may be used only to retire the outstanding debts of the district.

(b) The regional planning commission shall retire the district's debts to the extent practicable according to the terms of the instruments creating the debts and the terms of the resolutions authorizing creation of the debts.

(c) The governing body of the regional planning commission for the district's region may adopt rules necessary to administer this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.523: Issuance of Bonds

The board may issue bonds in the name of the district to finance:

(1) the acquisition by any method of facilities, equipment, or supplies necessary for the district to provide 9-1-1 service to each participating jurisdiction; or

(2) the installation of equipment necessary for the district to provide 9-1-1 service to each participating jurisdiction.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.524: Repayment of Bonds

The board may provide for the payment of principal of and interest on district bonds by pledging all or part of the district's revenues from the 9-1-1 emergency service fee or from other sources.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.525: Additional Security for Bonds

(a) District bonds may be additionally secured by a deed of trust or mortgage lien on all or part of the district's physical properties and rights appurtenant to the properties, vesting in the trustee power to sell the properties for payment of the indebtedness, power to operate the properties, and any other power necessary for the further security of the bonds.

(b) The bond trust indenture, regardless of the existence of a deed of trust or mortgage lien on the properties, may:

(1) contain provisions prescribed by the board for the security of the bonds and the preservation of the trust estate; and

(2) make provisions for:

(A) amendment or modification; and

(B) investment of district funds.

(c) A purchaser under a sale under the deed of trust or mortgage lien is the absolute owner of the properties and rights purchased and may maintain and operate the properties.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.526: Form of Bonds

(a) A district may issue bonds in various series or issues.

(b) Bonds may mature serially or otherwise not more than 25 years after the bonds' date of issuance. Bonds shall bear interest at any rate permitted by state law.

(c) A district's bonds and interest coupons:

(1) are investment securities under Chapter 8, Business & Commerce Code;

(2) may be issued registrable as to principal or to both principal and interest; and

(3) may be made redeemable before maturity or contain a mandatory redemption provision at the option of the district.

(d) A district may issue bonds in the form, denomination, and manner and under the terms and conditions provided by the board in the resolution authorizing the bonds' issuance. The bonds must be signed and executed as provided by the board in the resolution.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.527: Provisions of Bonds

(a) In this section, "resolution" means a board resolution authorizing the issuance of bonds, including refunding bonds.

(b) In a resolution, the board may:

(1) provide for the flow of funds and the establishment and maintenance of an interest and sinking fund, reserve fund, or other fund; and

(2) make additional covenants with respect to the bonds, the pledged revenues, and the operation and maintenance of any facilities the revenue of which is pledged.

(c) A resolution may:

(1) prohibit the further issuance of bonds or other obligations payable from the pledged revenue; or

(2) reserve the right to issue additional bonds to be secured by a pledge of and payable from the revenue on a parity with or subordinate to the lien and pledge in support of the bonds being issued.

(d) A resolution may contain other provisions and covenants determined by the board.

(e) The board may adopt and have executed any other proceedings or instruments necessary or convenient for issuance of bonds.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.528: Approval and Registration of Bonds

(a) Bonds issued by a district must be submitted to the attorney general for examination.

(b) If the attorney general finds that the bonds have been authorized in accordance with law, the attorney general shall approve the bonds. On approval by the attorney general, the comptroller shall register the bonds.

(c) After approval and registration, the bonds are incontestable in any court or other forum for any reason and are valid and binding obligations in accordance with the bonds' terms for all purposes.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.529: Refunding Bonds

(a) A district may issue bonds to refund all or any part of the district's outstanding bonds, including matured and unpaid interest coupons.

(b) Refunding bonds shall mature serially or otherwise, as determined by the board, not more than 25 years after the bonds' date of issuance. Bonds shall bear interest at any rate permitted by state law.

(c) Refunding bonds may be payable from the same source as the bonds being refunded or from other sources.

(d) Refunding bonds must be approved by the attorney general in the same manner as the district's other bonds. The comptroller shall register the refunding bonds on the surrender and cancellation of the bonds being refunded.

(e) A resolution authorizing the issuance of refunding bonds may provide that the bonds be sold and the proceeds deposited in a place at which the bonds being refunded are payable, in which case the refunding bonds may be issued before the cancellation of the bonds being refunded. If refunding bonds are issued before cancellation of the other bonds, an amount sufficient to pay the principal of the bonds being refunded and interest on those bonds accruing to the bonds' maturity dates or option dates, if the bonds have been duly called for payment before maturity according to the bonds' terms, must be deposited in the place at which the bonds being refunded are payable. The comptroller shall register the refunding bonds without the surrender and cancellation of the bonds being refunded.

(f) A refunding may be accomplished in one or more installment deliveries. Refunding bonds and the bonds' interest coupons are investment securities under Chapter 8, Business & Commerce Code.

(g) Instead of the method set forth in Subsections (a)-(f), a district may refund bonds, notes, or other obligations as provided by the general laws of this state.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.530: Bonds As Investments and Security for Deposits

(a) District bonds are legal and authorized investments for:

(1) a bank;

(2) a savings bank;

(3) a credit union;

(4) a trust company;

(5) a savings and loan association;

(6) an insurance company;

(7) a fiduciary;

(8) a trustee;

(9) a guardian; and

(10) a sinking fund of a municipality, county, school district, special district, and other political subdivision of this state and other public funds of this state and state agencies, including the permanent school fund.

(b) District bonds may secure deposits of public funds of the state or a municipality, county, school district, or other political subdivision of this state. The bonds are lawful and sufficient security for deposits to the extent of the bonds' value if accompanied by all unmatured coupons.

(c) District bonds are authorized investments under Chapter 2256, Government Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.531: Exemption from Taxation

A bond issued by the district under this subchapter, any transaction relating to the bond, and profits made in the sale or redemption of the bond are exempt from taxation by the state or by any municipality, county, special district, or other political subdivision of this state.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 772.532: Transfer of Assets

If a regional emergency communications district is established under this subchapter, the regional planning commission for the region in which the district is established may transfer to the district any land, buildings, improvements, equipment, and other assets acquired by the regional planning commission in relation to the provision of 9-1-1 service.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 552 (S.B. 628), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Subchapter H

Sec. 772.601: Short Title

This subchapter may be cited as the Regional Emergency Communication Districts Act.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.602: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "9-1-1 region" means the portion of a state planning region established under Chapter 391, Local Government Code, composed of counties and municipalities that on September 1, 2015, exclusively received 9-1-1 system services provided by a 9-1-1 system operated through a regional planning commission.

(2) "Board" means the board of managers of a district.

(3) "District" means a regional emergency communication district created under this subchapter.

(4) "Regional planning commission" means a commission or council of governments created under Chapter 391, Local Government Code, for a designated region.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.603: Application of Subchapter

(a) This subchapter applies to a 9-1-1 region:

(1) in which the total population served by the 9-1-1 system operated through a regional planning commission was less than 1.5 million on September 1, 2015; and

(2) in which the governing bodies of each participating county and municipality in the 9-1-1 region adopt a resolution under Section 772.604 to participate in the district.

(b) This subchapter does not affect:

(1) a public agency or group of public agencies acting jointly that provided 9-1-1 service before September 1, 1987, or that had voted or contracted before that date to provide that service;

(2) a district created under Subchapter B, C, D, F, or G; or

(3) the distribution of funds under Section 771.072.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.604: Creation of District

(a) A district is created when the governing bodies of each participating county and municipality in a 9-1-1 region adopt a resolution approving the district's creation. The district's creation is effective on the date the last resolution is adopted by a participating county or municipality.

(b) The district shall file with the county clerk of each county in which the district is located a certificate declaring the creation of the district.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.605: Political Subdivision; District Powers

(a) A district is a political subdivision of this state created to carry out essential governmental functions.

(b) A district may exercise all powers necessary to carry out the purposes and provisions of this subchapter.

(c) A district created under this subchapter may enter into an interlocal agreement with an emergency communication district established under Subchapter B, C, D, F, or G to promote enhanced public safety and increased fiscal and service efficiencies.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.606: Territory of District

The territory of a district:

(1) consists of the territory of each participating county or municipality located in a 9-1-1 region; and

(2) does not include any land that is located in the territory of an emergency communication district authorized under Subchapter B, C, D, F, or G.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.607: Board of Managers

(a) A district is governed by a board of managers.

(b) A district's initial board is composed of members who are appointed by the governing bodies of each participating county and municipality. At least two-thirds of the initial board members must be elected officials of the participating counties and municipalities.

(c) The initial board appointed under Subsection (b) shall establish the size of the board and the qualifications of board members.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.608: Powers and Duties of Board

(a) The board shall name, control, and manage the district.

(b) The board shall approve, adopt, and amend an annual budget.

(c) The board may adopt orders, rules, bylaws, policies, and procedures governing the operations of the board and the district.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.609: Director of District; Staff; Fiscal and Administrative Agent

(a) The regional planning commission for the 9-1-1 region in which the district is established shall serve as the fiscal and administrative agent for the district.

(b) The executive director of the regional planning commission for the 9-1-1 region may serve as director of the district.

(c) The director is responsible for:

(1) performing all duties required by the board;

(2) ensuring that board policies and procedures are implemented for the purposes of this subchapter;

(3) preparing an annual budget; and

(4) employing and assigning employees of the regional planning commission to perform duties under this subchapter in accordance with the district's approved annual budget.

(d) The director may use district money to compensate an employee assigned duties under this subchapter.

(e) The director and an employee assigned duties under this subchapter are employees of the regional planning commission for all purposes.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.610: Audit and Reporting Requirements

The district shall prepare an annual report that includes:

(1) the amount and source of funds received by the district;

(2) the amount and source of funds spent by the district; and

(3) the results of an audit of the district's affairs prepared by an independent certified public accountant in compliance with the district's policies and procedures.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.611: Provision of 9-1-1 Service

(a) A district shall provide 9-1-1 service to each participating county or municipality through one or a combination of the following methods and features or equivalent state-of-the-art technology:

(1) the transfer method;

(2) the relay method;

(3) the dispatch method;

(4) automatic number identification;

(5) automatic location identification; or

(6) selective routing.

(b) The district shall design, implement, and operate a 9-1-1 system for each participating county and municipality in the district.

(c) For each individual telephone subscriber in the district, 9-1-1 service is mandatory and is not an optional service under any definition of terms relating to telephone service.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.612: Liability

The liability protection provided by Section 771.053 applies to services provided under this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.613: Primary Emergency Telephone Number

The digits 9-1-1 are the primary emergency telephone number in a district. A public safety agency whose services are available through a 9-1-1 system:

(1) may maintain a separate number for an emergency telephone call; and

(2) shall maintain a separate number for a nonemergency telephone call.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.614: Transmitting Requests for Emergency Aid

(a) A 9-1-1 system established under this subchapter must be capable of transmitting requests for firefighting, law enforcement, ambulance, and medical services to a public safety agency that provides the requested service at the location from which the call originates. A 9-1-1 system may provide for transmitting requests for other emergency services, including poison control, suicide prevention, and civil defense.

(b) A public safety answering point may transmit emergency response requests to private safety entities, with the approval of the board and the consent of each participating jurisdiction and emergency services district serving the relevant area. A participating jurisdiction's or emergency services district's consent may be withdrawn at any time.

(c) With the consent of a participating county or municipality, a privately owned automatic intrusion alarm or other privately owned automatic alerting device may be installed to cause the number 9-1-1 to be dialed to gain access to emergency services.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1194 (H.B. 4350), Sec. 6, eff. June 14, 2019.

Sec. 772.615: 9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee

(a) The board may impose a 9-1-1 emergency service fee on service users in the district.

(b) The fee may be imposed only on the base rate charge or the charge's equivalent, excluding charges for coin-operated telephone equipment. The fee may not be imposed on:

(1) more than 100 local exchange access lines or the lines' equivalent for a single business entity at a single location, unless the lines are used by residents of the location; or

(2) any line that the Commission on State Emergency Communications has excluded from the definition of a local exchange access line or equivalent local exchange access line under Section 771.063.

(c) If a business service user provides residential facilities, each line that terminates at a residential unit and is a communication link equivalent to a residential local exchange access line shall be charged the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The fee must have uniform application throughout the district and be imposed in each participating county or municipality in the district.

(d) The amount of the fee may not exceed 50 cents per month for each line.

(e) The board shall set the amount of the fee each year as part of the annual budget. The board shall notify each service supplier of a change in the amount of the fee not later than the 91st day before the date the change takes effect.

(f) In imposing the fee, the board shall attempt to match the district's revenues to the district's operating expenditures, including the current and planned expenditures for the purchase, installation, and maintenance of 9-1-1 emergency services in accordance with the district's approved annual budget and operating policies.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.616: Collection of Fee

(a) A service supplier or a business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall collect the fees imposed on a customer under Section 772.615.

(b) Not later than the 30th day after the last day of the month in which the fees are collected, the service supplier or business service user shall deliver the fees to the district in the manner determined by the district. The district may establish an alternative date for payment of fees under this section, provided that the required payment date is not earlier than the 30th day after the last day of the report period in which the fees are collected. The service supplier or business service user shall file with each payment to the district a receipt in the form prescribed by the district.

(c) Both a service supplier and a business service user under Subsection (a) shall maintain records of the amount of fees the service supplier or business service user collects until at least the second anniversary of the date of collection. The board may require, at the board's expense, an annual audit of the service supplier's or business service user's books and records with respect to the collection and remittance of the fees.

(d) A business service user that does not collect and remit the 9-1-1 emergency service fee as required is subject to a civil cause of action under Subsection (g). A sworn affidavit by the district specifying the unremitted fees is prima facie evidence that the fees were not remitted and of the amount of the unremitted fees.

(e) A service supplier may retain an administrative fee of two percent of the amount of fees the service supplier collects under this section.

(f) A service supplier is not required to take any legal action to enforce the collection of the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The service supplier shall provide the district with an annual certificate of delinquency that includes the amount of all delinquent fees and the name and address of each nonpaying service user. The certificate of delinquency is prima facie evidence that a fee included in the certificate is delinquent and of the amount of the delinquent fee. A service user account is considered delinquent if the fee is not paid to the service supplier before the 31st day after the payment due date stated on the user's bill from the service supplier.

(g) The district may file legal proceedings against a service user to collect fees not paid by the service user and may establish internal collection procedures and recover the cost of collection from the nonpaying service user. If the district prevails in a legal proceeding filed under this subsection, the court shall award costs, attorney's fees, and interest to be paid by the nonpaying service user. A delinquent fee accrues interest at the legal rate beginning on the date the payment becomes due.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.617: District Depository

The board shall select a depository for the district in the manner provided by law.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.618: Allowable Expenses

A district's allowable operating expenses include all costs attributable to designing a 9-1-1 system and all equipment and personnel necessary to establish and maintain a public safety answering point and other related operations that the board considers necessary.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.619: Number and Location Identification

(a) As part of 9-1-1 service, a service supplier shall furnish, for each call, the telephone number of the subscriber and the address associated with the number.

(b) A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall provide to those residential end users the same level of 9-1-1 service that a service supplier is required to provide under Subsection (a) to other residential end users in the district.

(c) Information furnished under this section is confidential and is not available for public inspection.

(d) A service supplier or business service user under Subsection (b) may not be held liable to a person who uses a 9-1-1 system created under this subchapter for the release to the district of the information specified in Subsections (a) and (b).

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.620: Public Review

(a) Periodically, the board shall solicit public comments and hold a public review hearing on the continuation of the district and the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The first hearing shall be held on or before the third anniversary of the date of the district's creation. Subsequent hearings shall be held on or before the third anniversary of the date each resolution required by Subsection (c) is adopted.

(b) The board shall publish notice of the time and place of a hearing once a week for two consecutive weeks in a daily newspaper of general circulation published in the district. The first notice must be published not later than the 16th day before the date set for the hearing.

(c) After the hearing, the board shall adopt a resolution on the continuation or dissolution of the district and the 9-1-1 emergency service fee.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.621: Dissolution Procedures

(a) If a district is dissolved, 9-1-1 service must be discontinued in compliance with the district's policies and bylaws and must be administered in accordance with Chapter 771.

(b) The regional planning commission for the district's 9-1-1 region shall assume the district's assets, provide 9-1-1 service, and pay the district's debts. If the district's assets are insufficient to retire all existing debts of the district on the date of dissolution, the regional planning commission shall continue to impose the 9-1-1 emergency service fee in compliance with Section 772.615, and each service supplier shall continue to collect the fee for the regional planning commission. Proceeds from the imposition of the fee by the regional planning commission after dissolution of the district may be used only to retire the outstanding debts of the district.

(c) The regional planning commission shall retire the district's debts to the extent practicable according to the terms of the instruments creating the debts and the terms of the resolutions authorizing creation of the debts.

(d) The governing body of the regional planning commission for the district's 9-1-1 region may adopt rules necessary to administer this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 772.622: Transfer of Assets

If a district is established under this subchapter, the regional planning commission for the 9-1-1 region in which the district is established may transfer to the district any land, buildings, improvements, equipment, and other assets acquired by the regional planning commission in relation to the provision of 9-1-1 service in accordance with Chapter 771.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 80 (S.B. 1108), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Chapter 773

Subchapter A

Sec. 773.001: Short Title

This chapter may be cited as the Emergency Health Care Act.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 299 (S.B. 330), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 773.002: Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the prompt and efficient transportation of sick and injured patients, after necessary stabilization, and to encourage public access to that transportation in each area of the state.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 773.003: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Advanced life support" means emergency prehospital care that uses invasive medical acts.

(2) "Basic life support" means emergency prehospital care that uses noninvasive medical acts.

(3) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 3.1639(114), eff. April 2, 2015.

(4) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 3.1639(114), eff. April 2, 2015.

(5) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 3.1639(114), eff. April 2, 2015.

(6) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of state health services.

(7) "Department" means the Department of State Health Services.

(7-a) "Emergency medical care" means bona fide emergency services provided after the sudden onset of a medical or traumatic condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, including severe pain, such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in:

(A) placing the patient's health in serious jeopardy;

(B) serious impairment to bodily functions; or

(C) serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.

(8) "Emergency medical services" means services used to respond to an individual's perceived need for immediate medical care and to prevent death or aggravation of physiological or psychological illness or injury.

(9) "Emergency medical services and trauma care system" means an arrangement of available resources that are coordinated for the effective delivery of emergency health care services in geographical regions consistent with planning and management standards.

(10) "Emergency medical services personnel" means:

(A) emergency care attendant;

(B) emergency medical technicians;

(C) advanced emergency medical technicians;

(D) emergency medical technicians--paramedic; or

(E) licensed paramedic.

(11) "Emergency medical services provider" means a person who uses or maintains emergency medical services vehicles, medical equipment, and emergency medical services personnel to provide emergency medical services.

(12) "Emergency medical services vehicle" means:

(A) a basic life-support emergency medical services vehicle;

(B) an advanced life-support emergency medical services vehicle;

(C) a mobile intensive-care unit; or

(D) a specialized emergency medical services vehicle.

(13) "Emergency medical services volunteer" means emergency medical services personnel who provide emergency prehospital care without remuneration, except reimbursement for expenses.

(14) "Emergency medical services volunteer provider" means an emergency medical services provider that has at least 75 percent of its total personnel as volunteers and is recognized as a Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation by the Internal Revenue Service.

(15) "Emergency prehospital care" means care provided to the sick or injured before or during transportation to a medical facility, and includes any necessary stabilization of the sick or injured in connection with that transportation.

(15-a) "Executive commissioner" means the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission.

(16) "First responder organization" means a group or association of certified emergency medical services personnel that, working in cooperation with a licensed emergency medical services provider, provides immediate on-scene care to ill or injured persons but does not transport those persons.

(17) "Governmental entity" means a county, municipality, school district, or special district or authority created in accordance with the Texas Constitution.

(18) "Medical supervision" means direction given to emergency medical services personnel by a licensed physician under Subtitle B, Title 3, Occupations Code, and the rules adopted under that subtitle by the Texas Medical Board.

(19) "Trauma facility" means a health care facility that is capable of comprehensive treatment of seriously injured persons and is a part of an emergency medical services and trauma care system.

(20) "Trauma patient" means a critically injured person who has been:

(A) evaluated by a physician, a registered nurse, or emergency medical services personnel; and

(B) found to require medical care in a trauma facility.

(21) [Blank].

(22) "Trauma services" includes services provided to a severely or seriously injured patient who has a principal diagnosis listed in the Injuries and Poisonings Chapter of the International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 239, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 853, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 435, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1377, Sec. 2.02, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.808, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 299 (S.B. 330), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 161 (S.B. 1093), Sec. 22.001(29), eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1511, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1639(114), eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.004: Vehicles and Personnel Excluded from Chapter

(a) This chapter does not apply to:

(1) air transfer that does not advertise as an ambulance service and that is not licensed by the department;

(2) the use of ground or air transfer vehicles to transport sick or injured persons in a casualty situation that exceeds the basic vehicular capacity or capability of emergency medical services providers in the area;

(3) an industrial ambulance; or

(4) a physician, registered nurse, or other health care practitioner licensed by this state unless the health care practitioner staffs an emergency medical services vehicle regularly.

(b) In this section, "industrial ambulance" means a vehicle owned and operated by an industrial facility that is not available for hire or use by the public except to assist the local community in a disaster or when existing ambulance service is not available, and includes a ground vehicle at an industrial site used:

(1) for the initial transportation or transfer of the unstable urgently sick or injured; or

(2) to transport from the job site to an appropriate medical facility a person who becomes sick, injured, wounded, or otherwise incapacitated in the course of employment.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 240, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 376, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 305 (S.B. 521), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1034 (H.B. 1126), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 268 (S.B. 10), Sec. 14(a), eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 773.0045: Temporary Exemptions for Emergency Medical Services Personnel Practicing in Rural Area

(a) In this section, "rural area" means:

(1) a county with a population of 50,000 or less; or

(2) a relatively large, isolated, and sparsely populated area in a county with a population of more than 50,000.

(b) The department on a case-by-case basis may temporarily exempt emergency medical services personnel who primarily practice in a rural area from a requirement imposed either by Section 773.050 or 773.055 or by a department rule adopted under Section 773.050 or 773.055 if specific circumstances that affect the rural area served by the emergency medical services personnel justify the exemption. The department may temporarily exempt the emergency medical services personnel from a requirement imposed:

(1) by a department rule adopted under Section 773.050 or 773.055 only if the department finds that, under the circumstances, imposing the requirement would not be in the best interests of the people in the rural area who are served by the emergency medical services personnel; and

(2) by Section 773.050 or 773.055 only if the department finds that, under the circumstances, there is a substantial risk that imposing the requirement will detrimentally affect the health or safety of one or more persons in the affected rural area or hinder the ability of emergency medical services personnel who practice in the area to alleviate a threat to the health or safety of one or more persons in the area.

(c) The exemption must be in writing, include the findings required by Subsection (b), and expire at a stated time. The written findings must be accompanied by a concise and explicit statement that specifically describes the circumstances that support the finding.

(d) In granting the exemption, the department in writing must require the affected emergency medical services personnel or the appropriate emergency medical services provider to adopt a written plan under which the applicable requirement will be met as soon as possible.

(e) A temporary exemption under this section may allow emergency medical services personnel who are applicants for certification at a higher level of training to temporarily practice at the higher level.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 848, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1512, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.006: Fund for Emergency Medical Services, Trauma Facilities, and Trauma Care Systems

(a) The fund for emergency medical services, trauma facilities, and trauma care systems is established as an account in the general revenue fund. Money in the account may be appropriated only to the department for the purposes specified by Section 773.122.

(b) The account is composed of money deposited to the account under Article 102.0185, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(c) Section 404.071, Government Code, does not apply to the account.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1213, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1513, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.007: Supervision of Emergency Prehospital Care

(a) The provision of advanced life support must be under medical supervision and a licensed physician's control.

(b) The provision of basic life support may be under medical supervision and a licensed physician's control.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 773.008: Consent for Emergency Care

Consent for emergency care of an individual is not required if:

(1) the individual is:

(A) unable to communicate because of an injury, accident, or illness or is unconscious; and

(B) suffering from what reasonably appears to be a life-threatening injury or illness;

(2) a court of record orders the treatment of an individual who is in an imminent emergency to prevent the individual's serious bodily injury or loss of life; or

(3) the individual is a minor who is suffering from what reasonably appears to be a life-threatening injury or illness and whose parents, managing or possessory conservator, or guardian is not present.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 773.009: Limitation on Civil Liability

A person who authorizes, sponsors, supports, finances, or supervises the functions of emergency room personnel and emergency medical services personnel is not liable for civil damages for an act or omission connected with training emergency medical services personnel or with services or treatment given to a patient or potential patient by emergency medical services personnel if the training, services, or treatment is performed in accordance with the standard of ordinary care.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 773.011: Subscription Programs

(a) An emergency medical services provider may create and operate a subscription program to fund and provide emergency medical services.

(b) The executive commissioner shall adopt rules establishing minimum standards for the creation and operation of a subscription program.

(c) The executive commissioner shall adopt a rule that requires an emergency medical services provider to secure a surety bond in the amount of sums to be subscribed before soliciting subscriptions and creating and operating a subscription program. The surety bond must be issued by a company that is licensed by or eligible to do business in this state.

(d) The executive commissioner may adopt rules for waiver of the surety bond.

(e) The Insurance Code does not apply to a subscription program established under this section.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 242, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1514, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.012: Advisory Council

(a) The governor shall appoint an advisory council to advise the department regarding matters related to the responsibilities of the executive commissioner, commissioner, and department under this chapter. In making appointments to the advisory council, the governor shall ensure that approximately one-half of the members of the advisory council are residents of rural areas of the state.

(b) The advisory council is composed of the following 19 members appointed by the governor:

(1) a board-certified emergency physician, appointed from a list of names recommended by a statewide professional association of emergency physicians;

(2) a licensed physician who is an emergency medical services medical director, appointed from a list of names recommended by a statewide professional association of emergency medical services medical directors;

(3) a registered nurse, appointed from a list of names recommended by a statewide professional association of emergency nurses;

(4) a fire chief for a municipality that provides emergency medical services, appointed from a list of names recommended by a statewide fire chiefs association;

(5) an officer or employee of a private provider of emergency medical services who is involved with the development of a Texas Trauma System, appointed from a list of names recommended by a statewide association of private providers of emergency medical services;

(6) a volunteer who provides emergency medical services, appointed from a list of names recommended by a statewide association of volunteers;

(7) an educator in the field of emergency medical services;

(8) a member of an emergency medical services air medical team or unit, appointed from a list of names recommended by a statewide emergency medical services air medical association;

(9) a representative of a fire department that provides emergency medical services, appointed from a list of names recommended by a statewide association of firefighters;

(10) a representative of hospitals who is affiliated with a hospital that is a designated trauma facility in an urban community, appointed from a list of names recommended by a statewide association of hospitals;

(11) a representative of hospitals, who is affiliated with a hospital that is a designated trauma facility in a rural community, appointed from a list of names recommended by a statewide association of hospitals;

(12) a representative of a county provider of emergency medical services;

(13) one licensed physician who is a pediatrician with trauma or emergency care expertise;

(14) one trauma surgeon;

(15) one registered nurse with trauma expertise;

(16) a representative of a stand-alone emergency medical services agency in a municipality or taxing district, appointed from a list of names recommended by a statewide association representing emergency medical services agencies;

(17) a certified paramedic, appointed from a list of names recommended by a statewide association representing emergency medical services agencies or emergency medical services personnel; and

(18) two representatives of the general public who are not qualified to serve under another subdivision of this subsection.

(c) A person may not be a public member of the advisory council if the person or the person's spouse:

(1) is registered, certified, or licensed by a regulatory agency in the field of emergency medical services;

(2) is employed by or participates in the management of a business entity or other organization regulated by or receiving money from the department;

(3) owns or controls, directly or indirectly, more than a 10 percent interest in a business entity or other organization regulated by or receiving money from the department; or

(4) uses or receives a substantial amount of tangible goods, services, or money from the department other than reimbursement authorized by law for advisory council membership, attendance, or expenses.

(d) In this subsection, "Texas trade association" means a cooperative and voluntarily joined association of business or professional competitors in this state designed to assist its members and its industry or profession in dealing with mutual business or professional problems and in promoting their common interest. A person may not be a member of the advisory council if:

(1) the person is an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of emergency medical services; or

(2) the person's spouse is an officer, manager, or paid consultant of a Texas trade association in the field of emergency medical services.

(e) A person may not be a member of the advisory council if the person is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305, Government Code, because of the person's activities for compensation on behalf of a profession related to the operation of the department.

(f) Members of the advisory council serve staggered six-year terms with the terms of six or seven members expiring January 1 of each even-numbered year. A vacancy on the advisory council is filled in the same manner as the original appointment for the unexpired term.

(g) The governor shall appoint the presiding officer of the advisory council.

(h) A member of the advisory council serves without compensation. Chapter 2110, Government Code, does not apply to the size, composition, or duration of the advisory council.

(i) The advisory council shall meet at least quarterly in the city of Austin. The advisory council shall meet as provided by procedural rules adopted by the advisory council or at the call of the presiding officer. The advisory council may appoint committees it considers necessary to perform its duties.

(j) The advisory council periodically shall review department rules relating to this chapter and may recommend changes in those rules to the department. The department shall ensure that the advisory council is given adequate time and opportunity to review and comment on each rule proposed for adoption by the executive commissioner under this chapter, including the amendment or repeal of an existing rule, but not including an emergency rule.

(k) The advisory council shall assess the need for emergency medical services in the rural areas of the state.

(l) The advisory council shall develop a strategic plan for:

(1) refining the educational requirements for certification and maintaining certification as emergency medical services personnel; and

(2) developing emergency medical services and trauma care systems.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1411, Sec. 19.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 874, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1515, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1084 (H.B. 1869), Sec. 1, eff. June 14, 2019.

Sec. 773.013: Peer Assistance Program

The department may establish, approve, and fund a peer assistance program in accordance with Section 467.003 and department rules.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 874, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1516, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.014: Administration of Epinephrine By Emergency Medical Services Personnel

(a) An emergency medical services provider and a first responder organization may acquire and possess epinephrine auto-injector devices in accordance with this section. Emergency medical services personnel may carry and administer epinephrine auto-injector devices in accordance with this section.

(b) The executive commissioner shall adopt rules designed to protect the public health and safety to implement this section. The rules must provide that emergency medical services personnel may administer an epinephrine auto-injector device to another only if the person has successfully completed a training course, approved by the department, in the use of the device that is consistent with the national standard training curriculum for emergency medical technicians.

(c) An emergency medical services provider or first responder organization may acquire, possess, maintain, and dispose of epinephrine auto-injector devices, and emergency medical services personnel may carry, maintain, administer, and dispose of epinephrine auto-injector devices, only in accordance with:

(1) rules adopted under this section; and

(2) a delegated practice agreement that provides for medical supervision by a licensed physician who either:

(A) acts as a medical director for an emergency medical services system or a licensed hospital; or

(B) has knowledge and experience in the delivery of emergency care.

(c-1) A licensed physician acting as a medical director for an emergency medical services system may restrict the use and administration of epinephrine auto-injector devices to certain emergency medical services personnel of the system through:

(1) the delegated practice agreement; or

(2) the adoption of policies governing the use of the devices by personnel within the system.

(d) Emergency medical services personnel who administer epinephrine auto-injector devices to others shall immediately report the use to the physician supervising the activities of the emergency medical services personnel.

(e) The administration of an epinephrine auto-injector device to another under this section is considered to be the administration of emergency care for the purposes of any statute relating to liability for the provision of emergency care. The administration of an epinephrine auto-injector device to another in accordance with the requirements of this section does not constitute the unlawful practice of any health care profession.

(f) A person otherwise authorized to sell or provide an epinephrine auto-injector device to another may sell or provide the devices to an emergency medical services provider or a first responder organization authorized to acquire and possess the devices under this section.

(g) This section does not prevent emergency medical services personnel who are also licensed health care professionals under another health care licensing law and who are authorized to acquire, possess, and administer an epinephrine auto-injector device under the other health care licensing law from acting under the other law.

(h) This section does not impose a standard of care not otherwise required by law.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 874, Sec. 4, eff. Jan. 1, 2002; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1131, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1079 (H.B. 2827), Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1517, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1321 (H.B. 4260), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 773.0145: Possession and Administration of Epinephrine By Certain Entities

(a) This section applies to:

(1) an amusement park, as defined by Section 46.035, Penal Code;

(2) a child-care facility, as defined by Section 42.002, Human Resources Code;

(3) a day camp or youth camp, as defined by Section 141.002;

(4) a private or independent institution of higher education, as defined by Section 61.003, Education Code;

(5) a restaurant, as defined by Section 17.821, Business & Commerce Code;

(6) a sports venue, as defined by Section 504.151, Local Government Code;

(7) a youth center, as defined by Section 481.134; or

(8) subject to Subsection (b), any other entity that the executive commissioner by rule designates as an entity that would benefit from the possession and administration of epinephrine auto-injectors.

(b) This section does not apply to a governmental entity.

(c) An entity described by Subsection (a) may adopt a policy regarding the maintenance, administration, and disposal of epinephrine auto-injectors.

(d) A policy adopted under Subsection (c) must provide that only an entity employee or volunteer who is authorized and trained may administer an epinephrine auto-injector to a person who is reasonably believed to be experiencing anaphylaxis on the premises of the entity.

(e) The executive commissioner shall adopt rules regarding the maintenance, administration, and disposal of an epinephrine auto-injector by an entity subject to a policy adopted under Subsection (c). The rules must establish:

(1) the number of epinephrine auto-injectors and the dosages of the auto-injectors available at each entity;

(2) the process for each entity to verify the inventory of epinephrine auto-injectors at regular intervals for expiration and replacement; and

(3) the amount of training required for an entity employee or volunteer to administer an epinephrine auto-injector.

(f) Each entity that adopts a policy under Subsection (c) must have at least one entity employee or volunteer authorized and trained to administer an epinephrine auto-injector present during all hours the entity is open to the public or to the population that the entity serves, as applicable.

(g) The supply of epinephrine auto-injectors at each entity must:

(1) be stored in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions in a secure location; and

(2) be easily accessible to an entity employee or volunteer authorized and trained to administer an epinephrine auto-injector.

(h) Each entity that adopts a policy under Subsection (c) is responsible for training the entity's employees and volunteers in the administration of an epinephrine auto-injector.

(i) Employee and volunteer training under this section must:

(1) include information on:

(A) the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis;

(B) the recommended dosages for an adult and a child;

(C) the administration of an epinephrine auto-injector;

(D) the implementation of emergency procedures, if necessary, after administering an epinephrine auto-injector; and

(E) the proper disposal of used or expired epinephrine auto-injectors; and

(2) be completed annually in a formal training session or through online education.

(j) Each entity shall maintain records on the training completed by each employee and volunteer under this section.

(k) A physician or person who has been delegated prescriptive authority under Chapter 157, Occupations Code, may prescribe epinephrine auto-injectors in the name of an entity.

(l) A physician or other person who prescribes epinephrine auto-injectors under Subsection (k) shall provide the entity with a standing order for the administration of an epinephrine auto-injector to a person reasonably believed to be experiencing anaphylaxis.

(m) The standing order under Subsection (l) is not required to be patient-specific, and the epinephrine auto-injector may be administered to a person without a previously established physician-patient relationship.

(n) Notwithstanding any other law, supervision or delegation by a physician is considered adequate if the physician:

(1) periodically reviews the order; and

(2) is available through direct telecommunication as needed for consultation, assistance, and direction.

(o) For purposes of Subsection (n)(2), a person who has been delegated prescriptive authority under Chapter 157, Occupations Code, is not engaged in the unauthorized practice of telemedicine or acting outside the person's scope of practice by consulting a physician as provided by that subdivision when prescribing an epinephrine auto-injector in accordance with this section.

(p) An order issued under this section must contain:

(1) the name and signature of the prescriber;

(2) the name of the entity to which the order is issued;

(3) the quantity of epinephrine auto-injectors to be obtained and maintained under the order; and

(4) the date of issue.

(q) A pharmacist may dispense an epinephrine auto-injector to an entity without requiring the name or any other identifying information relating to the user.

(r) A person who in good faith takes, or fails to take, any action under this section is immune from civil or criminal liability or disciplinary action resulting from that action or failure to act, including:

(1) issuing an order for epinephrine auto-injectors;

(2) supervising or delegating the administration of an epinephrine auto-injector;

(3) possessing, maintaining, storing, or disposing of an epinephrine auto-injector;

(4) prescribing an epinephrine auto-injector;

(5) dispensing an epinephrine auto-injector;

(6) administering, or assisting in administering, an epinephrine auto-injector;

(7) providing, or assisting in providing, training, consultation, or advice in the development, adoption, or implementation of policies, guidelines, rules, or plans; or

(8) undertaking any other act permitted or required under this section.

(s) The immunities and protections provided by this section are in addition to other immunities or limitations of liability provided by law.

(t) Notwithstanding any other law, this section does not create a civil, criminal, or administrative cause of action or liability or create a standard of care, obligation, or duty that provides a basis for a cause of action for an act or omission under this section.

(u) A cause of action does not arise from an act or omission described by this section.

(v) An entity and entity employees or volunteers are immune from suit resulting from an act, or failure to act, under this section, including an act or failure to act under related policies and procedures.

(w) An act or failure to act by entity employees or volunteers under this section, including an act or failure to act under related policies and procedures, is the exercise of judgment or discretion on the part of the entity employee or volunteer and is not considered to be a ministerial act for purposes of liability of the entity.

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1321 (H.B. 4260), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 773.015: Identification of Certain Patients Receiving Emergency Prehospital Care

Emergency medical services personnel or emergency room medical or admissions personnel may take the thumbprint of a person who receives emergency prehospital care if the person:

(1) does not possess personal identification at the time the care is administered;

(2) is unconscious;

(3) is transported across the Texas-Mexico border by ambulance or helicopter while receiving emergency prehospital care; and

(4) is delivered to a hospital that has digital fingerprinting capabilities.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 517 (H.B. 805), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 773.016: Duties of Emergency Medical Services Personnel; Certain Emergency Prehospital Care Situations

(a) In this section, "cardiopulmonary resuscitation" has the meaning assigned by Section 166.002.

(b) Emergency medical services personnel who are providing emergency prehospital care to a person are subject to Chapter 166, including Section 166.102.

(c) If a person's personal physician is present and assumes responsibility for the care of the person under the applicable requirements of Chapter 197, Title 22, Texas Administrative Code, while the person is receiving emergency prehospital care, the physician may order the termination of cardiopulmonary resuscitation only if, based on the physician's professional medical judgment, the physician determines that resuscitation should be discontinued.

(d) If a person's personal physician is not present or does not assume responsibility for the care of the person while the person is receiving emergency prehospital care, the emergency medical services system's medical director or online physician:

(1) shall be responsible for directing the emergency medical services personnel who are providing emergency prehospital care to the person; and

(2) may order the termination of cardiopulmonary resuscitation only if, based on the medical director's or online physician's professional medical judgment, the medical director or online physician determines that resuscitation should be discontinued.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 710 (H.B. 577), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 773.017: Use of Certain External Motor Vehicle Markings Or Features Prohibited; Criminal Offense

(a) A person may not operate a motor vehicle in this state that resembles an emergency medical services vehicle unless the person uses the motor vehicle:

(1) as an emergency medical services vehicle under this chapter; or

(2) for other legitimate governmental functions, including police or firefighting services.

(b) A motor vehicle resembles an emergency medical services vehicle if the motor vehicle has on the exterior of the motor vehicle any of the following markings or features:

(1) the word "ambulance" or a derivation of that word;

(2) a star of life as trademarked by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration;

(3) a Maltese cross commonly used by fire departments;

(4) forward-facing flashing red, white, or blue lights;

(5) a siren;

(6) the words "critical care transport," "emergency," "emergency medical services," or "mobile intensive care unit"; or

(7) the acronym "EMS" or "MICU".

(c) A person commits an offense if the person violates this section. An offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor.

(d) This section does not apply to a motor vehicle bearing a license plate issued or approved under Section 504.501 or 504.502, Transportation Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 253 (H.B. 1249), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Subchapter B

Sec. 773.021: State Plan

(a) The department shall develop a state plan for the prompt and efficient delivery of adequate emergency medical services to acutely sick or injured persons.

(b) The state plan must include an emergency radio communication plan to be used by local governments and districts that provide emergency medical services to develop an emergency radio communication network linking emergency medical services providers with local hospitals or trauma centers.

(c) The advisory council shall consider the department's actions under Subsection (a), and the department shall review the council's recommendations.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 488, Sec. 1, eff. June 12, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1518, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.022: Service Delivery Areas

The department shall divide the state into emergency medical services delivery areas that coincide, to the extent possible, with other regional planning areas.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1519, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.023: Area Plans

(a) The department shall:

(1) identify all public or private agencies and institutions that are used or may be used for emergency medical services in each delivery area; and

(2) enlist the cooperation of all concerned agencies and institutions in developing a well-coordinated plan for delivering emergency medical services in each delivery area.

(b) A delivery area plan must include an interagency communications network that facilitates prompt and coordinated response to medical emergencies by the Department of Public Safety, local police departments, ambulance personnel, medical facilities, and other concerned agencies and institutions.

(c) A delivery area plan may include the use of helicopters that may be available from the Department of Public Safety, the National Guard, or the United States Armed Forces.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1520, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.024: Federal Programs

The department is the state agency designated to develop state plans required for participation in federal programs involving emergency medical services. The department may receive and disburse available federal funds to implement the service programs.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1521, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.025: Accessibility of Training

(a) The department shall identify all individuals and public or private agencies and institutions that are or may be engaged in emergency medical services training in each delivery area.

(b) A delivery area plan must include provisions for encouraging emergency medical services training so as to reduce the cost of training to emergency medical services providers and to make training more accessible to low population or remote areas.

(c) A governmental entity that sponsors or wishes to sponsor an emergency medical services provider may request the department to provide emergency medical services training for emergency care attendants at times and places that are convenient for the provider's personnel, if the training is not available locally.

(d) A governmental entity or nongovernmental organization that sponsors or wishes to sponsor an emergency medical services provider or first responder organization in a rural or underserved area may request the department to provide or facilitate the provision of initial training for emergency care attendants, if the training is not available locally. The department shall ensure that the training is provided. The department shall provide the training without charge, or contract with qualified instructors to provide the training without charge, to students who agree to perform emergency care attendant services for at least one year with the local emergency medical services provider or first responder organization. The training must be provided at times and places that are convenient to the students. The department shall require that at least three students are scheduled to take any class offered under this subsection.

(e) To facilitate all levels of emergency medical services training, the department shall consult with and solicit comment from emergency medical services providers, first responder organizations, persons who provide emergency medical services training, and other entities interested in emergency medical services training programs.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 874, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1522, eff. April 2, 2015.

Subchapter C

Sec. 773.041: License Or Certificate Required

(a) A person may not operate, conduct, or maintain an emergency medical service, advertise that the person is an emergency medical services provider, or otherwise engage in or profess to be engaged in the provision of emergency medical services unless the person holds a license as an emergency medical services provider issued by the department in accordance with this chapter.

(a-1) A person may not transport a patient by stretcher in a vehicle unless the person holds a license as an emergency medical services provider issued by the department in accordance with this chapter. For purposes of this subsection, "person" means an individual, corporation, organization, government, governmental subdivision or agency, business, trust, partnership, association, or any other legal entity.

(b) A person may not practice as any type of emergency medical services personnel unless the person is certified under this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter.

(c) A certificate or license issued under this chapter is not transferable.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 244, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 268 (S.B. 10), Sec. 14(b), eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 773.0415: Limitation on Information Required for Certificate Renewal

The requirements and procedures adopted by the executive commissioner for the renewal of a certificate to practice as emergency medical services personnel issued under this chapter:

(1) may not require an applicant to provide unchanged criminal history information already included in one or more of the applicant's previous applications for certification or for certificate renewal filed with the department; and

(2) may require the applicant to provide only information relevant to the period occurring since the date of the applicant's last application for certification or for certificate renewal, as applicable, including information relevant to any new requirement applicable to the certificate held by the applicant.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 332 (H.B. 846), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1523, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.042: Basic Life-Support Emergency Medical Services Provider Qualifications

A provider qualifies as a basic life-support emergency medical services provider if it provides a vehicle that is designed for transporting the sick or injured, has personnel and sufficient equipment and supplies for providing basic life support, and is capable of providing emergency and nonemergency transportation.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 305 (S.B. 521), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1034 (H.B. 1126), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 773.043: Advanced Life-Support Emergency Medical Services Provider Qualifications

A provider qualifies as an advanced life-support emergency medical services provider if it:

(1) meets the requirements of a basic life-support emergency medical services provider; and

(2) has personnel and sufficient equipment and supplies for providing intravenous therapy and endotracheal or esophageal intubation.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 4, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Sec. 773.044: Mobile Intensive-Care Provider Qualifications

A provider qualifies as a mobile intensive-care provider if it:

(1) meets the requirements of an advanced life-support emergency medical services provider; and

(2) has personnel and sufficient equipment and supplies to provide cardiac monitoring, defibrillation, cardioversion, drug therapy, and two-way radio communication.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 5, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Sec. 773.045: Specialized Emergency Medical Services Provider Qualifications

(a) A provider using a vehicle, including a helicopter, boat, fixed-wing aircraft, or ground vehicle, qualifies as a specialized emergency medical services provider if:

(1) the vehicle is designed for transporting the sick or injured by air, water, or ground transportation; and

(2) the provider has personnel and sufficient equipment and supplies to provide for the specialized needs of the patient transported.

(b) A rotor or fixed-wing aircraft and staff based in this state and used to transport a patient by stretcher and that holds itself out as an air ambulance service is required to be licensed by the department.

(c) An air ambulance company based in another state that transports patients from a point in this state is required to be licensed by the department as an emergency medical services provider. The department shall issue a license to an air ambulance company under this subsection if the company applies as required by this chapter and has met the qualifications specified in department rules for safely transporting patients. An air ambulance company accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems is rebuttably presumed to have met the department's qualifications.

(d) An air ambulance company licensed under Subsection (c) must include information regarding the physical location of the company's base operations in any advertising by the company in this state. This subsection does not prohibit an air ambulance company with multiple locations from listing those locations in advertising, provided that the air ambulance company meets all the provisions of this chapter.

(e) An air ambulance company that is not located in this state and that advertises within this state must have at least one physical location in this state.

(f) This section does not require an air transportation provider to be licensed if, in addition to the company's normal air transportation service, the air transportation company provides only voluntary, mercy-flight transportation at the company's own expense.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 245, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 376, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 6, eff. Aug. 28, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1182, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1524, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.046: Emergency Care Attendant Qualifications

(a) An individual qualifies as an emergency care attendant if the individual is certified by the department as minimally proficient to provide emergency prehospital care by providing initial aid that promotes comfort and avoids aggravation of an injury or illness.

(b) The department may not require an individual to have a high school diploma or a high school equivalency certificate for certification as an emergency care attendant under this chapter if the individual certifies that the individual will serve only as an emergency care attendant volunteer during the certification period.

(c) The executive commissioner shall adopt rules as necessary to administer this section.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 246, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1035, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1525, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.047: Emergency Medical Technician Qualifications

An individual qualifies as an emergency medical technician if the individual is certified by the department as minimally proficient to perform emergency prehospital care that is necessary for basic life support and that includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the control of hemorrhaging.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 247, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 773.048: Advanced Emergency Medical Technician Qualifications

An individual qualifies as an advanced emergency medical technician if the individual is certified by the department as minimally proficient to provide emergency prehospital care by initiating under medical supervision certain procedures, including intravenous therapy and endotracheal or esophageal intubation.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 248, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1526, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.049: Emergency Medical Technician--Paramedic Qualifications

An individual qualifies as an emergency medical technician-paramedic if the individual is certified by the department as minimally proficient to provide advanced life support that includes initiation under medical supervision of certain procedures, including intravenous therapy, endotracheal or esophageal intubation, electrical cardiac defibrillation or cardioversion, and drug therapy.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 249, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 773.0495: Licensed Paramedic Qualifications

An individual qualifies as a licensed paramedic if the department determines that the individual is minimally proficient to provide advanced life support that includes initiation under medical supervision of certain procedures, including intravenous therapy, endotracheal or esophageal intubation, electrical cardiac defibrillation or cardioversion, and drug therapy. In addition, a licensed paramedic must complete a curriculum that includes college-level course work in accordance with department rules.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 435, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1526, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.0496: Scope of Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic and Licensed Paramedic Duties

(a) In this section:

(1) "Advanced life support" means health care provided to sustain life in an emergency, life-threatening situation. The term includes the initiation of intravenous therapy, endotracheal or esophageal intubation, electrical cardiac defibrillation or cardioversion, and drug therapy procedures.

(2) "Direct supervision" means supervision of an emergency medical technician-paramedic or licensed paramedic by a licensed physician who is present in the same area or an area adjacent to the area where an emergency medical technician-paramedic or licensed paramedic performs a procedure and who is immediately available to provide assistance and direction during the performance of the procedure.

(b) Notwithstanding other law, a person who is certified under this chapter as an emergency medical technician-paramedic or a licensed paramedic, is acting under the delegation and direct supervision of a licensed physician, and is authorized to provide advanced life support by a health care facility may in accordance with department rules provide advanced life support in the facility's emergency or urgent care clinical setting, including a hospital emergency room and a freestanding emergency medical care facility.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1054 (H.B. 2020), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2015.

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1226 (S.B. 1899), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2015.

Sec. 773.050: Minimum Standards

(a) Each basic life-support emergency medical services vehicle when in service must be staffed by at least two individuals certified as emergency care attendants or certified at a higher level of training.

(b) The executive commissioner by rule shall establish minimum standards for:

(1) staffing an advanced life-support emergency medical services vehicle, a mobile intensive-care unit, or a specialized emergency medical services vehicle;

(2) emergency medical services personnel certification and performance, including provisional certification, certification, decertification, recertification, suspension, emergency suspension, and probation;

(3) the approval of courses and training programs, the certification of program instructors, examiners, and course coordinators for emergency medical services personnel training, and the revocation and probation of an approval or certification;

(4) examinations of emergency medical services personnel;

(5) medical supervision of basic and advanced life-support systems;

(6) granting, suspending, and revoking a license for emergency medical services providers; and

(7) emergency medical services vehicles.

(c) The executive commissioner shall consider the education, training, criminal background, and experience of allied health professionals in adopting the minimum standards for emergency medical services personnel certification and may establish criteria for interstate reciprocity of emergency medical services personnel. Each out-of-state application for certification must be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee of not more than $120. The executive commissioner may also establish criteria for out-of-country emergency medical services personnel certification. Each out-of-country application for certification must be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee of not more than $180.

(c-1) In this subsection, "United States military" means the United States Army, the United States Navy, the United States Air Force, the United States Marine Corps, the United States Coast Guard, any reserve or auxiliary component of any of those services, or the National Guard. The executive commissioner by rule shall provide that an individual is eligible for emergency medical services personnel certification through reciprocity if the individual:

(1) successfully completed emergency medical services training provided by the United States military;

(2) has emergency medical services personnel credentials from the United States military; and

(3) is certified by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.

(d) The executive commissioner may not adopt a rule that requires any system, service, or agency to provide advanced life-support or staffing beyond basic life-support levels except for providers of:

(1) advanced life-support emergency medical services;

(2) mobile intensive care; or

(3) specialized emergency medical services.

(e) The executive commissioner shall adopt minimum standards for recognition of first responder organizations.

(f) The executive commissioner shall recognize, prepare, or administer continuing education programs for certified personnel. A certificate holder must participate in the programs to the extent required by the executive commissioner to remain certified.

(g) Rules adopting minimum standards under this section shall require:

(1) an emergency medical services vehicle to be equipped with an epinephrine auto-injector device or similar device to treat anaphylaxis; and

(2) emergency medical services personnel to complete continuing education training in the administration of anaphylaxis treatment.

(h) The department may provide a prescreening criminal history record check for an emergency medical services personnel applicant to determine the applicant's eligibility to receive certification before enrollment in the educational and training requirements mandated by the executive commissioner. The executive commissioner by rule may prescribe a reasonable fee for the costs associated with prescreening to charge each applicant who requests prescreening. The department shall collect the prescribed fee.

(i) The department may develop and administer at least twice each calendar year a jurisprudence examination to determine the knowledge that an applicant for an emergency medical services provider license or emergency medical services personnel certification has of this chapter, department rules, and any other applicable laws affecting the applicant's activities regulated under this chapter. Department rules must specify who must take the examination on behalf of an entity applying for an emergency medical services provider license.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 250, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 251, Sec. 1, eff. May 23, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 7, eff. Aug. 28, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1411, Sec. 19.02, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 198, Sec. 2.84(a), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1079 (H.B. 2827), Sec. 2, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1149 (H.B. 2845), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 970 (H.B. 1960), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1527, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1226 (S.B. 1899), Sec. 2, eff. June 19, 2015.

Sec. 773.0505: Rules Regarding Advertising Or Competitive Bidding

(a) The executive commissioner may not adopt rules restricting advertising or competitive bidding by a license or certificate holder except to prohibit false, misleading, or deceptive practices.

(b) In rules to prohibit false, misleading, or deceptive practices, the executive commissioner may not include a rule that:

(1) restricts the use of any medium for advertising;

(2) restricts the use of a license or certificate holder's personal appearance or voice in an advertisement;

(3) relates to the size or duration of an advertisement by the license or certificate holder; or

(4) restricts the license or certificate holder's advertisement under a trade name.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1411, Sec. 19.03, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1528, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.051: Municipal Regulation

A municipality may establish standards for an emergency medical services provider that are stricter than the minimum standards of this chapter and department rules adopted under this chapter.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 8, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Sec. 773.052: Variances

(a) An emergency medical services provider with a specific hardship may apply to the department for a variance from a rule adopted under this chapter. The executive commissioner by rule may adopt a fee of not more than $30 for filing an application for a variance.

(b) On receipt of a request for a variance, the department shall consider any relevant factors, including:

(1) the nearest available service;

(2) geography; and

(3) demography.

(c) The department shall grant to a sole provider for a service area a variance from the minimum standards for staffing and equipment for the provision of basic life-support emergency medical services if the provider is an emergency medical services provider exempt from the payment of fees under Section 773.0581.

(d) An applicant for a variance under Subsection (c) must submit a letter to the department from the commissioners court of the county or the governing body of the municipality in which the provider intends to operate an emergency medical services vehicle. The letter must state that there is no other emergency medical services provider in the service area.

(e) The department shall grant a variance under Subsection (c) if the department determines that the provider qualifies and may deny the variance if the department determines that the provider does not qualify. The department shall give a provider whose application is denied the opportunity for a contested case hearing under Chapter 2001, Government Code.

(f) The department shall issue an emergency medical services license to a provider granted a variance under this section. The license is subject to annual review by the department. A provider is encouraged to upgrade staffing and equipment to meet the minimum standards set by the rules adopted under this chapter.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 251, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(49), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 198, Sec. 2.84(b), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1529, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.054: Applications for Personnel Certification and Training Program Approval

(a) This section applies to an application for:

(1) examination for certification of emergency medical services personnel;

(2) approval of a course or training program; or

(3) certification of a program instructor, examiner, or course coordinator.

(b) Each application must be made to the department on a form prescribed by the department and under department rules.

(c) Each application under Subsection (a)(3) must be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee of not more than $30 for a program instructor or examiner or $60 for a course coordinator. The department may not require a fee for a certification from an instructor, examiner, or coordinator who does not receive compensation for providing services.

(d) Each application under Subsection (a)(2) must be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee of not more than $30 for a basic course or training program or $60 for an advanced course or training program. The department may not require a fee for approval of a course or training program if the course coordinator or sponsoring agency does not receive compensation for providing the course or training program.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 253, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 9, eff. Aug. 28, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 198, Sec. 2.84(c), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1530, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.055: Certification of Emergency Medical Services Personnel

(a) A nonrefundable fee must accompany each application for emergency medical services personnel certification. The fee may not exceed:

(1) $90 for an emergency medical technician-paramedic or advanced emergency medical technician;

(2) $60 for an emergency medical technician or emergency care attendant;

(3) $90 for recertification of an emergency medical technician-paramedic or advanced emergency medical technician;

(4) $60 for recertification of an emergency medical technician or emergency care attendant; or

(5) $120 for certification or recertification of a licensed paramedic.

(b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), the department shall notify each examinee of the results of an examination for certification not later than the 30th day after the date on which the examination is administered.

(c) The department shall notify an examinee of the results of an examination not later than the 14th day after the date on which the department receives the results if the examination is graded or reviewed by a national testing service. If the notice of the examination results will be delayed longer than 90 days after the examination date, the department shall notify each examinee of the reason for the delay before the 90th day.

(d) The department shall furnish a person who fails an examination for certification with an analysis of the person's performance on the examination if requested in writing by that person. The executive commissioner may adopt rules to allow a person who fails the examination to retake all or part of the examination. A fee of not more than $30 must accompany each application for reexamination.

(e) The department shall issue certificates to emergency medical services personnel who meet the minimum standards for personnel certification adopted under Section 773.050. A certificate is valid for four years from the date of issuance. The department shall charge a fee of not more than $10 to replace a lost certificate.

(f) A fee required by this section is the obligation of the applicant but may be paid by the emergency medical services provider. If an applicant is required to be certified as a condition of employment, the emergency medical services provider shall pay for all fees required by this section, except for a fee to replace a lost certificate, in addition to any other compensation paid to that applicant if the provider is a municipality. A municipality that requires a fire fighter to be certified as emergency medical services personnel shall pay the fees required by this section.

(g) The executive commissioner by rule may adopt a system under which certificates expire on various dates during the year. For the year in which the certificate expiration date is changed, the department shall prorate certificate fees on a monthly basis so that each certificate holder pays only that portion of the certificate fee that is allocable to the number of months during which the certificate is valid. On renewal of the certificate on the new expiration date, the total certificate renewal fee is payable.

(h) The department shall ensure that the written examinations and any other tests that the department requires a person to take and pass to obtain or retain certification as emergency medical services personnel shall be administered during the course of a year at various locations around the state so that a person who resides in any part of the state will be able to take the examinations or tests without having to travel a distance that as a practical matter requires either travel by air or an overnight stay.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 254, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 251, Sec. 2, eff. May 23, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 10, eff. Aug. 28, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 435, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1411, Sec. 19.04, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 198, Sec. 2.84(d), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1531, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.0551: Disease Prevention and Preparedness Information on Certification of Emergency Medical Services Personnel

(a) In this section:

(1) "Applicant" means an individual who files an application for certification or recertification as emergency medical services personnel under Section 773.055.

(2) "Immunization registry" means the immunization registry established under Section 161.007.

(b) The executive commissioner by rule shall adopt a system under which the Health and Human Services Commission provides an applicant immunization information. The system must require the commission to provide:

(1) if the applicant's immunization history is included in the immunization registry, written notice of the applicant's immunization history, using information from the immunization registry; or

(2) if the applicant's immunization history is not included in the immunization registry, the following information:

(A) details about the program developed under Section 161.00707; and

(B) the specific risks to emergency medical services personnel when responding rapidly to an emergency of exposure to and infection by a potentially serious or deadly communicable disease that an immunization may prevent.

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 240 (H.B. 1418), Sec. 1, eff. May 27, 2019.

Sec. 773.056: Approval of Training Programs; Certification of Instructors, Examiners, and Coordinators

(a) The department shall approve each course or training program that meets the minimum standards adopted under Section 773.050.

(b) The department shall issue a certificate to each program instructor, examiner, or course coordinator who meets the minimum standards adopted under Section 773.050. The certificate is valid for two years. The department shall charge a fee of not more than $10 to replace a lost or stolen certificate.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 255, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 11, eff. Aug. 28, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 198, Sec. 2.84(e), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 773.057: Emergency Medical Services Providers License

(a) An emergency medical services provider must submit an application for a license in accordance with procedures prescribed by the executive commissioner.

(b) A nonrefundable application and vehicle fee determined by the executive commissioner by rule must accompany each application. The application fee may not exceed $500 for each application and the vehicle fee may not exceed $180 for each emergency medical services vehicle operated by the provider.

(c) The department may delegate vehicle inspections to the commissioners court of a county or the governing body of a municipality. The delegation must be made:

(1) at the request of the commissioners court or governing body; and

(2) in accordance with criteria and procedures adopted by the executive commissioner.

(d) The commissioners court of a county or governing body of a municipality that conducts inspections under Subsection (c) shall collect and retain the fee for vehicles it inspects.

(e) In addition to any other qualifications that an emergency medical services provider must possess to obtain the type of license sought, all emergency medical services providers must possess the qualifications required for a basic emergency medical services provider under Section 773.042.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 256, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 12, eff. Aug. 28, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 198, Sec. 2.84(f), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 305 (S.B. 521), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1034 (H.B. 1126), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1532, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.0571: Requirements for Provider License

The department shall issue to an emergency medical services provider applicant a license that is valid for two years if the department is satisfied that:

(1) the applicant has adequate staff to meet the staffing standards prescribed by this chapter and the rules adopted under this chapter;

(2) each emergency medical services vehicle is adequately constructed, equipped, maintained, and operated to render basic or advanced life support services safely and efficiently;

(3) the applicant offers safe and efficient services for emergency prehospital care and transportation of patients;

(4) the applicant:

(A) possesses sufficient professional experience and qualifications to provide emergency medical services; and

(B) has not been excluded from participation in the state Medicaid program;

(5) the applicant holds a letter of approval issued under Section 773.0573 by the governing body of the municipality or the commissioners court of the county in which the applicant is located and is applying to provide emergency medical services, as applicable;

(6) the applicant employs a medical director;

(7) the applicant operates out of a physical location in compliance with Section 773.05715;

(8) the applicant owns or has a long-term lease agreement for all equipment necessary for safe operation of an emergency medical services provider, as provided by Section 773.05716; and

(9) the applicant complies with the rules adopted under this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 257, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 13, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1089 (H.B. 3556), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1311 (S.B. 8), Sec. 9(a), eff. September 1, 2013.

Reenacted and amended by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1226 (S.B. 1899), Sec. 3, eff. June 19, 2015.

Sec. 773.05711: Additional Emergency Medical Services Provider License Requirements

(a) In addition to the requirements for obtaining or renewing an emergency medical services provider license under this subchapter, a person who applies for a license or for a renewal of a license must:

(1) provide the department with a letter of credit issued by a federally insured bank or savings institution in the amount of:

(A) $100,000 for the initial license and for renewal of the license on the second anniversary of the date the initial license is issued;

(B) $75,000 for renewal of the license on the fourth anniversary of the date the initial license is issued;

(C) $50,000 for renewal of the license on the sixth anniversary of the date the initial license is issued; and

(D) $25,000 for renewal of the license on the eighth anniversary of the date the initial license is issued;

(2) if the applicant participates in the medical assistance program operated under Chapter 32, Human Resources Code, the Medicaid managed care program operated under Chapter 533, Government Code, or the child health plan program operated under Chapter 62 of this code, provide the Health and Human Services Commission with a surety bond in the amount of $50,000; and

(3) submit for approval by the department the name and contact information of the provider's administrator of record who satisfies the requirements under Section 773.05712.

(b) An emergency medical services provider that is directly operated by a governmental entity is exempt from this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1089 (H.B. 3556), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1311 (S.B. 8), Sec. 9(b), eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 773.05712: Administrator of Record

(a) The administrator of record for an emergency medical services provider licensed under this subchapter:

(1) may not be employed or otherwise compensated by another private for-profit emergency medical services provider;

(2) must meet the qualifications required for an emergency medical technician or other health care professional license or certification issued by this state; and

(3) must submit to a criminal history record check at the applicant's expense.

(b) Section 773.0415 does not apply to information an administrator of record is required to provide under this section.

(c) An administrator of record initially approved by the department may be required to complete an education course for new administrators of record. The executive commissioner shall recognize, prepare, or administer the education course for new administrators of record, which must include information about the laws and department rules that affect emergency medical services providers.

(d) An administrator of record approved by the department under Section 773.05711(a) annually must complete at least eight hours of continuing education following initial approval. The executive commissioner shall recognize, prepare, or administer continuing education programs for administrators of record, which must include information about changes in law and department rules that affect emergency medical services providers.

(e) Subsection (a)(2) does not apply to an emergency medical services provider that held a license on September 1, 2013, and has an administrator of record who has at least eight years of experience providing emergency medical services.

(f) An emergency medical services provider that is directly operated by a governmental entity is exempt from this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1089 (H.B. 3556), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1311 (S.B. 8), Sec. 9(b), eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 773.05713: Report to Legislature

Not later than December 1 of each even-numbered year, the department shall electronically submit a report to the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the standing committees of the house and senate with jurisdiction over the department on the effect of Sections 773.05711 and 773.05712 that includes:

(1) the total number of applications for emergency medical services provider licenses submitted to the department and the number of applications for which licenses were issued or licenses were denied by the department;

(2) the number of emergency medical services provider licenses that were suspended or revoked by the department for violations of those sections and a description of the types of violations that led to the license suspension or revocation;

(3) the number of occurrences and types of fraud committed by licensed emergency medical services providers related to those sections;

(4) the number of complaints made against licensed emergency medical services providers for violations of those sections and a description of the types of complaints, reported in the manner required by Section 773.0605(d); and

(5) the status of any coordination efforts of the department and the Texas Medical Board related to those sections.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1089 (H.B. 3556), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1311 (S.B. 8), Sec. 9(b), eff. September 1, 2013.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1226 (S.B. 1899), Sec. 4, eff. June 19, 2015.

Sec. 773.05715: Physical Location Required

(a) An emergency medical services provider must have a permanent physical location as the provider's primary place of business. An applicant for an emergency medical services provider license must demonstrate proof of the location of the primary place of business in the manner required by the department.

(b) The physical location may be owned or leased by the emergency medical services provider.

(c) The emergency medical services provider must remain in the same physical location for the period of licensure, unless the department approves a change in location.

(d) The emergency medical services provider must maintain all patient care records in the physical location that is the provider's primary place of business, unless the department approves an alternate location.

(e) Only one emergency medical services provider may operate out of a single physical location.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1226 (S.B. 1899), Sec. 5, eff. June 19, 2015.

Sec. 773.05716: Necessary Equipment

(a) An emergency medical services provider must own or hold a long-term lease for all equipment necessary for the safe operation of an emergency medical services provider, including emergency medical services vehicles, heart rate monitors, defibrillators, stretchers, and any other equipment the department determines is required.

(b) An applicant for an emergency medical services provider license must demonstrate proof of compliance with this section in the manner required by the department.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1226 (S.B. 1899), Sec. 5, eff. June 19, 2015.

Sec. 773.0572: Provisional Licenses

The executive commissioner by rule shall establish conditions under which an emergency medical services provider who fails to meet the minimum standards prescribed by this chapter may be issued a provisional license. The department may issue a provisional license to an emergency medical services provider under this chapter if the department finds that issuing the license would serve the public interest and that the provider meets the requirements of the rules adopted under this section. A nonrefundable fee of not more than $30 must accompany each application for a provisional license.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 258, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 14, eff. Aug. 28, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 198, Sec. 2.84(g), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1533, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.0573: Letter of Approval from Local Governmental Entity

(a) An emergency medical services provider applicant must obtain a letter of approval from:

(1) the governing body of the municipality in which the applicant is located and is applying to provide emergency medical services; or

(2) if the applicant is not located in a municipality, the commissioners court of the county in which the applicant is located and is applying to provide emergency medical services.

(b) A governing body of a municipality or a commissioners court of a county may issue a letter of approval to an emergency medical services provider applicant who is applying to provide emergency medical services in the municipality or county only if the governing body or commissioners court determines that:

(1) the addition of another licensed emergency medical services provider will not interfere with or adversely affect the provision of emergency medical services by the licensed emergency medical services providers operating in the municipality or county;

(2) the addition of another licensed emergency medical services provider will remedy an existing provider shortage that cannot be resolved through the use of the licensed emergency medical services providers operating in the municipality or county; and

(3) the addition of another licensed emergency medical services provider will not cause an oversupply of licensed emergency medical services providers in the municipality or county.

(c) An emergency medical services provider is prohibited from expanding operations to or stationing any emergency medical services vehicles in a municipality or county other than the municipality or county from which the provider obtained the letter of approval under this section until after the second anniversary of the date the provider's initial license was issued, unless the expansion or stationing occurs in connection with:

(1) a contract awarded by another municipality or county for the provision of emergency medical services;

(2) an emergency response made in connection with an existing mutual aid agreement; or

(3) an activation of a statewide emergency or disaster response by the department.

(d) This section does not apply to:

(1) renewal of an emergency medical services provider license; or

(2) a municipality, county, emergency services district, hospital, or emergency medical services volunteer provider organization in this state that applies for an emergency medical services provider license.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1089 (H.B. 3556), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013.

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1311 (S.B. 8), Sec. 9(c), eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 773.058: Volunteers Exempt from Fees

An individual who is an emergency medical services volunteer is exempt from the payment of fees under Section 773.055 if the individual does not receive compensation for providing emergency medical services. If an individual accepts compensation during the certification period, the individual shall pay to the department a prorated application fee for the duration of the certification period. In this section, "compensation" does not include reimbursement for actual expenses for medical supplies, gasoline, clothing, meals, and insurance incurred in providing emergency medical services.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 259, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 773.0581: Providers Exempt from Fees

(a) An emergency medical services provider is exempt from the payment of fees under this subchapter if the provider uses emergency medical services volunteers exclusively to provide emergency prehospital care. However, an emergency medical services provider is not disqualified from the exemption if the provider compensates physicians who provide medical supervision and not more than five full-time staff or their equivalent.

(b) This chapter does not prohibit an emergency medical services provider who uses volunteer emergency medical services personnel but has more than five paid staff from using the word "volunteer" in advertising if the organization is composed of at least 75 percent volunteer personnel.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 260, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 773.059: Late Recertification

(a) A person who is otherwise eligible to renew a certificate may renew an unexpired certificate by paying the required renewal fee to the department before the expiration date of the certificate. A person whose certificate has expired may not engage in activities that require certification until the certificate has been renewed.

(b) A person whose certificate has been expired for 90 days or less may renew the certificate by paying to the department a renewal fee that is equal to 1-1/2 times the normally required renewal fee.

(c) A person whose certificate has been expired for more than 90 days but less than one year may renew the certificate by paying to the department a renewal fee that is equal to two times the normally required renewal fee.

(d) A person whose certificate has been expired for one year or more may not renew the certificate. The person may become certified by complying with the requirements and procedures, including the examination requirements, for an original certification.

(e) A person who was certified in this state, moved to another state, and is currently certified or licensed and has been in practice in the other state for the two years preceding the date of application may become certified without reexamination. The person must pay to the department a fee that is equal to two times the normally required renewal fee for certification.

(f) Not later than the 30th day before the date a person's certificate is scheduled to expire, the department shall send written notice of the impending expiration to the person at the person's last known address according to the records of the department.

(g) A person certified by the department who is deployed in support of military, security, or other action by the United Nations Security Council, a national emergency declared by the president of the United States, or a declaration of war by the United States Congress is eligible for recertification under Section 773.050 on the person's demobilization for one calendar year after the date of demobilization.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 261, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 251, Sec. 3, eff. May 23, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1411, Sec. 19.05, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 773.060: Disposition of Funds

(a) The department shall account for all fees and other funds it receives under this chapter.

(b) The department shall deposit the fees and other funds in the state treasury to the credit of the bureau of emergency management account in the general revenue fund. The account may be used only to administer this chapter.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1534, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.0605: Complaints and Investigations

(a) The department shall track and keep records of:

(1) each complaint received by the department regarding emergency medical services providers and emergency medical services personnel;

(2) each investigation initiated by the department under this chapter; and

(3) each disciplinary action initiated by the department under this chapter.

(b) The department shall develop a formal process to refer complaints outside the department's jurisdiction to the appropriate agency for disposition.

(c) The department shall track the types of complaints received outside the department's jurisdiction. The department shall separately track complaints outside the department's jurisdiction relating to potential billing fraud and make information relating to those complaints available to the appropriate state agency.

(d) The department shall annually report statistical information regarding each complaint received, and each investigation or disciplinary action initiated, under this chapter. The report must include:

(1) the reason and basis for each complaint;

(2) the origin of each investigation, including whether the investigation:

(A) resulted from a complaint brought by a consumer;

(B) resulted from a complaint brought by another source; or

(C) was initiated by the department in the absence of a complaint;

(3) the average time to resolve each complaint from the date the complaint is received;

(4) the disposition of each investigation, including:

(A) the number of investigations commenced in which no disciplinary action was taken, and the reasons no disciplinary action was taken;

(B) the number of investigations resulting in disciplinary action, and the disciplinary actions taken; and

(C) the number of complaints referred to another agency for disposition; and

(5) the number, type, and age of each open investigation at the end of each fiscal year.

(e) The department shall make the report required by Subsection (d) available to the public through publication on the department's website and on request.

(f) The department may not include in the report required by Subsection (d) any information, including personal information, that could be used to identify an individual involved in or the location of a complaint that has been dismissed or has not reached a final determination.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1226 (S.B. 1899), Sec. 6, eff. June 19, 2015.

Sec. 773.061: Disciplinary Actions

(a) For a violation of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter, the department shall revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew a license or certificate of or shall reprimand:

(1) emergency medical services personnel;

(2) a program instructor, examiner, or course coordinator; and

(3) an emergency medical services provider license holder.

(b) For a violation of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter, the department shall revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew approval of a course or training program.

(c) For a violation of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter, the department may place on emergency suspension emergency medical services personnel.

(d) The department may place on probation a course or training program or a person, including emergency medical services personnel, an emergency medical services provider license holder, or a program instructor, examiner, or course coordinator, whose certificate, license, or approval is suspended. If a suspension is probated, the department may require the person or the sponsor of a course or training program, as applicable:

(1) to report regularly to the department on matters that are the basis of the probation;

(2) to limit practice to the areas prescribed by the department; or

(3) to continue or review professional education until the person attains a degree of skill satisfactory to the department in those areas that are the basis of the probation.

(e) Except as provided by Section 773.062, the procedures by which the department takes action under this section and the procedures by which that action is appealed are governed by the procedures for a contested case hearing under Chapter 2001, Government Code.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 262, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(49), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1411, Sec. 19.06, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1535, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.0611: Inspections

(a) The department or its representative may enter an emergency medical services vehicle or the premises of an emergency medical services provider's place of business at reasonable times to ensure compliance with this chapter and the rules adopted under this chapter.

(b) The department or its representative may conduct an unannounced inspection of a vehicle or a place of business if the department has reasonable cause to believe that a person is in violation of this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter.

(c) The executive commissioner shall adopt rules for unannounced inspections authorized under this section. The department or its representative shall perform unannounced inspections in accordance with those rules. An emergency medical services provider shall pay to the department a nonrefundable fee of not more than $30 if reinspection is necessary to determine compliance with this chapter and the rules adopted under this chapter.

(d) The department may use an inspection performed by an entity to which the department has delegated inspection authority as a basis for a disciplinary action under Section 773.061.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 263, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 15, eff. Aug. 28, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 198, Sec. 2.84(h), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1536, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1226 (S.B. 1899), Sec. 7, eff. June 19, 2015.

Sec. 773.0612: Access to Records

(a) The department or its representative is entitled to access to records and other documents maintained by a person that are directly related to patient care or to emergency medical services personnel to the extent necessary to enforce this chapter and the rules adopted under this chapter. A person who holds a license or certification or an applicant for a certification or license is considered to have given consent to a representative of the department entering and inspecting a vehicle or place of business in accordance with this chapter.

(b) A report, record, or working paper used or developed in an investigation under this section is confidential and may be used only for purposes consistent with department rules.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 264, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1537, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.0613: Information Report to Department

(a) An emergency medical services provider licensed under this chapter shall annually submit a report to the department containing information relating to the number and types of runs the emergency medical services provider makes.

(b) The executive commissioner shall adopt rules relating to the type of information an emergency medical services provider must provide under this section and the manner in which the information must be provided.

(c) The department shall post the information the department receives under Subsection (a) in summary form on the department's Internet website. The department may not post any health information that is made confidential by another statute.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 871, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1538, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.0614: Authority to Revoke, Suspend, Disqualify for, Or Deny Certification of Emergency Medical Services Personnel for Certain Criminal Offenses

(a) In addition to the grounds under Section 773.061, the department may suspend or revoke a certificate, disqualify a person from receiving a certificate, or deny a person the opportunity to take a certification examination on the grounds that the person has been convicted of, or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision or deferred disposition for, an offense that directly relates to the duties and responsibilities of emergency medical services personnel.

(b) For purposes of Subsection (a), the department may not consider offenses described by Section 542.304, Transportation Code.

(c) A certificate holder's certificate shall be revoked if the certificate holder has been convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision or deferred disposition for:

(1) an offense listed in Article 42A.054(a)(2), (3), (4), (7), (8), (9), (11), or (16), Code of Criminal Procedure; or

(2) an offense, other than an offense described by Subdivision (1), committed on or after September 1, 2009, for which the person is subject to registration under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1149 (H.B. 2845), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 757 (H.B. 1476), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1539, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 770 (H.B. 2299), Sec. 2.71, eff. January 1, 2017.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1094 (H.B. 2048), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2019.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1137 (H.B. 2758), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 773.06141: Suspension, Revocation, Or Denial of Emergency Medical Services Provider License

(a) The department may suspend, revoke, or deny an emergency medical services provider license on the grounds that the provider's administrator of record, employee, or other representative:

(1) has been convicted of, or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision or deferred disposition for, an offense that directly relates to the duties and responsibilities of the administrator, employee, or representative, other than an offense described by Section 542.304, Transportation Code;

(2) has been convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision or deferred disposition for an offense, including:

(A) an offense listed in Article 42A.054(a)(2), (3), (4), (7), (8), (9), (11), or (16), Code of Criminal Procedure; or

(B) an offense, other than an offense described by Subdivision (1), for which the person is subject to registration under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure; or

(3) has been convicted of Medicare or Medicaid fraud, has been excluded from participation in the state Medicaid program, or has a hold on payment for reimbursement under the state Medicaid program under Subchapter C, Chapter 531, Government Code.

(b) An emergency medical services provider that is directly operated by a governmental entity is exempt from this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1089 (H.B. 3556), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2013.

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1311 (S.B. 8), Sec. 9(d), eff. September 1, 2013.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1540, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 770 (H.B. 2299), Sec. 2.72, eff. January 1, 2017.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1094 (H.B. 2048), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2019.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1137 (H.B. 2758), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 773.0615: Factors Considered in Suspension, Revocation, Or Denial of Certificate

(a) In determining whether an offense directly relates to the duties and responsibilities of emergency medical services personnel under Section 773.0614(a), the department shall consider:

(1) the nature and seriousness of the crime;

(2) the relationship of the crime to the purposes for requiring certification to engage in emergency medical services;

(3) the extent to which certification might offer an opportunity to engage in further criminal activity of the same type as that in which the person previously had been involved; and

(4) the relationship of the crime to the ability, capacity, or fitness required to perform the duties and discharge the responsibilities of emergency medical services personnel.

(b) In determining the fitness to perform the duties and discharge the responsibilities of emergency medical services personnel for a person who has been convicted of, or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision or deferred disposition for, a crime the department shall consider, in addition to the factors listed in Subsection (a):

(1) the extent and nature of the person's past criminal activity;

(2) the age of the person when the crime was committed;

(3) the amount of time that has elapsed since the person's last criminal activity;

(4) the conduct and work activity of the person before and after the criminal activity;

(5) evidence of the person's rehabilitation or rehabilitative effort while incarcerated, after release, or since imposition of community supervision or deferred adjudication; and

(6) other evidence of the person's fitness, including letters of recommendation from:

(A) prosecutors, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, or community supervision officers who prosecuted, arrested, or had custodial or other responsibility for the person;

(B) the sheriff or chief of police in the community where the person resides; and

(C) any other person in contact with the person.

(c) The applicant or certificate holder has the responsibility, to the extent possible, to obtain and provide to the department the recommendations of the persons required by Subsection (b)(6).

(d) In addition to providing evidence related to the factors under Subsection (b), the applicant or certificate holder shall furnish proof in the form required by the department that the applicant or certificate holder has:

(1) maintained a record of steady employment;

(2) supported the applicant's or certificate holder's dependents;

(3) maintained a record of good conduct; and

(4) paid all outstanding court costs, supervision fees, fines, and restitution ordered in any criminal case in which the applicant or certificate holder has been convicted, been placed on community supervision, or received deferred adjudication.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1149 (H.B. 2845), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1541, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.0616: Proceedings Governed By Administrative Procedure Act; Guidelines

(a) A proceeding to consider the issues under Section 773.0615 is governed by Chapter 2001, Government Code.

(b) The executive commissioner shall issue guidelines relating to the department's decision-making under Sections 773.0614 and 773.0615. The guidelines must state the reasons a particular crime is considered to relate to emergency medical services personnel and include any other criterion that may affect the decisions of the department.

(c) The executive commissioner shall file the guidelines with the secretary of state for publication in the Texas Register.

(d) The department annually shall issue any amendments to the guidelines.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1149 (H.B. 2845), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1542, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.0617: Notice and Review of Suspension, Revocation, Disqualification for, Or Denial of Certification

(a) If the department suspends or revokes a certification, denies a person a certificate, or denies the opportunity to be examined for a certificate under Section 773.0614, the department shall notify the person in writing of:

(1) the reason for the suspension, revocation, denial, or disqualification;

(2) the review procedure provided by Subsection (b); and

(3) the earliest date the person may appeal the action of the department.

(b) A person whose certificate has been suspended or revoked or who has been denied a certificate or the opportunity to take an examination and who has exhausted the person's administrative appeals may file an action in the district court in Travis County for review of the evidence presented to the department and the decision of the department.

(c) The petition for an action under Subsection (b) must be filed not later than the 30th day after the date the department's decision is final.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1149 (H.B. 2845), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1543, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.062: Emergency Suspension

(a) The commissioner shall issue an emergency order to suspend a certificate or license issued under this chapter if the commissioner has reasonable cause to believe that the conduct of any certificate or license holder creates an imminent danger to the public health or safety.

(b) An emergency suspension is effective immediately without a hearing on notice to the certificate or license holder. Notice must also be given to the sponsoring governmental entity if the holder is a provider exempt from payment of fees under Section 773.0581.

(c) The holder may request in writing a hearing on the emergency suspension. The department shall refer the matter to the State Office of Administrative Hearings. An administrative law judge of that office shall conduct the hearing not earlier than the 10th day or later than the 30th day after the date on which the request is received by the department, shall make findings of fact, and shall issue a written proposal for decision regarding whether the department should continue, modify, or rescind the suspension. The department's hearing rules and Chapter 2001, Government Code, govern the hearing and any appeal from a disciplinary action related to the hearing.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 265, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(49), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1544, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.063: Civil Penalty

(a) The attorney general, a district attorney, or a county attorney may bring a civil action to compel compliance with this chapter or to enforce a rule adopted under this chapter.

(b) A person who violates this chapter or a rule adopted under this chapter is liable for a civil penalty in addition to any injunctive relief or other remedy provided by law. The civil penalty may not exceed $250 a day for each violation.

(c) Civil penalties recovered in a suit brought by the state at the department's request shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the general revenue fund.

(d) Civil penalties recovered in a suit brought by a local government shall be paid to the local government that brought the suit. A municipality or county is encouraged to use the amount of recovered penalties that exceed the cost of bringing suit to improve the delivery of emergency medical services in the municipality or county.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 773.064: Criminal Penalties

(a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly practices as, attempts to practice as, or represents himself to be an emergency medical technician-paramedic, advanced emergency medical technician, emergency medical technician, emergency care attendant, or licensed paramedic and the person does not hold an appropriate certificate issued by the department under this chapter. An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.

(b) An emergency medical services provider commits an offense if the provider knowingly advertises or causes the advertisement of a false, misleading, or deceptive statement or representation concerning emergency medical services staffing, equipment, and vehicles. An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.

(c) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly uses or permits to be used a vehicle that the person owns, operates, or controls to transport a sick or injured person unless the person is licensed as an emergency medical services provider by the department. An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.

(d) It is an exception to the application of Subsection (c) that the person transports a sick or injured person:

(1) to medical care as an individual citizen not ordinarily engaged in that activity;

(2) in a casualty situation that exceeds the basic vehicular capacity or capability of an emergency medical services provider; or

(3) as an emergency medical services provider in a vehicle for which a variance has been granted under Section 773.052.

(e) Venue for prosecution of an offense under this section is in the county in which the offense is alleged to have occurred.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 266, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 435, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1545, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.065: Administrative Penalty

(a) The department may assess an administrative penalty against an emergency medical services provider or a course coordinator who violates this chapter or a rule adopted or an order issued under this chapter.

(b) In determining the amount of the penalty, the department shall consider:

(1) the emergency medical services provider's or course coordinator's previous violations;

(2) the seriousness of the violation;

(3) any hazard to the health and safety of the public;

(4) the emergency medical services provider's or course coordinator's demonstrated good faith; and

(5) any other matter as justice may require.

(c) The penalty may not exceed $7,500 for each violation. The executive commissioner by rule shall establish gradations of penalties in accordance with the relative seriousness of the violation.

(d) Each day a violation continues may be considered a separate violation.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 16, eff. Aug. 28, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 435, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 198, Sec. 2.84(i), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1546, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.066: Assessment of Administrative Penalty

(a) An administrative penalty may be assessed only after an emergency medical services provider or course coordinator charged with a violation is provided notice and given an opportunity to request a hearing.

(b) If a hearing is held, the department shall refer the matter to the State Office of Administrative Hearings. An administrative law judge of that office shall conduct the hearing, make findings of fact, and issue to the department a written proposal for decision regarding whether the emergency medical services provider or course coordinator committed a violation and the amount of any penalty to be assessed.

(c) If the emergency medical services provider or course coordinator charged with the violation does not request a hearing, the department shall determine whether the provider or course coordinator committed a violation and the amount of any penalty to be assessed.

(d) After making a determination under this section that a penalty is to be assessed against an emergency medical services provider or a course coordinator, the department shall issue an order requiring that the emergency medical services provider or course coordinator pay the penalty.

(e) Not later than the 30th day after the date an order is issued under Subsection (d), the department shall give written notice of the order to the emergency medical services provider or course coordinator.

(f) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1, Sec. 3.1639(114), eff. April 2, 2015.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 17, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1547, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1639(114), eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.067: Payment of Administrative Penalty

(a) Not later than the 30th day after the date on which an order charging the emergency medical services provider or course coordinator with a penalty is final as provided by Chapter 2001, Government Code, the person charged shall:

(1) pay the penalty in full;

(2) pay the penalty and file a petition for judicial review contesting the occurrence of the violation, the amount of the penalty, or both the occurrence of the violation and the amount of the penalty; or

(3) without paying the penalty, file a petition for judicial review contesting the occurrence of the violation, the amount of the penalty, or both the occurrence of the violation and the amount of the penalty.

(b) Within the 30-day period, a person who acts under Subsection (a)(3) may:

(1) stay enforcement of the penalty by:

(A) paying the amount of the penalty to the court for placement in an escrow account; or

(B) giving to the court a supersedeas bond that is approved by the court for the amount of the penalty and that is effective until all judicial review of the department's order is final; or

(2) request the court to stay enforcement of the penalty by:

(A) filing with the court a sworn affidavit of the person stating that the person is financially unable to pay the amount of the penalty and is financially unable to give the supersedeas bond; and

(B) giving a copy of the affidavit to the department by certified mail.

(c) If the department receives a copy of an affidavit under Subsection (b)(2), the department may file with the court, within five days after the date the copy is received, a contest to the affidavit. The court shall hold a hearing on the facts alleged in the affidavit as soon as practicable and shall stay the enforcement of the penalty on finding that the alleged facts are true. The person who files an affidavit has the burden of proving that the person is financially unable to pay the amount of the penalty and to give a supersedeas bond.

(d) If the person does not pay the amount of the penalty and the enforcement of the penalty is not stayed, the department may refer the matter to the attorney general for collection of the amount of the penalty.

(e) Judicial review of the order of the department:

(1) is instituted by filing a petition as provided by Subchapter G, Chapter 2001, Government Code; and

(2) is under the substantial evidence rule.

(f) If the court sustains the occurrence of the violation, the court may uphold or reduce the amount of the penalty and order the person to pay the full or reduced amount of the penalty. If the court does not sustain the occurrence of the violation, the court shall order that no penalty is owed.

(g) When the judgment of the court becomes final, the court shall proceed under this subsection. If the person paid the penalty and if the amount of the penalty is reduced or the penalty is not upheld by the court, the court shall order that the appropriate amount plus accrued interest be remitted to the person. The rate of the interest is the rate charged on loans to depository institutions by the New York Federal Reserve Bank, and the interest shall be paid for the period beginning on the date the penalty was paid and ending on the date the penalty is remitted. If the person gave a supersedeas bond and if the penalty is not upheld by the court, the court shall order the release of the bond. If the person gave a supersedeas bond and if the amount of the penalty is reduced, the court shall order the release of the bond after the person pays the amount.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 18, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1548, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.069: Recovery of Administrative Penalty By Attorney General

The attorney general at the request of the department may bring a civil action to recover an administrative penalty assessed under this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1549, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.070: Denial of Certification Or Licensure for Failure to Provide Certain Criminal History Record Information

The department may deny licensure or certification to an applicant who does not provide a complete set of the required fingerprints to obtain criminal history record information.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 790, Sec. 46(17), eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1550, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.071: Fees

(a) To the extent feasible, the executive commissioner by rule shall set the fees under this subchapter in amounts necessary for the department to recover the cost of administering this subchapter.

(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to fees for which Section 773.059 prescribes the method for determining the amount of the fees.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 198, Sec. 2.84(j), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1551, eff. April 2, 2015.

Subchapter D

Sec. 773.091: Confidential Communications

(a) A communication between certified emergency medical services personnel or a physician providing medical supervision and a patient that is made in the course of providing emergency medical services to the patient is confidential and privileged and may not be disclosed except as provided by this chapter.

(b) Records of the identity, evaluation, or treatment of a patient by emergency medical services personnel or by a physician providing medical supervision that are created by the emergency medical services personnel or physician or maintained by an emergency medical services provider are confidential and privileged and may not be disclosed except as provided by this chapter.

(c) Any person who receives information from confidential communications or records as described by this chapter, other than a person listed in Section 773.092 who is acting on the survivor's behalf, may not disclose the information except to the extent that disclosure is consistent with the authorized purposes for which the information was obtained.

(d) This subchapter governs confidential communications or records concerning a patient regardless of when the patient received the services of emergency medical services personnel or a physician providing medical supervision.

(e) Notwithstanding Rule 501, Texas Rules of Evidence, the privilege of confidentiality may be claimed in any criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding and may be claimed by the patient or the emergency medical services personnel or physician acting on the patient's behalf.

(f) If the emergency medical services personnel or physician claims the privilege of confidentiality on behalf of the patient, the authority to do so is presumed in the absence of evidence to the contrary.

(g) The privilege of confidentiality under this section does not extend to information regarding the presence, nature of injury or illness, age, sex, occupation, and city of residence of a patient who is receiving emergency medical services. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as requiring or permitting emergency services personnel to make a diagnosis.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 10.008, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 773.092: Exceptions

(a) Exceptions to the confidentiality or privilege in court or administrative proceedings exist:

(1) when proceedings are brought by the patient against emergency medical services personnel, a physician providing medical supervision, or an emergency medical services provider, and in any criminal proceeding or certification revocation or license revocation proceeding in which the patient is a complaining witness and in which disclosure is relevant to the claim or defense of emergency medical services personnel, a physician providing medical supervision, or an emergency medical services provider;

(2) when the patient or someone authorized to act on behalf of the patient submits a written consent to release any of the confidential information as provided by Section 773.093;

(3) when the purpose of the proceedings is to substantiate and collect on a claim for emergency medical services rendered to the patient;

(4) in any civil litigation or administrative proceeding, if relevant, brought by the patient or someone on the patient's behalf, if the patient is attempting to recover monetary damages for any physical or mental condition, including death of the patient;

(5) when the proceeding is a disciplinary investigation or proceeding against emergency medical services personnel conducted under this chapter, provided that the department shall protect the identity of any patient whose medical records are examined, unless the patient is covered under Subdivision (1) or has submitted written consent to the release of the patient's emergency medical services records under Section 773.093; or

(6) when the proceeding is a criminal prosecution in which the patient is a victim, witness, or defendant.

(b) Information under Subsection (a)(4) is discoverable in any court or administrative proceeding in this state if the court or administrative body has jurisdiction of the subject matter, pursuant to rules of procedure specified for the matter.

(c) Subsection (a)(5) does not authorize the release of confidential information to instigate or substantiate criminal charges against a patient.

(d) Confidential records or communications are not discoverable in a criminal proceeding until the court in which the prosecution is pending makes an in camera determination as to the relevancy of the records or communications or any portion of the records or communications. A determination that confidential records or communications are discoverable is not a determination as to the admissibility of the records or communications.

(e) Communications and records that are confidential under this section may be disclosed to:

(1) medical or law enforcement personnel if the emergency medical services personnel, the physician providing medical supervision, or the emergency medical services provider determines that there is a probability of imminent physical danger to any person or if there is a probability of immediate mental or emotional injury to the patient;

(2) governmental agencies if the disclosure is required or authorized by law;

(3) qualified persons to the extent necessary for management audits, financial audits, program evaluation, system improvement, or research, except that any report of the research, audit, or evaluation may not directly or indirectly identify a patient;

(4) any person who bears a written consent of the patient or other persons authorized to act on the patient's behalf for the release of confidential information as provided by Section 773.093;

(5) the department for data collection or complaint investigation;

(6) other emergency medical services personnel, other physicians, and other personnel under the direction of a physician who are participating in the diagnosis, evaluation, or treatment of a patient; or

(7) individuals, corporations, or governmental agencies involved in the payment or collection of fees for emergency medical services rendered by emergency medical services personnel.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 435, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1552, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.093: Consent

(a) Consent for the release of confidential information must be in writing and signed by the patient, a parent or legal guardian if the patient is a minor, a legal guardian if the patient has been adjudicated incompetent to manage the patient's personal affairs, an attorney ad litem appointed for the patient, or a personal representative if the patient is deceased. The written consent must specify:

(1) the information or records to be covered by the release;

(2) the reasons or purpose for the release; and

(3) the person to whom the information is to be released.

(b) The patient or other person authorized to consent may withdraw consent to the release of any information by submitting a written notice of withdrawal to the person or program to which consent was provided. Withdrawal of consent does not affect any information disclosed before the date on which written notice of the withdrawal was received.

(c) A person who receives information made confidential by this chapter may disclose the information to others only to the extent consistent with the authorized purposes for which consent to release the information was obtained.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 773.094: Injunction; Damages

A person aggrieved by an unauthorized disclosure of communications or records that are confidential under this subchapter may petition the district court of the county in which the person resides or, in the case of a nonresident of the state, a district court of Travis County for appropriate injunctive relief. The petition takes precedence over all civil matters on the docketed court except those matters to which equal precedence on the docket is granted by law. A person injured by an unauthorized disclosure of communications or records that are confidential under this subchapter may bring an action for damages.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 773.095: Records and Proceedings Confidential

(a) The proceedings and records of organized committees of hospitals, medical societies, emergency medical services providers, emergency medical services and trauma care systems, or first responder organizations relating to the review, evaluation, or improvement of an emergency medical services provider, a first responder organization, an emergency medical services and trauma care system, or emergency medical services personnel are confidential and not subject to disclosure by court subpoena or otherwise.

(b) The records and proceedings may be used by the committee and the committee members only in the exercise of proper committee functions.

(c) This section does not apply to records made or maintained in the regular course of business by an emergency medical services provider, a first responder organization, or emergency medical services personnel.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 435, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 874, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 773.096: Immunity for Committee Members

A member of an organized committee under Section 773.095 is not liable for damages to a person for an action taken or recommendation made within the scope of the functions of the committee if the committee member acts without malice and in the reasonable belief that the action or recommendation is warranted by the facts known to the committee member.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Subchapter E

Sec. 773.111: Legislative Findings

(a) The legislature finds that death caused by injury is the leading cause of death for persons one through 44 years of age, and the third overall cause of death for all ages. Effective emergency medical services response and resuscitation systems, medical care systems, and medical facilities reduce the occurrence of unnecessary mortality.

(b) It is estimated that trauma costs more than $63 million a day nationally, which includes lost wages, medical expenses, and indirect costs. Proportionately, this cost to Texas would be more than $4 million a day. Many hospitals provide emergency medical care to patients who are unable to pay for catastrophic injuries directly or through an insurance or entitlement program.

(c) In order to improve the health of the people of the state, it is necessary to improve the quality of emergency and medical care to the people of Texas who are victims of unintentional, life-threatening injuries by encouraging hospitals to provide trauma care and increasing the availability of emergency medical services.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 267, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Redesignated from Health & Safety Code Sec. 773.081 by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 773.112: Rules

(a) The executive commissioner by rule shall adopt minimum standards and objectives to implement emergency medical services and trauma care systems. The executive commissioner by rule shall provide for the designation of trauma facilities and for triage, transfer, and transportation policies. The executive commissioner shall consider guidelines adopted by the American College of Surgeons and the American College of Emergency Physicians in adopting rules under this section.

(b) The rules must provide specific requirements for the care of trauma patients, must ensure that the trauma care is fully coordinated with all hospitals and emergency medical services in the delivery area, and must reflect the geographic areas of the state, considering time and distance.

(c) The rules must include:

(1) prehospital care management guidelines for triage and transportation of trauma patients;

(2) flow patterns of trauma patients and geographic boundaries regarding trauma patients;

(3) assurances that trauma facilities will provide quality care to trauma patients referred to the facilities;

(4) minimum requirements for resources and equipment needed by a trauma facility to treat trauma patients;

(5) standards for the availability and qualifications of the health care personnel, including physicians and surgeons, treating trauma patients within a facility;

(6) requirements for data collection, including trauma incidence reporting, system operation, and patient outcome;

(7) requirements for periodic performance evaluation of the system and its components; and

(8) assurances that designated trauma facilities will not refuse to accept the transfer of a trauma patient from another facility solely because of the person's inability to pay for services or because of the person's age, sex, race, religion, or national origin.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 267, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Redesignated from Health & Safety Code Sec. 773.082 by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 623, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1553, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1554, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.113: Duties of Department

(a) The department shall:

(1) develop and monitor a statewide emergency medical services and trauma care system;

(2) designate trauma facilities;

(3) develop and maintain a trauma reporting and analysis system to:

(A) identify severely injured trauma patients at each health care facility in this state;

(B) identify the total amount of uncompensated trauma care expenditures made each fiscal year by each health care facility in this state; and

(C) monitor trauma patient care in each health care facility, including each designated trauma center, in emergency medical services and trauma care systems in this state; and

(4) provide for coordination and cooperation between this state and any other state with which this state shares a standard metropolitan statistical area.

(b) The department may grant an exception to a rule adopted under Section 773.112 if it finds that compliance with the rule would not be in the best interests of the persons served in the affected local emergency medical services and trauma care delivery area.

(c) The department shall develop performance measures for regional advisory councils in trauma service areas to:

(1) promote the provision of a minimum level of emergency medical services in a trauma service area in accordance with the rules adopted under Section 773.112;

(2) promote the provision of quality care and service by the emergency medical services and trauma care system in accordance with the rules adopted under Section 773.112; and

(3) maximize the accuracy of information provided by a regional advisory council to the department for increased council effectiveness.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 267, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Redesignated from Health & Safety Code Sec. 773.083 by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1555, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1556, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.114: System Requirements

(a) Each emergency medical services and trauma care system must have:

(1) local or regional medical control for all field care and transportation, consistent with geographic and current communications capability;

(2) triage, transport, and transfer protocols; and

(3) one or more hospitals categorized according to trauma care capabilities using standards adopted by department rule.

(b) This subchapter does not prohibit a health care facility from providing services that it is authorized to provide under a license issued to the facility by the department.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 267, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Redesignated from Health & Safety Code Sec. 773.084 by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1557, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.115: Trauma Facilities

(a) The department may designate trauma facilities that are a part of an emergency medical services and trauma care system. A trauma facility shall be designated by the level of trauma care and services provided in accordance with the American College of Surgeons guidelines for level I and II trauma facilities and department rules for level III and IV trauma facilities. In adopting rules under this section, the executive commissioner may consider trauma caseloads, geographic boundaries, or minimum population requirements, but the department may not deny designation solely on these criteria. The executive commissioner may not set an arbitrary limit on the number of facilities designated as trauma facilities.

(b) A health care facility may apply to the department for designation as a trauma facility, and the department shall grant the designation if the facility meets the requirements for designation prescribed by department rules.

(c) A health care facility may not use the terms "trauma facility," "trauma hospital," "trauma center," or similar terminology in its signs or advertisements or in the printed materials and information it provides to the public unless the facility has been designated as a trauma facility under this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 267, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Redesignated from Health & Safety Code Sec. 773.085 by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 435, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 874, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1558, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.1151: Use of Telemedicine Medical Service By Certain Trauma Facilities

(a) In this section, "telemedicine medical service" has the meaning assigned by Section 111.001, Occupations Code.

(b) A health care facility located in a county with a population of less than 30,000 may satisfy a Level IV trauma facility designation requirement relating to physicians through the use of telemedicine medical service in which an on-call physician who has special competence in the care of critically injured patients provides patient assessment, diagnosis, consultation, or treatment or transfers medical data to a physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or physician assistant located at the facility.

(c) In establishing the requirements for designating a facility as a Level IV trauma facility, the executive commissioner may not adopt rules that:

(1) require the physical presence or physical availability of a physician who has special competence in the care of critically injured patients; or

(2) prohibit the use of telemedicine medical service that meets the requirements of Subsection (b).

Comments

Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 254 (H.B. 871), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 773.116: Fees

(a) The department shall charge a fee to a health care facility that applies for initial or continuing designation as a trauma facility.

(b) The executive commissioner by rule shall set the amount of the fee schedule for initial or continuing designation as a trauma facility according to the number of beds in the health care facility. The amount of the fee may not exceed:

(1) $5,000 for a Level I or II facility;

(2) $2,500 for a Level III facility; or

(3) $1,000 for a Level IV facility.

(c) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 198, Sec. 2.84(l).

(d) To the extent feasible, the executive commissioner by rule shall set the fee in an amount necessary for the department to recover the cost directly related to designating trauma facilities under this subchapter.

(e) This section does not restrict the authority of a health care facility to provide a service for which it has received a license under other state law.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 267, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Redesignated from Health & Safety Code Sec. 773.086 by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 198, Sec. 2.84(k), (l), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1559, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.117: Denial, Suspension, Or Revocation of Designation

(a) The department may deny, suspend, or revoke a health care facility's designation as a trauma facility if the facility fails to comply with the rules adopted under this subchapter.

(b) The denial, suspension, or revocation of a designation by the department and the appeal from that action are governed by the department's rules for a contested case hearing and by Chapter 2001, Government Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 267, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Redesignated from Health & Safety Code Sec. 773.087 by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(49), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Sec. 773.119: Grant Program

(a) The department shall establish a program to award grants to initiate, expand, maintain, and improve emergency medical services and to support medical systems and facilities that provide trauma care.

(b) The executive commissioner by rule shall establish eligibility criteria for awarding the grants. The rules must require the department to consider:

(1) the need of an area for the provision of emergency medical services or trauma care and the extent to which the grant would meet the identified need;

(2) the availability of personnel and training programs;

(3) the availability of other funding sources;

(4) the assurance of providing quality services;

(5) the use or acquisition of helicopters for emergency medical evacuation; and

(6) the development or existence of an emergency medical services system.

(c) The department may approve grants according to department rules. A grant awarded under this section is governed by Chapter 783, Government Code, and by the rules adopted under that chapter.

(d) The department may require a grantee to provide matching funds equal to not more than 75 percent of the amount of the grant.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 267, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Redesignated from Health & Safety Code Sec. 773.089 by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1560, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.120: Acceptance of Gifts

A trauma facility or an emergency medical services and trauma care system may accept gifts or other contributions for the purposes of this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 267, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Redesignated from Health & Safety Code Sec. 773.090 by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 605, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 773.122: Payments from the Accounts

(a) The commissioner, with advice and counsel from the chairpersons of the trauma service area regional advisory councils, shall use money in the accounts established under Sections 771.072(f) and 773.006 to fund county and regional emergency medical services, designated trauma facilities, and trauma care systems in accordance with this section.

(a-1) A grant recipient may not before the fourth anniversary of the date a grant is awarded under Subsection (a) dispose of an ambulance for which the total costs of purchasing the ambulance were paid only from grants awarded under Subsection (a) or Section 780.004(a) unless the grant recipient obtains the department's prior approval.

(b) The commissioner shall maintain a reserve of $500,000 of money appropriated from the accounts for extraordinary emergencies.

(c) In any fiscal year the commissioner shall use 50 percent of the appropriated money remaining from the accounts, after any amount necessary to maintain the reserve established by Subsection (b) is deducted, to fund, in connection with an effort to provide coordination with the appropriate trauma service area, the cost of supplies, operational expenses, education and training, equipment, vehicles, and communications systems for local emergency medical services. The money shall be distributed on behalf of eligible recipients in each county to the trauma service area regional advisory council for that county. To receive a distribution under this subsection, the regional advisory council must be incorporated as an entity that is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(a), Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and its subsequent amendments, by being listed as an exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the code. The share of the money allocated to the eligible recipients in a county's geographic area shall be based on the relative geographic size and population of the county and on the relative number of emergency or trauma care runs performed by eligible recipients in the county. Money that is not disbursed by a regional advisory council to eligible recipients for approved functions by the end of the fiscal year in which the funds were disbursed may be retained by the regional advisory council to be used during the following fiscal year in accordance with this subsection. Money that is not disbursed by the regional advisory council during the following fiscal year shall be returned to the account.

(d) In any fiscal year, the commissioner may use not more than 20 percent of the appropriated money remaining from the accounts, after any amount necessary to maintain the reserve established by Subsection (b) is deducted, for operation of the 22 trauma service areas and for equipment, communications, and education and training for the areas. Money distributed under this subsection shall be distributed on behalf of eligible recipients in each county to the trauma service area regional advisory council for that county. To receive a distribution under this subsection, the regional advisory council must be incorporated as an entity that is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(a), Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and its subsequent amendments, by being listed as an exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the code. A regional advisory council's share of money distributed under this section shall be based on the relative geographic size and population of each trauma service area and on the relative amount of trauma care provided. Money that is not disbursed by a regional advisory council to eligible recipients for approved functions by the end of the fiscal year in which the funds were disbursed may be retained by the regional advisory council to be used during the following fiscal year in accordance with this subsection. Money that is not disbursed by the regional advisory council during the following fiscal year shall be returned to the account.

(e) In any fiscal year, the commissioner may use not more than three percent of the appropriated money from the accounts after any amount necessary to maintain the reserve established by Subsection (b) is deducted to fund the administrative costs of the department associated with administering the state emergency medical services program, the trauma program, and the accounts and to fund the costs of monitoring and providing technical assistance for those programs and the accounts.

(f) In any fiscal year, the commissioner shall use at least 27 percent of the appropriated money remaining from the accounts after any amount necessary to maintain the reserve established by Subsection (b) is deducted and the money from the accounts not otherwise distributed under this section to fund a portion of the uncompensated trauma care provided at facilities designated as state trauma facilities by the department. The administrator of a designated facility may request a regional advisory council chairperson to petition the department for disbursement of funds to a designated trauma facility in the chairperson's trauma service area that has provided uncompensated trauma care. Funds may be disbursed under this subsection based on a proportionate share of uncompensated trauma care provided in the state and may be used to fund innovative projects to enhance the delivery of patient care in the overall emergency medical services and trauma care system.

(g) The department shall review the percentages for disbursement of funds in the accounts on an annual basis and shall make recommendations for proposed changes to ensure that appropriate and fair funding is provided under this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1157, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1045, Sec. 16, eff. June 18, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1411, Sec. 19.07, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1213, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 638 (S.B. 901), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1561, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.123: Control of Expenditures from Accounts

Money distributed from the accounts established under Sections 771.072(f) and 773.006 shall be used in accordance with Section 773.122 on the authorization of the executive committee of the trauma service area regional advisory council.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1157, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1045, Sec. 17, eff. June 18, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1411, Sec. 19.08, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1213, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 773.124: Loss of Funding Eligibility

For a period of not less than one year or more than three years, as determined by the department, the department may not disburse money under Section 773.122 to a trauma service area regional advisory council, county, municipality, or local recipient that the department finds used money in violation of that section.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1157, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1411, Sec. 19.09, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Subchapter F

Sec. 773.141: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Emergency call" means a telephone call or other similar communication from a member of the public, as part of a 9-1-1 system or otherwise, made to obtain emergency medical services.

(2) "Emergency medical services call taker" means a person who, as a volunteer or employee of a public agency, as that term is defined by Section 771.001, receives emergency calls.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1411, Sec. 19.10, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1563, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.142: Application of Subchapter

This subchapter does not apply to a physician or other licensed person who may provide medical information under law.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1411, Sec. 19.10, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 773.143: Provision of Medical Information

An emergency medical services call taker may provide medical information to a member of the public during an emergency call if:

(1) the call taker has successfully completed an emergency medical services call taker training program and holds a certificate issued under Section 773.144; and

(2) the information provided substantially conforms to the protocol for delivery of the information adopted by the executive commissioner under Section 773.145.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1411, Sec. 19.10, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1564, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.144: Training Programs

(a) The department may offer emergency medical services call taker training programs and may approve training programs offered by other persons. The executive commissioner by rule shall establish minimum standards for approval of training programs and certification and decertification of program instructors.

(b) The provider of an emergency medical services call taker training program shall issue an emergency medical services call taker a certificate evidencing completion of the training program. The executive commissioner by rule may require that, before issuance of the certificate, the call taker successfully complete an examination administered by the department, by the provider of the training program, or by another person.

(c) The executive commissioner by rule may provide that a certificate issued under Subsection (b) expires at the end of a specified period not less than one year after the date on which the certificate is issued and may adopt requirements, including additional training or examination, for renewal of the certificate.

(d) The executive commissioner by rule may adopt other requirements relating to emergency medical services call taker training programs. The establishment of minimum standards under this section does not prohibit the entity that is employing or accepting the volunteer services of the emergency medical services call taker from imposing additional training standards or procedures.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1411, Sec. 19.10, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1565, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.145: Medical Information

The executive commissioner by rule shall adopt a protocol that must be used to provide medical information under Section 773.143. The protocol may include the use of a flash-card system or other similar system designed to make the information readily accessible to the emergency medical services call taker in an understandable form.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1411, Sec. 19.10, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1566, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.146: Limitation on Civil Liability

(a) An emergency medical services call taker who holds a certificate under Section 773.144 is not liable for damages that arise from the provision of medical information according to the protocol adopted under Section 773.145 if the information is provided in good faith. This subsection does not apply to an act or omission of the call taker that constitutes gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct. This subsection does not affect any liability imposed on a public agency for the conduct of the emergency medical services call taker under Section 101.062, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

(b) Section 101.062, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, governs the liability of a public agency the employees or volunteers of which provide medical information under this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1411, Sec. 19.10, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1567, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.147: Fees

(a) The executive commissioner by rule may adopt fees for:

(1) training programs provided by the department under Section 773.144; and

(2) the approval of program instructors and of training programs offered by other persons.

(b) The fees adopted under this section may not exceed the amount necessary for the department to recover the cost of administering this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1411, Sec. 19.10, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1568, eff. April 2, 2015.

Subchapter G

Sec. 773.171: Emergency Medical Services for Children Program

(a) The emergency medical services for children program is in the department.

(b) The department shall provide coordination and support for a statewide pediatric emergency services system.

(c) The department may solicit, receive, and spend funds it receives from the federal government and public or private sources to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 513, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1993.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1569, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.173: Rules

(a) On the recommendation of the advisory council, the executive commissioner shall adopt minimum standards and objectives to implement a pediatric emergency services system, including rules that:

(1) provide guidelines for categorization of a facility's pediatric capability;

(2) provide for triage, transfer, and transportation policies for pediatric care;

(3) establish guidelines for:

(A) prehospital care management for triage and transportation of a pediatric patient;

(B) prehospital and hospital equipment that is necessary and appropriate for the care of a pediatric patient;

(C) necessary pediatric emergency equipment and training in long-term care facilities; and

(D) an interhospital transfer system for a critically ill or injured pediatric patient; and

(4) provide for data collection and analysis.

(b) The executive commissioner and the advisory council shall consider guidelines endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Surgeons in recommending and adopting rules under this section.

(c) The department may grant an exception to a rule adopted under this section if it finds that compliance with the rule would not be in the best interests of persons served in the affected local pediatric emergency medical services system.

(d) This subchapter does not prohibit a health care facility from providing services that it is authorized to provide under a license issued to the facility by the department.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 513, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1993.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1570, eff. April 2, 2015.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1571, eff. April 2, 2015.

Subchapter H

Sec. 773.201: Legislative Intent

The legislature finds that a strong system for stroke survival is needed in the state's communities in order to treat stroke victims in a timely manner and to improve the overall treatment of stroke victims. Therefore, the legislature intends to construct an emergency treatment system in this state so that stroke victims may be quickly identified and transported to and treated in appropriate stroke treatment facilities.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 299 (S.B. 330), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 773.202: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Advisory council" means the advisory council established under Section 773.012.

(2) "Stroke committee" means the committee appointed under Section 773.203.

(3) "Stroke facility" means a health care facility that:

(A) is capable of primary or comprehensive treatment of stroke victims;

(B) is part of an emergency medical services and trauma care system as defined by Section 773.003;

(C) has a health care professional available 24 hours a day, seven days a week who is knowledgeable about stroke care and capable of carrying out acute stroke therapy; and

(D) records patient treatment and outcomes.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 299 (S.B. 330), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 773.203: Stroke Committee

(a) The advisory council shall appoint a stroke committee to assist the advisory council in the development of a statewide stroke emergency transport plan and stroke facility criteria.

(b) The stroke committee must include the following members:

(1) a licensed physician appointed from a list of physicians eligible for accreditation in vascular neurology from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, recommended by a statewide organization of neurologists;

(2) a licensed interventional neuroradiologist appointed from a list of neuroradiologists recommended by a statewide organization of radiologists;

(3) a neurosurgeon with stroke expertise;

(4) a member of the Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke who has expertise in stroke care;

(5) a licensed physician appointed from a list of physicians recommended by a statewide organization of emergency physicians;

(6) a neuroscience registered nurse with stroke expertise; and

(7) a volunteer member of a nonprofit organization specializing in stroke treatment, prevention, and education.

(c) Chapter 2110, Government Code, does not apply to the stroke committee.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 299 (S.B. 330), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 773.204: Duties of Stroke Committee; Development of Stroke Emergency Transport Plan and Stroke Facility Criteria

(a) The advisory council, with the assistance of the stroke committee and in collaboration with the Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke, shall develop a statewide stroke emergency transport plan and stroke facility criteria.

(b) The stroke emergency transport plan must include:

(1) training requirements on stroke recognition and treatment, including emergency screening procedures;

(2) a list of appropriate early treatments to stabilize patients;

(3) protocols for rapid transport to a stroke facility when rapid transport is appropriate and it is safe to bypass another health care facility; and

(4) plans for coordination with statewide agencies or committees on programs for stroke prevention and community education regarding stroke and stroke emergency transport.

(c) In developing the stroke emergency transport plan and stroke facility criteria, the stroke committee shall consult the criteria for stroke facilities established by national medical organizations such as The Joint Commission.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 299 (S.B. 330), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1572, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 773.205: Rules

The executive commissioner may adopt rules regarding a statewide stroke emergency transport plan and stroke facility criteria based on recommendations from the advisory council.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 299 (S.B. 330), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Subchapter I

Sec. 773.251: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Educational curriculum" means a distance-learning emergency medical services curriculum that provides remote courses of instruction and training to emergency medical services personnel who serve a rural area.

(2) "General academic teaching institution," "medical and dental unit," "other agency of higher education," and "public technical institute" have the meanings assigned by Section 61.003, Education Code.

(3) "Program" means the emergency medical services assistance program established under this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1009 (H.B. 1407), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 773.252: Establishment of Program

(a) The department shall establish the emergency medical services assistance program to provide financial and educational assistance to eligible emergency medical services providers.

(b) The program includes grants to eligible emergency medical services providers and an educational curriculum to provide training to rural emergency medical services personnel.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1009 (H.B. 1407), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 773.253: Rules

(a) The executive commissioner shall adopt rules necessary to implement this subchapter, including rules for:

(1) determining eligibility under the program;

(2) establishing requirements for the educational curriculum; and

(3) establishing requirements for a general academic teaching institution, medical and dental unit, other agency of higher education, or public technical institute that develops and offers the educational curriculum.

(b) The rules must require that:

(1) an emergency medical services provider demonstrate financial need to be eligible for assistance under the program;

(2) a general academic teaching institution, medical and dental unit, other agency of higher education, or public technical institute applying to offer the educational curriculum demonstrate the qualifications necessary to develop and offer the educational curriculum; and

(3) the educational curriculum provide to rural emergency medical services personnel the remote instructional courses and training necessary for the personnel to achieve department certification under Subchapter C.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1009 (H.B. 1407), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 773.254: Application By Emergency Medical Services Provider

(a) An emergency medical services provider may apply to the department in the form and manner provided by department rule to receive assistance under the program.

(b) If the department determines an applicant is eligible for assistance under the program, the department may provide a grant under Section 773.257 to the applicant.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1009 (H.B. 1407), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 773.255: Educational Curriculum

(a) A general academic teaching institution, medical and dental unit, other agency of higher education, or public technical institute may apply to the department in the form and manner provided by department rule to develop and offer the educational curriculum under this subchapter.

(b) The department may contract with not more than three qualified general academic teaching institutions, medical and dental units, other agencies of higher education, or public technical institutes to develop and offer the educational curriculum under this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1009 (H.B. 1407), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 773.256: Administrative Support

The department may provide administrative support to the program.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1009 (H.B. 1407), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 773.257: Grants

(a) The commissioner may use money from the permanent fund for emergency medical services and trauma care established under Section 403.106, Government Code, to provide grants, in addition to funding available from other sources, to emergency medical services providers applying for assistance under the program or to provide funding to a general academic teaching institution, medical and dental unit, other agency of higher education, or public technical institute offering the educational curriculum under this subchapter.

(b) The commissioner shall ensure that at least 60 percent of the grants provided under this section are provided to emergency medical services providers that serve a rural area.

(c) The executive commissioner by rule shall establish a procedure for the Governor's EMS and Trauma Advisory Council to establish priorities for issuance of grants under this section.

(d) The department shall distribute grants under this section in accordance with the requirements of Subsection (b) and the grant priorities established under Subsection (c).

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1009 (H.B. 1407), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Chapter 774

Sec. 774.001: Mutual Assistance Among Municipalities and Counties in Providing Emergency Medical Services

(a) On request, a county shall provide emergency medical services for a municipality within that county or for a county bordering that county if:

(1) an agreement has been executed between the county and the requesting municipality or county;

(2) an emergency exists in the requesting municipality or county;

(3) the requesting municipality or county is temporarily unable to provide its own emergency medical services;

(4) the request is for services that the county receiving the request provides or contracts to provide for persons within its jurisdiction; and

(5) the county providing the services will be able to provide reasonable protection to persons within its jurisdiction while providing services for the requesting municipality or county.

(b) On request, a municipality shall provide emergency medical services for the county in which that municipality is located or for a municipality located within 30 miles of that municipality if:

(1) an agreement has been executed between the municipality and the requesting municipality or county;

(2) an emergency exists in the requesting municipality or county;

(3) the requesting municipality or county is temporarily unable to provide its own emergency medical services;

(4) the request is for services that the municipality receiving the request provides or contracts to provide for persons within its jurisdiction; and

(5) the municipality providing the services will be able to provide reasonable protection to persons within its jurisdiction while providing services for the requesting municipality or county.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 774.002: Educational Incentive Pay for Emergency Medical Technicians

(a) A municipality or other political subdivision that employs emergency medical technicians may pay educational incentive pay to employees holding certificates from the Department of State Health Services as emergency medical technicians.

(b) The educational incentive pay is in addition to any other form of compensation provided by law for emergency medical technicians.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1573, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 774.003: Emergency Ambulance Service Provided By Counties

(a) The commissioners court of a county may provide for emergency ambulance service in the county, including the provision of necessary equipment, personnel, and maintenance for the service.

(b) In providing for the services authorized by Subsection (a), a commissioners court may enter into exclusive agreements with any municipality, hospital district, sheriff's office, fire department, private ambulance service, or other agency or entity that the commissioners court finds to be suitably organized to provide efficient emergency ambulance service in the county. The governing body of a municipality or hospital district in which emergency ambulance service is to be rendered must approve an agreement made with the commissioners court to provide that service in the municipality or hospital district.

(c) A commissioners court operating under this section may expend county funds to defray the expense of establishing, operating, and maintaining the emergency ambulance service in the county. The funds may be expended whether the service is provided directly by the county or by agreement with some other governmental agency or private entity.

(d) A commissioners court providing emergency ambulance service under this section shall establish reasonable fees for the service. The commissioners court or any other agency or entity performing the service may charge and collect the fees.

(e) A commissioners court may make special provisions for rendering emergency ambulance service to indigent persons.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 915, Sec. 20, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Sec. 774.004: Municipal Police Officer Response Accompanying Municipal Ambulance Response Outside Municipality

(a) This section applies to an agreement between two municipalities under Section 774.001(b) or between a county and a municipality under Section 774.001(b) or 774.003.

(b) The agreement may authorize police officers employed by the responding municipality to secure the scene of an emergency, accident, fire, or disaster to which the municipality's emergency ambulance service responds under the agreement.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 479 (H.B. 233), Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2005.

Chapter 775

Subchapter A

Sec. 775.001: Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) "Board" means the board of emergency services commissioners.

(2) "District" means an emergency services district created under this chapter.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 775.002: Liberal Construction

This chapter and a proceeding under this chapter shall be liberally construed to achieve the purposes of this chapter.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 775.003: Authorization

An emergency services district may be organized as provided by Article III, Section 48-e, of the Texas Constitution, as proposed by S.J.R. No. 27, Acts of the 70th Legislature, Regular Session, 1987, and adopted by the voters at an election held November 3, 1987, and by this chapter to protect life and health.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Subchapter B

Sec. 775.011: Petition for Creation of District Located Wholly in One County

(a) Before a district located wholly in one county may be created, the county judge of that county must receive a petition signed by at least 100 qualified voters who own taxable real property in the proposed district. If there are fewer than 100 of those voters, the petition must be signed by a majority of those voters.

(b) The name of the district proposed by the petition must be "____________ County Emergency Services District No. __________," with the name of the county and the proper consecutive number inserted.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 775.012: Petition for Creation of District Located in More Than One County

(a) Before a district that contains territory located in more than one county may be created, the county judge of each county in which the proposed district will be located must receive a petition signed by at least 100 qualified voters who own taxable real property that is located in the county in which that judge presides and in the proposed district. If there are fewer than 100 of those voters, the petition must be signed by a majority of those voters.

(b) The name of the district proposed by the petition must be "__________ Emergency Services District No. __________." The name of each county must be inserted in the first blank, and the next available district number must be inserted into the second blank.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 496, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 775.013: Contents of Petition

(a) The petition prescribed by Section 775.011 or 775.012 must show:

(1) that the district is to be created and is to operate under Article III, Section 48-e, Texas Constitution, and Chapter 775;

(2) the name of the proposed district;

(3) the proposed district's boundaries as designated by metes and bounds or other sufficient legal description;

(4) the services that the proposed district will provide;

(5) that the creation of the proposed district complies with Sections 775.020 and 775.0205;

(6) the mailing address of each petitioner; and

(7) the name of each municipality whose consent must be obtained under Section 775.014.

(a-1) A statement that the boundaries of the district are coextensive with the boundaries of another political subdivision, as those boundaries exist on a particular date, is a sufficient legal description for purposes of Subsection (a)(3).

(b) The petition must contain an agreement signed by at least two petitioners that obligates them to pay not more than $150 of the costs incident to the formation of the district, including the costs of publishing notices, election costs, and other necessary and incidental expenses.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1333, Sec. 1, eff. June 16, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 886, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 235, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 930, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 10.009, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 87 (S.B. 718), Sec. 1, eff. May 17, 2005.

Sec. 775.014: Creation of District That Includes Municipal Territory

(a) Before a district may be created that contains territory in a municipality's limits or extraterritorial jurisdiction, a written request to be included in the district must be presented to the municipality's governing body after the petition is filed under Section 775.015. Except as provided by Subsection (c), that territory may not be included in the district unless the municipality's governing body gives its written consent on or before the 60th day after the date on which the municipality receives the request.

(b) If the municipality's governing body does not consent to inclusion within the 60-day period prescribed by Subsection (a), a majority of the qualified voters and the owners of at least 50 percent of the territory in the municipality's limits or extraterritorial jurisdiction that would have been included in the district may petition the governing body to make fire control and emergency medical and ambulance services available. The petition must be submitted to the governing body not later than the 90th day after the date on which the municipality receives the request under Subsection (a).

(c) If the municipality's governing body refuses or fails to act on the petition requesting fire protection and emergency medical and ambulance services within six months after the date on which the petition submitted under Subsection (b) is received, the governing body's refusal or failure to act constitutes consent for the territory that is the subject of the petition to be included in the proposed district.

(d) If the proposed district will include territory designated by a municipality as an industrial district under Section 42.044, Local Government Code, consent to include the industrial district must be obtained from the municipality's governing body in the same manner provided by this section for obtaining consent to include territory within the limits or extraterritorial jurisdiction of a municipality.

(e) If the municipality's governing body consents to inclusion of territory within its limits or extraterritorial jurisdiction, or in an industrial district, the territory may be included in the district in the same manner as other territory is included under this chapter.

(f) A governing body's consent to include territory in the district and to initiate proceedings to create a district as prescribed by this chapter expires six months after the date on which the consent is given.

(g) This section does not apply if the proposed district contains territory in the unincorporated area of a county with a population of 3.3 million or more.

(h) The governing body of a municipality with a population of more than one million may negotiate with the commissioners court of a county with a population of less than 1.8 million that is the county in which the majority of the territory inside the municipality's corporate boundaries is located conditions under which the municipality will grant its consent to the inclusion of its extraterritorial jurisdiction in the district. The negotiated conditions may:

(1) limit the district's ability to incur debt;

(2) require the district to ensure that its equipment is compatible with the municipality's equipment; and

(3) require the district to enter into mutual aid agreements.

(i) A request submitted under this section to a municipality described by Subsection (h) must include:

(1) a copy of the petition submitted under Section 775.015; and

(2) a sufficient legal description of the portion of the municipality and its extraterritorial jurisdiction that would be included in the district territory.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 5, Sec. 1, eff. Feb. 28, 1991; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 496, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 886, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1163 (H.B. 2702), Sec. 53, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 775.015: Filing of Petition and Notice of Hearing

(a) If the petition is in proper form, the county judge may receive the petition and shall file the petition with the county clerk.

(b) At the next regular or special session of the commissioners court held after the petition is filed with the county clerk, the commissioners court shall set a place, date, and time for the hearing to consider the petition.

(c) The county clerk shall give notice of the hearing. The notice must state:

(1) that creation of a district is proposed;

(2) that the district is to be created and is to operate under Article III, Section 48-e, of the Texas Constitution, as proposed by S.J.R. No. 27, Acts of the 70th Legislature, Regular Session, 1987, and adopted by the voters at an election held November 3, 1987;

(3) the name of the proposed district;

(4) the district's boundaries as stated in the petition;

(5) the place, date, and time of the hearing; and

(6) that each person who has an interest in the creation of the district may attend the hearing and present grounds for or against creation of the district.

(d) The county clerk shall retain a copy of the notice and shall deliver sufficient copies of the notice to the sheriff for posting and publication as prescribed by Subsection (e).

(e) Not later than the 21st day before the date on which the hearing will be held, the sheriff shall post one copy of the notice at the courthouse door. The sheriff shall also have the notice published in a newspaper of general circulation in the proposed district once a week for two consecutive weeks. The first publication must occur not later than the 21st day before the date on which the hearing will be held.

(f) The return of each officer executing notice must:

(1) be endorsed or attached to a copy of the notice;

(2) show the execution of the notice;

(3) specify each date on which the notice was posted or published; and

(4) include a printed copy of the published notice.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 775.016: Hearing

(a) At the time and place set for the hearing or at a later date then set, the commissioners court shall consider the petition and each issue relating to creation of the district.

(b) Any interested person may appear before the commissioners court in person or by attorney to support or oppose the creation of the district and may offer pertinent testimony.

(c) The commissioners court has exclusive jurisdiction to determine each issue relating to the creation of the district, including any matters negotiated with a consenting municipality under Section 775.014(h), and may issue incidental orders it considers proper in relation to the issues before the commissioners court. The commissioners court may adjourn the hearing as necessary.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 886, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.017: Petition Approval

(a) If after the hearing the commissioners court finds that creation of the district is feasible and will promote the public safety, welfare, health, and convenience of persons residing in the proposed district, the commissioners court shall grant the petition, fix the district's boundaries, and impose any conditions negotiated under Section 775.014(h). If the proposed district, according to its boundaries stated in the petition, is located wholly in a county with a population of more than 3.3 million, the commissioners court may amend the petition to change the boundaries of the proposed district if the commissioners court finds the change is necessary or desirable. For the purposes of this provision, the population of the county is determined according to the most recent federal decennial census available at the time the petition is filed.

(b) If the proposed district will include territory in the municipal limits or extraterritorial jurisdiction of one or more municipalities, the commissioners court of the county in which the municipality is located must determine if the district would still meet the requirements prescribed by Subsection (a) if the territory in the municipality's limits or extraterritorial jurisdiction is excluded from the district. The commissioners court must make this finding for each municipality the territory of which will be included in the district.

(c) If the commissioners court finds that the proposed district does not meet the requirements prescribed by Subsection (a), the commissioners court shall deny the petition.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 269, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 886, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1163 (H.B. 2702), Sec. 54, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 775.018: Election

(a) On the granting of a petition, the commissioners court shall order an election to confirm the district's creation and authorize the imposition of a tax not to exceed the rate allowed by Section 48-e, Article III, Texas Constitution. Any conditions negotiated under Section 775.014(h) must be included on the ballot.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 123, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

(c) If the petition indicates that the proposed district will contain territory in more than one county, the commissioners court may not order an election until the commissioners court of each county in which the district will be located has granted the petition.

(d) Subject to Section 4.003, Election Code, the notice of the election shall be given in the same manner as the notice of the petition hearing.

(e) The election shall be held on the first authorized uniform election date prescribed by the Election Code that allows sufficient time to comply with other requirements of law.

(f) If the territory of a district proposed under this chapter overlaps with the boundaries of another district created under this chapter, the commissioners court of each county in which the proposed district is located shall send to the board of the existing district a copy of the petition for creation of the proposed district. This subsection does not apply to a proposed district located wholly in a county with a population of more than three million.

(g) The board of the existing district shall adopt a statement before the date of the election required by this section that specifies the types of emergency services the existing district will provide or continue to provide in the overlapping territory if the proposed district is created. This subsection does not apply to a proposed district located wholly in a county with a population of more than three million.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 270, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 294, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 496, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 886, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1140, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 123 (S.B. 1621), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 123 (S.B. 1621), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 639 (S.B. 917), Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 775.019: Election Result and Commissioners Court Order

(a) A district is created and organized under this chapter if a majority of the votes cast in the election favor creation of the district.

(b) A district may not include territory in a municipality's limits or extraterritorial jurisdiction unless a majority of the voters residing in that territory who vote at the election vote in favor of creating the district subject to any conditions negotiated under Section 775.014(h) and imposing a tax. The exclusion of that territory does not affect the creation of a district that includes the remainder of the proposed territory if the commissioners court's findings under Section 775.017 are favorable to the district's creation.

(c) Repealed by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 620, Sec. 2, eff. June 16, 1991.

(d) If a majority of those voting at the election vote against creation of the district, the commissioners court may not order another election for at least one year after the date of the official canvass of the most recent election concerning creation of the district. A subsequent election must be held in the same manner provided by this chapter for the original creation election.

(e) When a district is created, the commissioners court of each county in which the district is located shall enter in its minutes an order that reads substantially as follows:

Whereas, at an election held on the ______ day of ____________, 19___, in that part of ____________ County, State of Texas, described as (insert description unless the district is countywide), there was submitted to the qualified voters the question of whether that territory should be formed into an emergency services district under state law; and

Whereas, at the election ______ votes were cast in favor of formation of the district and ______ votes were cast against formation; and

Whereas, the formation of the emergency services district received the affirmative vote of the majority of the votes cast at the election as provided by law;

Now, therefore, the Commissioners Court of ____________ County, State of Texas, finds and orders that the tract described in this order has been duly and legally formed into an emergency services district (or a portion thereof) under the name of ____________, under Article III, Section 48-e, of the Texas Constitution, as proposed by S.J.R. No. 27, Acts of the 70th Legislature, Regular Session, 1987, and adopted by the voters at an election held November 3, 1987, and has the powers vested by law in the district.

(f) Any conditions that were negotiated under Section 775.014(h) and included on the ballot must be included in the order entered under this section.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 620, Sec. 2, eff. June 16, 1991; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 886, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.020: Overlapping Districts Located Wholly in Populous County

(a) This section applies only to a district located wholly in a county with a population of more than three million.

(b) If the territory in a district created under this chapter overlaps with the boundaries of another district created under this chapter, a district converted under this chapter, or a district converted under former Section 794.100, the most recently created district may not provide services in the overlapping territory that duplicate the services provided by the other district at the time the overlapping district was created.

(c) For purposes of this section, a district is created on the date on which the election approving its creation was held. If the elections approving the creation of two or more districts are held on the same date, the most recently created district is the district for which the hearing regarding approval of the petition for creation of the district was most recently held.

(d) The creation of a district with boundaries that overlap the boundaries of another district does not affect the validity of either district.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1333, Sec. 2, eff. June 16, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1204, Sec. 1.001, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 775.0205: Overlapping Districts

(a) If the territory in a district created under this chapter overlaps with the boundaries of another district created under this chapter, the most recently created district may not provide services in the overlapping territory that duplicate the services described in the statement required by Section 775.018(g).

(b) If the territory in more than two districts overlaps, the commissioners court of the county in which the most recently created district is located by order shall exclude the overlapping territory from that district.

(c) For purposes of this section, a district is created on the date on which the election approving its creation was held. If the elections approving the creation of two or more districts are held on the same date, the most recently created district is the district for which the hearing regarding approval of the petition for creation of the district was most recently held.

(d) The creation of a district with boundaries that overlap the boundaries of another district does not affect the validity of either district.

(d-1) The legislature finds that the performance of non-duplicative emergency services in the overlapping territory of emergency service districts is complementary to and not in conflict with the powers and duties of the respective districts.

(d-2) A person may serve as an emergency services commissioner of a district created under this chapter at the same time that the person serves as an emergency services commissioner of another district with overlapping territory created under this chapter.

(d-3) A person serving as a commissioner of more than one district under this section:

(1) may receive compensation for serving on only one board; and

(2) is entitled to reimbursement for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in performing official duties for both boards.

(e) This section does not apply to a district located wholly in a county with a population of more than three million.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1333, Sec. 3, eff. June 16, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1204, Sec. 1.002, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 639 (S.B. 917), Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 775.021: Exclusion of Territory Located Within Other Taxing Authority

(a) This section applies only to a district located in whole or in part in a county that:

(1) borders the Gulf of Mexico; and

(2) has a population of less than 1.5 million.

(b) The board of a district may exclude from the district the territory located within the boundaries of another taxing authority if the other taxing authority provides the same services to the territory as those provided by the district.

(c) The board, at its discretion, may hold a hearing to consider the exclusion of the territory.

(d) The board shall hold a hearing to consider the exclusion of the territory if the board receives a petition requesting a hearing on the issue that is signed by at least five percent of the qualified voters who own taxable real property in the district. A petition submitted under this subsection must describe the proposed new boundaries of the district or describe the boundaries of the territory to be excluded from the district.

(e) The board shall issue a notice of a hearing to be held under Subsection (c) or (d). The provisions of Section 775.015 relating to the procedure for issuing notice of a hearing to create the district apply to the notice for the hearing under this section. The notice must state:

(1) the proposed new boundaries of the district or of the territory to be excluded;

(2) the time and place of the hearing; and

(3) that each person who has an interest in the exclusion or nonexclusion of the territory may attend the hearing and present the person's opinion for or against the exclusion of the territory.

(f) After the hearing the board either may order an election on the question of the exclusion of the territory or may declare by resolution the territory excluded from the district. However, the board may not declare the territory as excluded if the owners of at least three percent of the property located in the district protest the exclusion.

(g) If the board excludes the territory by resolution, the board shall state in the resolution the new boundaries of the district. The board shall file a copy of the resolution in the office of the county clerk of each county in which the district is located. The county clerk of each affected county shall record the resolution in the county records. After the resolution is recorded, the excluded territory is no longer a part of the district.

(h) The board shall order an election on the question of exclusion if:

(1) the owners of at least three percent of the property located in the district protest the exclusion; or

(2) the board:

(A) despite the lack of a protest, refuses to exclude the territory; and

(B) after refusing to exclude the territory, receives a petition requesting an election that is signed by a majority of the qualified voters who own taxable real property in the territory proposed to be excluded.

(i) Except as otherwise required by the Election Code, the election notice, the manner and time of giving the notice, and the manner of holding the election are governed by the applicable provisions of this chapter relating to the original election to create the district.

(j) If a majority of the voters voting in the election favor excluding the territory from the district, the board shall enter an order declaring the territory excluded from the district and stating the new boundaries of the district. The board shall file a copy of the order in the office of the county clerk of each county in which the district is located. The county clerk of each affected county shall record the order in the county records. After the order is recorded, the excluded territory is no longer a part of the district.

(k) If a majority of the voters voting in the election do not favor excluding the territory, the board may not act on a petition to exclude all or part of the territory until the first anniversary of the date of the most recent election to exclude the territory from the district.

(l) The exclusion of territory under this section does not diminish or impair the rights of the holders of any outstanding and unpaid bonds, warrants, or other obligations of the district.

(m) Territory excluded under this section is not released from the payment of its pro rata share of the district's indebtedness. The district shall continue to levy taxes each year on the excluded territory at the same rate levied on territory in the district until the taxes collected from the excluded territory equal its pro rata share of the indebtedness of the district at the time the territory was excluded. The taxes collected under this subsection shall be applied exclusively to the payment of the excluded territory's pro rata share of the indebtedness. The owner of all or part of the excluded territory may pay in full, at any time, the owner's share of the pro rata share of the district's indebtedness.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 271, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

Sec. 775.022: Removal of Territory By Municipality

(a) If a municipality completes all other procedures necessary to annex territory in a district and if the municipality intends to remove the territory from the district and be the sole provider of emergency services to the territory by the use of municipal personnel or by some method other than by use of the district, the municipality shall send written notice of those facts to the board. The municipality must send the notice to the secretary of the board by certified mail, return receipt requested. The territory remains part of the district and does not become part of the municipality until the secretary of the board receives the notice. On receipt of the notice, the board shall immediately change its records to show that the territory has been disannexed from the district and shall cease to provide further services to the residents of that territory. This subsection does not require a municipality to remove from a district territory the municipality has annexed.

(b) The disannexation of territory under this section does not diminish or impair the rights of the holders of any outstanding and unpaid bonds, warrants, or other obligations of the district including loans and lease-purchase agreements.

(c) If a municipality removes territory from a district that the municipality has annexed, the municipality shall compensate the district immediately after disannexation of the territory under Subsection (a) in an amount equal to the annexed territory's pro rata share of the district's bonded and other indebtedness as computed according to the formula in Subsection (e) or (e-1), whichever yields the greater amount. The district shall apply compensation received from a municipality under this subsection exclusively to the payment of the annexed territory's pro rata share of the district's bonded and other indebtedness.

(d) On the district's request, a municipality shall purchase from the district at fair market value any real or personal property used to provide emergency services in territory disannexed under this section.

(e) Unless Subsection (e-1) would yield a greater amount, the amount of compensation under Subsection (c) shall be determined by multiplying the district's total indebtedness at the time of the annexation by a fraction the numerator of which is the assessed value of the property to be annexed based on the most recent certified county property tax rolls at the time of annexation and the denominator of which is the total assessed value of the property of the district based on the most recent certified county property tax rolls at the time of annexation.

(e-1) Unless Subsection (e) would yield a greater amount, the amount of compensation under Subsection (c) shall be determined by multiplying the district's total indebtedness at the time of the annexation by a fraction:

(1) the numerator of which is the assessed value of the property to be annexed based on the most recent certified county property tax rolls at the time of annexation plus the total amount of the district's sales and use tax revenue collected by retailers located in the property to be annexed in the 12 months preceding the date of annexation, as reported by the comptroller; and

(2) the denominator of which is the total assessed value of the property of the district based on the most recent certified county property tax rolls at the time of annexation plus the total amount of the district's sales and use tax revenue collected by retailers located in the district in the 12 months preceding the date of annexation, as reported by the comptroller.

(f) For purposes of this section, total indebtedness includes loans and lease-purchase agreements but does not include:

(1) a loan or lease-purchase agreement the district enters into after the district receives notice of the municipality's intent to annex district territory; or

(2) any indebtedness attributed to any real or personal property that the district requires a municipality to purchase under Subsection (d).

(g) The amount of compensation under Subsection (c) shall be determined under Subsection (e) regardless of whether Subsection (e-1) would yield a greater amount if:

(1) the municipality is a municipality described by Section 775.014(h); and

(2) the municipality and the district enter into an agreement on or before September 1, 2019, regarding the district's bonded and other indebtedness.

Comments

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 620, Sec. 1, eff. June 16, 1991. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 392, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 496, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 235, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 907, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 930, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1363 (S.B. 1596), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 618 (S.B. 1083), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 775.0221: Arbitration Regarding Removed Territory

(a) The municipality and the district shall negotiate an agreement on the amount of compensation required under Section 775.022. If the municipality and the district cannot reach an agreement, the municipality and the district shall resolve the dispute using binding arbitration.

(b) A request for binding arbitration must be in writing and may not be made before the 60th day after the date the municipality receives notice from the district regarding the amount of compensation required under Section 775.022.

(c) The municipality and the district must agree on the arbitrator. If the parties cannot agree on the appointment of an arbitrator before the 11th business day after the date arbitration is requested, the mayor of the municipality shall immediately request a list of seven neutral arbitrators from the American Arbitration Association or the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service or their successors in function. An arbitrator included in the list must be a resident of this state and may not be a resident of a county in which any part of the municipality or any part of the district is located. The municipality and the district must agree on the appointment of an arbitrator included in the list. If the municipality and the district cannot agree on the arbitrator before the 11th business day after the date the list is provided to the parties, each party or the party's designee may alternately strike a name from the list. The remaining person on the list shall be appointed as the arbitrator. In this subsection, "business day" means a day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or state or national holiday.

(d) The arbitrator shall:

(1) set a hearing to be held not later than the 10th day after the date the arbitrator is appointed; and

(2) notify the parties to the arbitration in writing of the time and place of the hearing not later than the eighth day before the date of the hearing.

(e) The arbitrator may:

(1) receive in evidence any documentary evidence or other information the arbitrator considers relevant;

(2) administer oaths; and

(3) issue subpoenas to require:

(A) the attendance and testimony of witnesses; and

(B) the production of books, records, and other evidence relevant to an issue presented to the arbitrator for determination.

(f) Unless the parties to the dispute agree otherwise, the arbitrator shall complete the hearing within two consecutive days. The arbitrator shall permit each party one day to present evidence and other information. The arbitrator, for good cause shown, may schedule an additional hearing to be held not later than the seventh day after the date of the first hearing. Unless otherwise agreed to by the parties, the arbitrator must issue a decision in writing and deliver a copy of the decision to the parties not later than the 14th day after the date of the final hearing.

(g) The municipality and the district shall share the cost of arbitration.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 235, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 907, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 775.0235: Removal of Certain Territory on Request of Municipality

(a) The board shall remove territory from a district as provided by this section, on request of a municipality, if the territory:

(1) was included in the corporate limits of the municipality at the time the territory was first included in the district;

(2) is included in any part of a district that is composed of two or more territories that are not contiguous to each other; and

(3) is surrounded on at least three sides by territory inside the municipal boundaries of a municipality with a population of 400,000 or more.

(b) The board shall, on request of the municipality, immediately disannex the territory from the district and shall cease to provide further services to the residents of that territory.

(c) On request by the municipality, in connection with a disannexation under Subsection (b), the board shall immediately disannex all territory in the district that is included in the municipality's extraterritorial jurisdiction and shall cease to provide further services to the residents of such additional territory.

(d) The disannexation of territory under this section does not diminish or impair the rights of the holders of any outstanding and unpaid bonds, warrants, or other obligations of the district.

(e) If territory is disannexed under this section, the municipality shall compensate the district in an amount equal to the disannexed territory's pro rata share of the district's indebtedness at the time the territory is disannexed. The district shall apply compensation received from a municipality under this subsection exclusively to the payment of the disannexed territory's pro rata share of the district's indebtedness.

(f) On the district's request, a municipality shall purchase from the district at fair market value any real or personal property used to provide emergency services in territory disannexed under this section. If any part of the indebtedness for which the district receives compensation under Subsection (e) was for the purchase of the real or personal property that the municipality purchases under this subsection, the fair market value of that property for the purpose of this subsection is reduced by a percentage equal to the disannexed territory's pro rata share under Subsection (e).

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 475, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 775.024: Consolidation of Emergency Services Districts

(a) Two or more emergency services districts may consolidate into a single emergency services district as provided by this section. Before consolidating, the board of each district must:

(1) determine that consolidation would allow the districts to provide services more economically and efficiently; and

(2) adopt a joint order of consolidation that includes:

(A) the name and proposed territory of the consolidated district;

(B) the proposed date on which the existing districts dissolve and the consolidated district is created and will start offering services;

(C) if the maximum ad valorem tax rates in the districts are different, a statement that the districts will consolidate only if voters approve an equalized ad valorem tax rate at the election required by Section 775.0241; and

(D) a statement that the district will be consolidated only if the residents of the district and the residents of at least one other district approve the consolidation in an election held for that purpose.

(b) The boards shall agree on a name for the proposed consolidated district and choose five commissioners from among the membership of the boards to serve on the initial board for the proposed district. The boards shall agree to stagger the terms appropriately.

(c) If the boards do not make the appointments before the 31st day after the date the boards adopted the joint order:

(1) for a consolidated district to which Section 775.0345 or 775.035 does not apply, the commissioners court shall appoint five commissioners to the board of the consolidated district; or

(2) for a consolidated district to which Section 775.0345 or 775.035 does apply, the board of the consolidated district is initially composed of the two commissioners from each existing board who have served the longest terms.

(c-1) The number of initial emergency services commissioners on a board described by Subsection (c)(2) is not required to be five.

(d) The ballot for the election to approve a consolidation shall be printed to permit voting for or against the proposition: "The consolidation of the _________ (insert district names) to create the _______________ (insert name of proposed district), which assumes all outstanding debts of the existing districts." The ballot shall include a proposition for an election required under Section 775.0241, if applicable.

(e) If a majority of the voters voting in at least two of the districts proposed to be consolidated favor the consolidation, the consolidated district is created and is composed of the districts that favored the consolidation. If less than a majority of the voters voting in any of the districts are in favor of the consolidation, that district is not part of any consolidated district.

(f) The consolidated district is created on the latest of:

(1) the date stated in the joint order;

(2) the date the consolidation is approved in an election described by Subsection (d); or

(3) the date the maximum ad valorem tax rate the consolidated district may impose under Section 775.0241 is established, if necessary.

(g) The consolidated district assumes all powers, rights, duties, assets, and liabilities of the former districts without a change in status. The consolidation does not diminish or impair the rights of the holders of any outstanding and unpaid bonds, warrants, or obligations of the district.

(h) For a consolidated district to which Section 775.0345 or 775.035 applies, the initial commissioners of the consolidated district serve until the next available uniform election date after the date the joint order is adopted and that allows sufficient time to comply with other requirements of law. After an election is held under Section 775.0345 or 775.035:

(1) the two commissioners who receive the fewest votes of the elected commissioners serve terms ending on December 31 of the second year following the year in which the election is held; and

(2) the remaining elected commissioners serve terms ending on December 31 of the fourth year following the year in which the election is held.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1101 (H.B. 2235), Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 639 (S.B. 917), Sec. 3, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 775.0241: Taxes for Consolidated District

(a) If two districts that want to consolidate under Section 775.024 have different maximum ad valorem tax rates, the board of the district with the lower maximum ad valorem tax rate shall order an election in its district under Section 775.0745 to authorize the imposition of taxes in the territory of that district at a maximum rate that equals the maximum rate authorized in the district with the higher maximum rate.

(b) If a majority of the voters do not favor the increase in the maximum ad valorem tax rate under Subsection (a), the districts may not proceed with the consolidation.

(c) If the districts have different sales and use tax rates, the board of the consolidated district shall:

(1) designate the territory of the former districts as subdistricts;

(2) continue to impose the sales and use tax in each subdistrict at the rate the tax was imposed by the former district; and

(3) send to the comptroller by registered or certified mail:

(A) a copy of the joint order described by Section 775.024(a)(2); and

(B) a map of the consolidated district that clearly shows the territory of each subdistrict.

(d) Subsection (c) does not limit the authority of the board of the consolidated district to order an election under Section 775.0752 in a subdistrict or in the entire district.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 639 (S.B. 917), Sec. 4, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 775.025: Exclusion of Certain Territory Subject to Assessments

(a) The board shall hold a hearing to consider the exclusion from the district of territory in a planned community if the board receives a petition requesting a hearing on the issue that is signed by at least five percent of the qualified voters residing in the territory proposed to be excluded from the district. A petition submitted under this subsection must describe the boundaries of the territory to be excluded from the district.

(b) The board shall give notice of a hearing under this section. The procedure under Section 775.015 for issuing notice of a hearing to create the district applies to the notice under this section. The notice must state:

(1) the boundaries of the territory proposed to be excluded;

(2) the time and place of the hearing; and

(3) that each person who has an interest in the exclusion or nonexclusion of the territory may attend the hearing and present the person's opinion for or against the exclusion of the territory.

(c) After the hearing, if the board finds that the entity responsible for administering and collecting the ad valorem or annual variable budget based assessments in the territory to be excluded provides or contracts for the provision of substantially the same services as provided by the district, the board shall:

(1) order an election on the question of exclusion; or

(2) declare by resolution the territory excluded from the district.

(d) The board may not exclude territory by resolution if at least three percent of the qualified voters residing in the territory to be excluded from the district protest the exclusion in writing at the hearing.

(e) In a resolution excluding territory, the board shall describe the new boundaries of the district.

(f) The board shall order an election in the territory proposed to be excluded on the question of exclusion if:

(1) at least three percent of the qualified voters residing in the territory to be excluded protest the exclusion in writing at the hearing; or

(2) the board:

(A) despite the lack of a sufficient protest, refuses to exclude the territory; and

(B) not later than the 90th day after refusing to exclude the territory, receives a petition requesting an election that is signed by at least 10 percent of the qualified voters residing in the territory proposed to be excluded.

(g) Except as otherwise provided by the Election Code, the provisions of this chapter relating to the election creating the district apply to the election notice, the manner and time of giving the notice, and the manner of holding the election under this section.

(h) For purposes of the election, the order calling the election shall divide the territory proposed to be excluded from the district into one or more precincts.

(i) If a majority of the votes in an election favor excluding the territory from the district, the board shall enter an order declaring the territory excluded from the district and describing the new boundaries of the district.

(j) The board shall file a copy of a resolution or order with the county clerk of each county in which the district is located. Each county clerk shall record the resolution or order. After the resolution or order is recorded, the excluded territory is no longer part of the district.

(k) If a majority of the votes in the election are against excluding the territory, the board may not act on a petition to exclude all or any part of the territory before the first anniversary of the date of the most recent election to exclude the territory.

(l) The exclusion of territory under this section does not diminish or impair the rights of the holders of any outstanding and unpaid bonds, warrants, or other district obligations. The district shall continue to impose taxes each year on the excluded territory at the same rate imposed on other territory in the district until the total amount of taxes collected from the excluded territory equals its pro rata share of the indebtedness of the district at the time the territory was excluded. The taxes collected under this subsection shall be applied only to the payment of the excluded territory's pro rata share of indebtedness. The owner of all or part of the excluded territory at any time may pay in full the owner's share of the excluded territory's pro rata share of the district's indebtedness at the time the territory was excluded.

(m) On or after the date on which the appropriate county clerk records the resolution or order excluding the territory from the district, the district or a fire department or ambulance service that contracts with the district is not required to provide to the excluded territory emergency service facilities, emergency services, or other services to protect the life and health of residents in the territory.

(n) For purposes of Subsection (o)(1), land ownership that is separated only by the claim of title by the state to the beds and banks of rivers or streams is considered contiguous. Land ownership that is separated by a farm-to-market road right-of-way, whether fee simple ownership or an easement, is not considered contiguous.

(o) In this section:

(1) "Planned community" means a planned community of 15,000 or more acres of land originally established under the Urban Growth and New Community Development Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. Section 4501 et seq.) that is:

(A) located in a county adjacent to a county with a population of 2,800,000 or more according to the most recent federal census; and

(B) subject to restrictive covenants containing ad valorem or annual variable budget based assessments on real property for use in part to finance services of the same general type provided by the district.

(2) "Territory in a planned community" means territory that:

(A) on the effective date of this section comprises all or part of a planned community; or

(B) on the effective date of this section is contiguous to a planned community and later becomes part of that planned community.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1424, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 3 (S.B. 267), Sec. 1, eff. April 22, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 3 (S.B. 267), Sec. 2, eff. April 22, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 3 (S.B. 267), Sec. 3, eff. April 22, 2005.

Sec. 775.026: Conversion of Rural Fire Prevention Districts to Emergency Services Districts

(a) Each rural fire prevention district created under former Chapter 794 is converted to an emergency services district operating under this chapter.

(b) The name of a district converted under this section is changed to "___ Emergency Services District No. ___," with the name of the county or counties in which the district is located and an appropriate number inserted to distinguish one district from another district.

(c) The emergency services district to which a rural fire prevention district converts assumes all obligations and outstanding indebtedness of the rural fire prevention district.

(d) A fire commissioner of a rural fire prevention district is an emergency services commissioner of the converted district on conversion of the district under this section and shall serve until the term for which the commissioner was appointed or elected expires.

Comments

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1204, Sec. 1.003, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 383 (S.B. 1435), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Subchapter C

Sec. 775.031: District Powers

(a) A district is a political subdivision of the state. To perform the functions of the district and to provide emergency services, a district may:

(1) acquire, purchase, hold, lease, manage, occupy, and sell real and personal property or an interest in property;

(2) enter into and perform necessary contracts;

(3) appoint and employ necessary officers, agents, and employees;

(4) sue and be sued;

(5) impose and collect taxes as prescribed by this chapter;

(6) accept and receive donations;

(7) lease, own, maintain, operate, and provide emergency services vehicles and other necessary or proper apparatus, instrumentalities, equipment, and machinery to provide emergency services;

(8) construct, lease, own, and maintain real property, improvements, and fixtures necessary to house, repair, and maintain emergency services vehicles and equipment;

(9) contract with other entities, including other districts or municipalities, to make emergency services facilities and emergency services available to the district;

(10) contract with other entities, including other districts or municipalities, for reciprocal operation of services and facilities if the contracting parties find that reciprocal operation would be mutually beneficial and not detrimental to the district;

(11) borrow money; and

(12) perform other acts necessary to carry out the intent of this chapter.

(b) A district located wholly within a county with a population of more than 3.3 million may not provide fire prevention or fire-fighting services unless the district:

(1) was originally a rural fire prevention district and was converted to an emergency services district under this chapter or former Section 794.100; or

(2) is created after September 1, 2003.

(b-1) A district that was formerly a rural fire prevention district that is not otherwise prohibited by statute from providing fire prevention or fire-fighting services may provide those services.

(c) A district may contract with the state or a political subdivision for law enforcement services or for enforcement of the district's fire code. A district may commission a peace officer or employ a person who holds a permanent peace officer license issued under Section 1701.307, Occupations Code, as a peace officer.

(d) A district is not required to perform all the functions authorized by this chapter. A district may be created to provide limited services.

(e) In the event of a conflict between a power granted under this chapter and a condition imposed in accordance with Section 775.019(f), the condition controls.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 272, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 392, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 496, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 886, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 235, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 930, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1204, Sec. 1.004, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1163 (H.B. 2702), Sec. 55, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 791 (S.B. 1425), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 775.0315: Legal Representation

(a) This section applies only to a district located wholly in a county with a population of 1.8 million or more in which two or more cities with a population of 350,000 or more are located.

(b) A district may employ or contract with private legal counsel to represent the district on any legal matter. If the district does not employ or contract with private legal counsel on a legal matter, the county attorney, district attorney, or criminal district attorney, as appropriate, with the duty to represent the county in civil matters shall represent the district.

(c) A district that receives legal services from a county attorney, district attorney, or criminal district attorney may employ additional private legal counsel on the board's determination that additional counsel is advisable. A district that contracts or employs private legal counsel under Subsection (b) may request and receive additional legal services from the county attorney, district attorney, or criminal district attorney, as appropriate, with the duty to represent the county in civil matters on the board's determination that additional counsel is necessary.

(d) If the district receives legal services from a county attorney, district attorney, or criminal district attorney, the district shall contribute money to be credited to the county's general fund account for the county attorney, district attorney, or criminal district attorney, as appropriate, in amounts sufficient to pay all additional salaries and expenses incurred by that officer in performing the duties required by the district.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 402 (H.B. 2038), Sec. 1, eff. June 10, 2015.

Sec. 775.032: Certain Businesses Not Subject to Ad Valorem Tax Or District Powers

(a) A business entity is not subject to the ad valorem tax authorized by this chapter or subject to the district's powers if the business entity:

(1) provides its own fire prevention and fire control services and owns or operates fire-fighting equipment or systems equivalent to or better than standards developed by the National Fire Protection Association or another nationally recognized association and for which the business entity receives the appropriate approval from the Texas Industrial Emergency Services Board of the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas;

(2) provides and operates its own equipped industrial ambulance with a licensed driver and provides industrial victim care by an emergency care attendant trained to provide the equivalent of ordinary basic life support, as defined by Section 773.003; and

(3) provides ordinary emergency services for the business entity, such as emergency response, as defined by 29 C.F.R. Sec. 1910.120, rescue, disaster planning, or security services, as recognized by the Texas Industrial Emergency Services Board of the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas, and provides the equipment, training, and facilities necessary to safely handle emergencies and protect the business entity and its neighbors in the community.

(b) This section shall not be construed to exempt a business from a sales and use tax authorized by Section 775.0751.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 40, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 273, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1204, Sec. 1.005, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 558 (H.B. 1267), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 775.033: Liability of District

(a) A district is not liable for a claim arising from the act or omission of an employee or volunteer under an oral or written contract with the district if the act or omission:

(1) is in the course and scope of the employee's or volunteer's duties for the district;

(2) takes place during the provision of emergency services;

(3) is not in violation of a statute or ordinance applicable to emergency action; and

(4) is not wilful or wantonly negligent.

(b) This section does not expand the liability of a district.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 775.034: Appointment of Board in District Located Wholly in One County

(a) The commissioners court of a county in which a single-county district is located shall appoint a five-member board of emergency services commissioners to serve as the district's governing body. To serve as a member of the board a person must be:

(1) at least 18 years of age; and

(2) a resident citizen of the state and:

(A) a qualified voter within areas served by the district; or

(B) the owner of land subject to taxation in the district.

(b) Except as prescribed by Subsection (c), commissioners serve two-year terms.

(c) After the votes are canvassed and the commissioners court enters the order creating the district, the commissioners court shall appoint the initial emergency services commissioners to serve until January 1 of the year following the district election. On January 1, the court shall designate three of those emergency services commissioners to serve a two-year term and two of those emergency services commissioners to serve a one-year term.

(d) On January 1 of each year, the commissioners court shall appoint a successor for each emergency services commissioner whose term has expired.

(e) The commissioners court shall fill a vacancy on the board for the remainder of the unexpired term.

(f) A member of the board who, because of municipal annexation, is no longer a qualified voter of an area served by the district or no longer owns land subject to taxation by the district may continue to serve until the expiration of the member's term.

(g) The commissioners court shall consider relevant factors in determining the individuals to appoint as emergency services commissioners, including whether the individuals have knowledge that relates to fire prevention or emergency medical services and that is relevant to the common policies and practices of the board.

(h) This section does not apply to a district located wholly in a county:

(1) with a population of more than three million;

(2) with a population of more than 200,000 that borders Lake Palestine; or

(3) with a population of less than 200,000 that borders another state and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 496, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 235, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 930, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 900 (H.B. 2653), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1347 (S.B. 1265), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 775.0341: Appointment of Board in Certain Districts Located in More Than One County

(a) This section applies only to a district that was authorized to have a board of emergency services commissioners appointed under former Section 776.0345 and that is located:

(1) partly in a county with a population of less than 22,000; and

(2) partly in a county with a population of more than 54,000.

(b) A five-member board of emergency services commissioners appointed under this section serves as the district's governing body. A commissioner serves a two-year term.

(c) The commissioners court of the smallest county in which the district is located shall appoint two commissioners to the board. The commissioners court of the largest county in which the district is located shall appoint three commissioners to the board.

(d) To be eligible for appointment as an emergency services commissioner under this section, a person must be at least 18 years of age and reside in the district. Two commissioners must reside in the smallest county in which the district is located, and three commissioners must reside in the largest county in which the district is located.

(e) On January 1 of each year, a commissioners court shall appoint a successor for each emergency services commissioner appointed by that commissioners court whose term has expired.

(f) The appropriate commissioners court shall fill a vacancy on the board for the remainder of the unexpired term.

Comments

Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 220 (H.B. 2788), Sec. 1, eff. May 29, 2017.

Sec. 775.0345: Election of Board in Certain Counties

(a) This section applies only to a district located wholly in a county:

(1) with a population of more than three million;

(2) with a population of more than 200,000 that borders Lake Palestine; or

(3) with a population of less than 200,000 that borders another state and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

(b) The governing body of a district consists of a five-person board of emergency services commissioners elected as prescribed by this section. Except as provided by Subsections (h) and (h-1), emergency services commissioners serve four-year terms.

(b-1) Notwithstanding Subsection (b), the governing body of a district described by Subsection (a)(2) or (3) is governed by a five-member board of emergency services commissioners elected from single-member districts. One director is elected from each single-member district. As soon as possible after the district is created, the commissioners court of the county in which the district is located shall divide the district into five numbered single-member districts.

(c) After a district is created, the county judge shall establish a convenient day provided by Section 41.001, Election Code, to conduct an election to elect the initial emergency services commissioners.

(d) To be eligible to be a candidate for emergency services commissioner, a person must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the district.

(d-1) Notwithstanding Subsection (d), to be eligible to be a candidate for emergency services commissioner in a single-member district on an initial board in a district described by Subsection (a)(2) or (3), a person must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of that single-member district.

(e) A candidate for emergency services commissioner on an initial board must give the voter registrar of the county a sworn notice of the candidate's intention to run for office. The notice must state the person's name, age, and address and state that the person is serving notice of intent to run for emergency services commissioner. If the person intends to run for emergency services commissioner in a single-member district in a district described by Subsection (a)(2) or (3), the notice must also specify the single-member district the person seeks to represent. On receipt of the notice, the voter registrar of the county shall have the candidate's name placed on the ballot.

(f) The voter registrar of the county shall appoint an election judge to certify the results of the election.

(g) After the election is held, the voter registrar or deputy registrar of the county shall prepare a sworn statement of the election costs incurred by the county. The statement shall be given to the newly elected board, which shall order the appropriate official to reimburse the county for the county's election costs.

(h) The initial emergency services commissioners' terms of office begin 30 days after canvassing of the election results. The two commissioners who received the fewest votes serve a term that expires on December 31 of the second year following the year in which the election was held. The other emergency services commissioners serve terms that expire on December 31 of the fourth year following the year in which the election was held.

(h-1) Notwithstanding Subsection (h), the five initial emergency services commissioners elected from single-member districts in a district described by Subsection (a)(2) or (3) shall draw lots to determine which two commissioners serve terms that expire on December 31 of the second year following the year in which the election was held and which three commissioners serve terms that expire on December 31 of the fourth year following the year in which the election was held.

(i) The board shall hold the general election for commissioner every two years on an authorized uniform election date as provided by Chapter 41, Election Code. The board may change the election date from one authorized election date to another authorized election date and shall adjust the terms of office to conform to the new election date.

(j) Subchapter C, Chapter 146, Election Code, applies to a write-in candidate for emergency services commissioner under this section in the same manner it applies to a write-in candidate for a city office under that subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 900 (H.B. 2653), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 454 (H.B. 2529), Sec. 1, eff. January 1, 2010.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1347 (S.B. 1265), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1347 (S.B. 1265), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 775.035: Election of Board in District Located in More Than One County

(a) The governing body of a district located in more than one county consists of a five-person board of emergency services commissioners elected as prescribed by this section. Except as provided by Subsection (g), emergency services commissioners serve four-year terms.

(b) After a district located in more than one county is created, the county judges of each county in the district shall mutually establish a convenient day provided by Section 41.001, Election Code, to conduct an election to elect the initial emergency services commissioners.

(c) To be eligible to be a candidate for emergency services commissioner of a district located in more than one county, a person must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the district.

(d) A candidate for emergency services commissioner must give the county clerk of each county in the district a sworn notice of the candidate's intention to run for office. The notice must state the person's name, age, and address and state that the person is serving notice of intent to run for emergency services commissioner. On receipt of the notice, the county clerk shall have the candidate's name placed on the ballot.

(e) The county clerks of each county in the district shall jointly appoint an election judge to certify the results of the election.

(f) After the election is held, the county clerk of each county or the clerk's deputy shall prepare a sworn statement of the election costs incurred by the county. The statement shall be given to the newly elected board, which shall order the appropriate official to reimburse each county for the county's election costs.

(g) The initial emergency services commissioners' terms of office begin 30 days after canvassing of the election results. The two commissioners who received the fewest votes serve a term that expires on December 31 of the second year following the year in which the election was held. The other emergency services commissioners serve terms that expire on December 31 of the fourth year following the year in which the election was held.

(h) The general election for commissioner shall be held every two years on an authorized uniform election date as provided by Chapter 41, Election Code. The board may change the election date from one authorized election date to another authorized election date and shall adjust the terms of office to conform to the new election date.

(i) Subchapter C, Chapter 146, Election Code, applies to a write-in candidate for emergency services commissioner under this section in the same manner it applies to a write-in candidate for a city office under that subchapter.

(j) This section does not apply to a district described by Section 775.0341.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 496, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 384 (S.B. 1437), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 454 (H.B. 2529), Sec. 2, eff. January 1, 2010.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 220 (H.B. 2788), Sec. 2, eff. May 29, 2017.

Sec. 775.0355: Disqualification of Emergency Services Commissioners in Certain Counties

(a) In this section, "emergency services organization" means:

(1) a volunteer fire department;

(2) a career or combination fire department;

(3) a municipal fire department;

(4) an emergency medical services organization under the jurisdiction of the Department of State Health Services;

(5) any other agency under the jurisdiction of the state fire marshal's office; or

(6) any other organization or corporation that governs an emergency services organization.

(b) This section applies only to a district located wholly in a county:

(1) with a population of more than three million;

(2) with a population of more than 200,000 that borders Lake Palestine; or

(3) with a population of less than 200,000 that borders another state and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

(c) A person is disqualified from serving as an emergency services commissioner if that person:

(1) is related within the third degree of affinity or consanguinity to:

(A) a person providing professional services to the district;

(B) a commissioner of the same district; or

(C) a person who is an employee or volunteer of an emergency services organization providing emergency services to the district;

(2) is an employee of a commissioner of the same district, attorney, or other person providing professional services to the district;

(3) is serving as an attorney, consultant, or architect or in some other professional capacity for the district or an emergency services organization providing emergency services to the district; or

(4) fails to maintain the qualifications required by law to serve as a commissioner.

(d) Any rights obtained by a third party through official action of a board covered by this section are not impaired or affected by the disqualification under this section of an emergency services commissioner to serve, provided that the third party had no knowledge, at the time the rights were obtained, of the fact that the commissioner was disqualified to serve.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 900 (H.B. 2653), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1347 (S.B. 1265), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1347 (S.B. 1265), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 775.036: Powers and Duties of Board

(a) The board shall:

(1) hold regular monthly meetings and other meetings as necessary;

(2) keep minutes and records of its acts and proceedings;

(3) give reports required by the state fire marshal, commissioner of health, and other authorized persons;

(4) on a written request from the commissioners court of a county in which the district is located received on or before December 31, give a written report not later than February 1 of the following year to the commissioners court regarding the district's budget, tax rate, and debt service for the preceding fiscal year; and

(5) administer the district in accordance with this chapter.

(b) The board may adopt and enforce a fire code, including fines for any violations, that does not conflict with a fire code adopted by any county that also contains within its boundaries any portion of the land contained in the district and may require inspections in the district relating to the causes and prevention of fires and medical emergencies, except as provided by Section 775.031(b). The fire code must be similar to standards adopted by a nationally recognized standards-making association. The board may not enforce the district's fire code within the boundaries of a municipality that has adopted a fire code, except for an area that has been annexed only for limited purposes in which the municipality does not enforce a fire code. The board of a district located wholly within a county with a population of three million or more may not adopt a fire code or a fine for a violation of the district's fire code unless the commissioners court of the county consents to the adoption of the code or fine.

(b-1) If a county that contains within its boundaries any portion of the land contained in the district adopts a fire code after the district adopts a code under Subsection (b), the board may continue to enforce its fire code in the area subject to the county fire code. To the extent of any conflict between the county's code and the district's code, the more stringent provision prevails.

(c) The board may promote educational programs it considers proper to help carry out the purposes of this chapter.

(d) Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 308, Sec. 4, eff. June 19, 2009.

(e) Chapter 551, Government Code, does not apply to a meeting of a committee:

(1) of the board if less than a board quorum attends; or

(2) composed of representatives of more than one board, if less than a quorum of any of the boards attends.

(f) Each January, the board shall publish the street address of the district's administrative office in eight-point type in the legal notices section of a newspaper of general circulation in the district. In a district's first year of operation, the board shall publish the notice not later than the 60th day after the date the initial board is appointed.

(g) The board may commission a peace officer or employ a person who holds a permanent peace officer license issued under Section 1701.307, Occupations Code, to inspect for fire hazards any structure, appurtenance, fixture, or other real property located in the district. The board may adopt procedures to order the owner or occupant of the property that fails an inspection to correct the hazardous situation.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 274, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 195, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 282, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 496, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 235, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 930, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 308 (H.B. 527), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 308 (H.B. 527), Sec. 4, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 775.0362: Limit on Regulation of Fireworks

Except as provided by Section 775.0363, the district may not regulate the sale, use, or transportation of fireworks.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 639 (S.B. 917), Sec. 5, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 775.0363: Regulation of Fireworks

The district may adopt a rule relating to fireworks that is the same as or less stringent than a rule adopted or enforced by the commissioner of insurance and the state fire marshal under Chapter 2154, Occupations Code, relating to retail fireworks stands, fireworks bulk manufacturing and storage facilities, fireworks sales buildings, or any other structure used in public pyrotechnic displays to which the rules adopted under Chapter 2154, Occupations Code, apply.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 639 (S.B. 917), Sec. 5, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 775.0365: Board Training

(a) An emergency services commissioner shall complete at least six hours of continuing education relating to the performance of the duties of an emergency services commissioner at least once in a two-year period.

(b) Continuing education instruction required by Subsection (a) must be certified by an institution of higher education as defined by Section 61.003, Education Code.

(c) For purposes of Subsection (a), an emergency services commissioner may carry forward from one two-year period to the next two-year period not more than three continuing education hours that the commissioner completes in excess of the required six hours.

(d) For purposes of removal under Section 775.0422 or 775.0423, "incompetency" includes the failure of an emergency services commissioner to comply with Subsection (a).

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 639 (S.B. 917), Sec. 6, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 775.0366: Service Contracts

(a) In this section, "local government" has the meaning assigned by Section 791.003, Government Code.

(b) The board may contract with a local government, including another district, to provide staff, facilities, equipment, programs, or services the board considers necessary to provide or obtain emergency services that the district or the local government is authorized to provide.

(c) A person acting under a contract under this section, including an emergency services commissioner, does not, because of that action, hold more than one civil office of emolument or more than one office of honor, trust, or profit.

(d) Except as provided by Subsection (e), if a district contracts with a local government under this section to provide or obtain emergency services, the district is responsible for any civil liability that arises from furnishing those services if the district would have been responsible for furnishing the services in the absence of the contract.

(e) The parties to a contract between governmental entities under this section may agree to assign responsibility for civil liability that arises from services provided under the contract in any manner agreed to by the parties. The parties must assign that responsibility in a written provision of the contract that specifically refers to this subsection and states that the assignment of liability is intended to be different from liability otherwise assigned under Subsection (d).

(f) This section does not change the liability limits and immunities for a governmental unit under Chapter 101, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, or other law.

(g) A contract under this section is not a joint enterprise for liability purposes.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 639 (S.B. 917), Sec. 6, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 775.037: Officers of Board

(a) The emergency services commissioners shall elect from among their members a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and assistant treasurer to perform the duties usually required of the respective offices. The office of secretary and treasurer may be combined.

(b) The treasurer must execute and file with the county clerk a bond conditioned on the faithful execution of the treasurer's duties. The treasurer of a district located in more than one county shall file the bond with the county clerk of the county with the largest population in the district. The county judge of the county in which the bond is to be filed must determine the amount and sufficiency of the bond before it is filed.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 775.038: Compensation; Conflict of Interest

(a) Repealed by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 219 (H.B. 2504), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

(a-1) A commissioner of a district is entitled to receive compensation in the same manner and amount as are provided by Section 49.060, Water Code.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 219 (H.B. 2504), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

(c) Repealed by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 219 (H.B. 2504), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

(d) Commissioners are subject to Chapter 171, Local Government Code.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 392, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 219 (H.B. 2504), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 219 (H.B. 2504), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 775.039: Differential Pay and Benefits for Employees of Emergency Services Districts

(a) A board may provide differential pay to a district employee who is a member of the state military forces or a reserve component of the United States armed forces who is called to active duty if:

(1) the board adopts a policy providing for differential pay for all similarly situated employees; and

(2) the employee's military pay is less than the employee's gross pay from the district.

(b) The combination of differential pay and military pay may not exceed the employee's actual gross pay from the district.

(c) For purposes of this section, military pay does not include money the employee receives:

(1) for service in a combat zone;

(2) as hardship pay; or

(3) for being separated from the employee's family.

(d) The differential pay provided by Subsection (a) begins when the benefits allowed under Section 437.202, Government Code, are exhausted and continues until the employee's active military duty terminates.

(e) The board may extend the insurance benefits provided by the district to a district employee who is a member of the state military forces or a reserve component of the United States armed forces who is called to active duty and to the employee's dependents. The extension period begins when the benefits allowed under Section 437.202, Government Code, are exhausted and continues until the employee's active military duty terminates.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1097 (S.B. 1477), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1217 (S.B. 1536), Sec. 3.12, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 775.040: Fees for Providing Services

A district, or a person authorized by contract on the district's behalf, may charge a reasonable fee for emergency services performed for or on behalf of a person or entity, including a fee for responding to a false alarm or for a fire code inspection.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 392, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 496, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 775.041: Fee Payment and Collection

(a) A fee imposed by a district under Section 775.040 must be paid within a reasonable amount of time as established by the district.

(b) If the fee has not been paid in the amount of time established by the district, the district may collect the fee by filing a complaint in the appropriate court of jurisdiction in the county in which the district's principal office or meeting place is located.

(c) If the district prevails in any suit to collect the fee, it may, in the same action, recover reasonable fees for attorneys, expert witnesses, and other costs incurred by the district in the suit. The court shall determine the amount of the attorney's fees.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 496, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 775.042: Removal of Board Member By Board

(a) A board may remove a member if:

(1) the member is absent from more than half of the regularly scheduled board meetings that the member is eligible to attend during a calendar year without an excuse approved by a majority vote of the board; and

(2) the other members of the board unanimously vote to remove that member.

(b) Not later than the 30th day after the date of a vote to remove a member under Subsection (a), that member may file a written appeal for reinstatement to the commissioners court of the county in which a single-county district is located or, if the district is located in more than one county, the commissioners court of the county where the member resides. The court may reinstate the member if it finds the removal unwarranted after considering:

(1) a reason for an absence;

(2) the time and place of a missed meeting;

(3) the business conducted at a missed meeting; and

(4) any other factors or circumstances the court considers relevant.

(c) The validity of a board action is not affected because it is taken when a ground for removal of a board member exists.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 496, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 308 (H.B. 527), Sec. 3, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 775.0422: Removal of Appointed Board Member By Commissioners Court

(a) This section does not apply to a district unless the commissioners court of the county in which the district is located adopts this section by resolution.

(a-1) This section applies only to an appointed board member. This section does not apply to a board member who:

(1) is elected; or

(2) is appointed to fill a vacancy in an elected board member position.

(b) The commissioners court of the county in which a district is located, by an order adopted by a majority vote after a hearing, may remove a board member for:

(1) incompetency, as defined by Section 87.011, Local Government Code;

(2) official misconduct, as defined by Section 87.011, Local Government Code; or

(3) misconduct, as defined by Section 178.001, Local Government Code.

(b-1) Section 551.0745, Government Code, applies to a deliberation regarding a removal of a board member in the same manner as that section applies to a deliberation regarding a dismissal of a member of an advisory body.

(c) Not later than the 30th day before the date on which the hearing is held, a commissioners court seeking removal under this section must:

(1) notify the board members that it is considering that action; and

(2) provide the board member with an opportunity to show cause why the board member should not be removed.

(d) The validity of a board action is not affected because it is taken when a ground for removal of a board member exists.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 308 (H.B. 527), Sec. 2, eff. June 19, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 116 (H.B. 1917), Sec. 1, eff. May 21, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 116 (H.B. 1917), Sec. 2, eff. May 21, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 639 (S.B. 917), Sec. 7, eff. June 17, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 639 (S.B. 917), Sec. 8, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 775.0423: Removal of Elected Board Member

(a) This section applies only to a board member who:

(1) is elected; or

(2) is appointed to fill a vacancy in an elected board member position.

(b) A board member may be removed using the procedures provided by Chapter 87, Local Government Code, for:

(1) incompetency, as defined by Section 87.011, Local Government Code;

(2) official misconduct, as defined by Section 87.011, Local Government Code;

(3) intoxication, as described by Section 87.013, Local Government Code; or

(4) misconduct, as defined by Section 178.001, Local Government Code.

(c) The validity of a board action is not affected because it is taken when a ground for removal of a board member exists.

Comments

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 639 (S.B. 917), Sec. 9, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 775.043: Exemption from Investment Training

(a) Section 2256.008, Government Code, does not apply to an officer or employee of a district created under this chapter.

(b) A district may invest funds only in the authorized investments set forth under Government Code Section 2256.009 (obligations of, or guaranteed by governmental entities), 2256.010 (certificates of deposit and share certificates), or 2256.016 (investment pools), unless the treasurer, chief financial officer (if not the treasurer), and the investment officer of the district attend and successfully complete the training requirements under Section 2256.008, Government Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 914, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999. Renumbered from Health & Safety Code Sec. 775.041 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 21.001(80), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.044: Vacancy on Board of District Located in More Than One County

(a) Not later than the 90th day after a board vacancy for a district located in more than one county occurs, the remaining board members shall appoint a person to fill the unexpired term.

(b) If the board has not filled the vacancy before the 91st day after the date of the vacancy, the commissioners court of the county where the previous board member resided shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy.

(c) A person appointed under this section must be eligible to serve under Section 775.035.

Comments

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 384 (S.B. 1437), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 775.0445: Vacancy on Board of District Located in Certain Counties

(a) In this section, "vacancy" means a vacancy in the office of director that occurs for any reason, including an office that is vacant because:

(1) a director was disqualified under Section 775.0355; or

(2) no candidate filed for election to the office.

(b) This section applies only to a district located wholly in a county:

(1) with a population of more than three million;

(2) with a population of more than 200,000 that borders Lake Palestine; or

(3) with a population of less than 200,000 that borders another state and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

(c) Not later than the 90th day after a board vacancy occurs, the remaining board members shall appoint a person to fill the unexpired term.

(d) A person appointed under this section must be eligible to serve under Section 775.0345.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 900 (H.B. 2653), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1347 (S.B. 1265), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1347 (S.B. 1265), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 775.045: Applicability of Certain Laws

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), notwithstanding any other law:

(1) Section 1301.551(i), Occupations Code, applies to a district as if the district were a municipality; and

(2) Section 233.062, Local Government Code, applies to a district as if the district were in an unincorporated area of a county.

(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to a district:

(1) that before February 1, 2013, has adopted a fire code, fire code amendments, or other requirements in conflict with Subsection (a); and

(2) whose territory is located:

(A) in or adjacent to a general law municipality with a population of less than 4,000 that is served by a water control and improvement district governed by Chapter 51, Water Code; and

(B) in a county that has a population of more than one million and is adjacent to a county with a population of more than 420,000.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1363 (S.B. 1596), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Subchapter D

Sec. 775.051: Expansion of District Territory

(a) Qualified voters who own taxable real property in a defined territory that is not included in a district may file a petition with the secretary of the board requesting the inclusion of the territory in the district. The petition must be signed by at least 50 qualified voters who own taxable real property in the territory or a majority of those voters, whichever is less.

(b) The board by order shall set a time and place to hold a hearing on the petition to include the territory in the district. The hearing may be held not earlier than the 31st day after the date on which the board issues the order.

(c) The secretary of the board shall give notice of the hearing. The notice must contain the time and place for the hearing and a description of the territory proposed to be annexed into the district.

(d) The secretary shall:

(1) post copies of the notice in three public places in the district and one public place in the territory proposed to be annexed into the district for at least 15 days before the date of the hearing; and

(2) not later than the 16th day before the date on which the hearing will be held, publish the notice once in a newspaper of general circulation in the county.

(e) If after the hearing the board finds that annexation of the territory into the district would be feasible and would benefit the district, the board may approve the annexation by a resolution entered in its minutes. The board is not required to include all of the territory described in the petition if the board finds that a change is necessary or desirable.

(f) Annexation of territory is final when approved by a majority of the voters at an election held in the district and by a majority of the voters at a separate election held in the territory to be annexed. If the district has outstanding debts or taxes, the voters in the election to approve the annexation must also determine if the annexed territory will assume its proportion of the debts or taxes if added to the district.

(g) The election ballots shall be printed to provide for voting for or against the following, as applicable:

(1) "Adding (description of territory to be added) to the ____________ Emergency Services District."

(2) "(Description of territory to be added) assuming its proportionate share of the outstanding debts and taxes of the ____________ Emergency Services District, if it is added to the district."

(h) The election notice, the manner and time of giving the notice, and the manner of holding the election are governed by the other provisions of this chapter relating to those matters to the extent that those provisions can be made applicable.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 775.052: Petition for Dissolution; Notice of Hearing

(a) Before a district may be dissolved, the district's board must receive a petition signed by at least 10 percent of the registered voters in the district.

(b) If the petition is in proper form, the board shall set a place, date, and time for a hearing to consider the petition.

(c) The board shall give notice of the hearing. The notice must include:

(1) the name of the district;

(2) a description of the district's boundaries;

(3) the proposal that the district be dissolved; and

(4) the place, date, and time of the hearing on the petition.

(d) The notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the district once a week for two consecutive weeks. The first publication must occur not later than the 21st day before the date on which the hearing will be held.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 775.053: Hearing

(a) At the hearing on the petition to dissolve the district, the board shall consider the petition and each issue relating to the dissolution of the district.

(b) Any interested person may appear before the board to support or oppose the dissolution.

(c) The board shall grant or deny the petition.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 775.054: Election to Confirm Dissolution

(a) On the granting of a petition to dissolve the district, the board shall order an election to confirm the district's dissolution.

(b) Notice of the election shall be given in the same manner as the notice of the petition hearing.

(c) The election shall be held on the first authorized uniform election date prescribed by the Election Code that allows sufficient time to comply with the requirements of law and that occurs after the date on which the board grants the petition.

(d) The ballot shall be printed to provide for voting for or against the following: "Dissolving the ____________ Emergency Services District."

(e) A copy of the tabulation of results shall be filed with the county clerk of each county in which the district is located.

(f) If a majority of those voting at the election vote to dissolve the district, the board shall proceed with dissolution. An election to create a new district in the boundaries of the old district may not be held for at least one year after dissolution.

(g) If a majority of those voting at the election vote against dissolving the district, the board may not order another election on the issue before the first anniversary of the date of the canvass of the election.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 775.055: Administration of Property, Debts, and Assets After Dissolution

(a) After a vote to dissolve a district, the board shall continue to control and administer the property, debts, and assets of the district until all funds are disposed of and all district debts are paid or settled.

(b) The board may not dispose of the district's assets except for due compensation unless the debts are transferred to another governmental entity or agency within or embracing the district and the transfer will benefit the district's residents.

(c) After the board issues the dissolution order, the board shall:

(1) determine the debt owed by the district; and

(2) impose on the property included in the district's tax rolls a tax that is in proportion of the debt to the property value.

(d) Each taxpayer may pay the tax imposed by the district under this section at once.

(e) The board may institute a suit to enforce payment of taxes and to foreclose liens to secure the payment of taxes due the district.

(f) When all outstanding debts and obligations of the district are paid, the board shall order the secretary to return the pro rata share of all unused tax money to each district taxpayer. A taxpayer may request that the taxpayer's share of surplus tax money be credited to the taxpayer's county taxes. If a taxpayer requests the credit, the board shall direct the secretary to transmit the funds to the county tax assessor-collector.

(g) After the district pays all its debts and disposes of all its assets and funds as prescribed by this section, the board shall file a written report with the commissioners court of each county in which the district is located setting forth a summary of the board's actions in dissolving the district. Not later than the 10th day after the date it receives the report and determines that the requirements of this section have been fulfilled, the commissioners court of each county shall enter an order dissolving the district.

(h) Each emergency services commissioner is discharged from liability under the emergency services commissioner's bond on entry of the order prescribed by Subsection (g).

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 775.056: Transfer of Territory Between Districts

(a) After a hearing, a district may make mutually agreeable changes in boundaries with another district, provided that the maximum tax rate authorized for such a district does not exceed the maximum tax rate previously authorized for any territory added to that district. The districts shall agree on an effective date for the changes in boundaries.

(b) The changes in boundaries under this section do not diminish or impair the rights of the holders of any outstanding and unpaid bonds, warrants, or other district obligations.

(c) A district shall compensate the district that loses territory in an amount equal to that territory's pro rata share of the losing district's bonded and other indebtedness based on the unpaid principal balances and the actual property values at the time the changes in boundaries are made. The district that loses territory shall apply compensation received from the annexing district under this subsection exclusively to the payment of the annexed territory's pro rata share of the losing district's bonds or other debt.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1140, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 639 (S.B. 917), Sec. 10, eff. June 17, 2011.

Subchapter E

Sec. 775.071: Limitation on Indebtedness

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a district may not contract for an amount of indebtedness in any one year that is in excess of the funds then on hand and anticipated revenues for the year.

(b) This section does not apply to Sections 775.051, 775.072, 775.076, 775.077, 775.078, and 775.085.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 496, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1140, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.072: Depositories

(a) The board shall designate one or more banks to serve as depositories for district funds.

(b) The board shall deposit all district funds in a depository bank, except that the board:

(1) may deposit funds pledged to pay bonds or notes with banks named in the trust indenture or in the bond or note resolution; and

(2) shall remit funds for the payment of the principal of and interest on bonds and notes to the bank of payment.

(c) The district may not deposit funds in a depository or trustee bank in an amount that exceeds the maximum amount secured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation unless the excess funds are secured in the manner provided by law for the security of county funds.

(d) The resolution or trust indenture securing the bonds or notes may require that any or all of the funds must be secured by obligations of or unconditionally guaranteed by the federal government.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 775.073: Expenditures

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, district funds may be disbursed only by check, draft, order, or other instrument that:

(1) is signed by at least a majority of the board's commissioners; or

(2) is signed by the treasurer, or by the assistant treasurer if the treasurer is absent or unavailable, and countersigned by the president, or by the vice president if the president is absent or unavailable.

(b) The board by resolution may allow a district employee who has executed a bond in an amount equal to the amount required for the district treasurer to sign an instrument to disburse district funds. An expenditure of more than $2,000 may not be paid unless the expenditure is presented to the board and the board approves the expenditure.

(c) The board may authorize the disbursement of district funds transferred by federal reserve wire system. The board by resolution may authorize wire transfers to accounts in the district's name or accounts not in the district's name.

(d) Any property, including an interest in property, purchased or leased using district funds, wholly or partly, must remain the property of the district, regardless of whether the property is used by a third party under a contract for services or otherwise, until the property is disposed of in accordance with Section 775.0735.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 816, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1107 (H.B. 3798), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 411 (H.B. 2519), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 775.0735: Disposition of Property

(a) The district may dispose of property owned by the district only by:

(1) selling the property to a third party following the procedures authorized under Section 263.001, 263.007, or 263.008, Local Government Code;

(2) selling or disposing of the property following the procedures authorized under Subchapter D, Chapter 263, Local Government Code;

(3) selling or disposing of the property in accordance with Subchapter J; or

(4) selling the property using an Internet auction site.

(b) The district may contract with a private vendor to assist with the sale of the property.

(c) The district shall sell the property using the method of sale that the board determines is the most advantageous to the district under the circumstances. The board shall adopt rules establishing guidelines for making that determination.

(d) In using an Internet auction site to sell property under this section, the district shall post the property on the site for at least 10 days.

(e) The district may reject any or all bids or proposals for the purchase of the property.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 411 (H.B. 2519), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 775.074: Ad Valorem Tax

(a) The board shall annually impose an ad valorem tax on all real and personal property located in the district and subject to district taxation for the district's support and the purposes authorized by this chapter.

(b) If a district issues bonds or notes that are payable wholly from ad valorem taxes, the board shall, when bonds or notes are authorized, set a tax rate that is sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds or notes as the interest and principal come due and to provide reserve funds if prescribed in the resolution authorizing, or the trust indenture securing, the bonds or notes.

(c) If a district issues bonds or notes that are payable from ad valorem taxes and from revenues, income, or receipts of the district, the board shall, when the bonds or notes are authorized, set a tax rate that is sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds and notes and to create and maintain any reserve funds.

(d) In establishing the rate of the ad valorem tax to be collected for a year, the board shall consider the money that will be available to pay the principal of and interest on any bonds or notes issued and to create any reserve funds to the extent and in the manner permitted by the resolution authorizing, or the trust indenture securing, the bonds or notes.

(d-1) The board may not set the tax rate for a fiscal year before the date the board adopts a budget for that fiscal year.

(e) The board shall certify the ad valorem tax rate to the county tax assessor-collector, who is the assessor-collector for the district.

(f) Repealed by Acts 1999, 76th Leg. ch. 496, Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 1999.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 40, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 275, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 496, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 639 (S.B. 917), Sec. 11, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 775.0745: Election to Increase Tax Rate

(a) If the board decides to increase the maximum tax rate of the district to any rate at or below the rate allowed by this chapter or Section 48-e, Article III, Texas Constitution, the board must order an election to authorize the increase. The proposition on the ballot must state the proposed maximum tax rate to be authorized at the election.

(b) The board shall give notice of the election as provided by Section 4.003, Election Code. The notice shall contain the information required by Section 4.004, Election Code.

(c) The election shall be held on the first uniform election date provided by the Election Code after the date of the board's order that allows sufficient time to comply with any requirements of law.

(d) If a majority of the votes cast in the election favor the increase in the maximum tax rate, the maximum tax rate for the district is increased to the rate authorized by the election. The increase in the maximum tax rate does not apply to a tax year for which the board adopts a tax rate before the date of the election.

(e) Repealed by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 123, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1140, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1204, Sec. 1.007, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 123 (S.B. 1621), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Sec. 775.075: Reduction of Ad Valorem Tax Rate

(a) The qualified voters of a district may petition in the manner provided by Sections 775.052 through 775.054 for dissolution of a district to reduce the ad valorem tax rate of the district.

(b) The petition must state the new tax rate desired by the voters.

(c) The tax rate may not be reduced below the rate needed to pay any outstanding bonded indebtedness.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 40, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 775.0751: Sales and Use Tax

(a) A district may adopt a sales and use tax, change the rate of its sales and use tax, or abolish its sales and use tax at an election held as provided by Section 775.0752. The district may impose the tax at a rate from one-eighth of one percent to two percent in increments of one-eighth of one percent. Revenue from the tax may be used for any purpose for which ad valorem tax revenue of the district may be used.

(b) Chapter 323, Tax Code, applies to the application, collection, and administration of the tax imposed under this section. The comptroller may make rules for the collection and administration of this tax in the same manner as for a tax imposed under Chapter 323, Tax Code. Where a county and a hospital district both impose a sales and use tax, the comptroller may by rule provide for proportionate allocation of sales and use tax collections between a county and a hospital district on the basis of the period of time each tax is imposed and the relative tax rates.

(c) Except as provided by Subsection (c-1), a district may not adopt a tax under this section or increase the rate of the tax if as a result of the adoption of the tax or the tax increase the combined rate of all sales and use taxes imposed by the district and other political subdivisions of this state having territory in the district would exceed two percent at any location in the district.

(c-1) A district that otherwise would be precluded from adopting a sales and use tax under Subsection (c) may adopt a sales and use tax, change the rate of its sales and use tax, or abolish its sales and use tax at an election held as provided by Section 775.0752, if the board:

(1) excludes from the applicability of any proposed sales and use tax any territory in the district where the sales and use tax is then at two percent; and

(2) not later than the 30th day after the date on which the board issues the election order, gives, for informational purposes, written or oral notice on the proposed imposition, increase, or abolition of the sales and use tax, including the reasons for the proposed change, to the commissioners court of each county in which the district is located.

(d) If the voters of a district approve the adoption of the tax or an increase in the tax rate at an election held on the same election date on which another political subdivision of this state adopts a sales and use tax or approves the increase in the rate of its sales and use tax and as a result the combined rate of all sales and use taxes imposed by the district and other political subdivisions of this state having territory in the portion of the district in which the district sales and use tax will apply would exceed two percent at any location in that portion of the district, the election to adopt a sales and use tax or to increase the rate of the sales and use tax in the district under this subchapter has no effect.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 40, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 235, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 930, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1385 (S.B. 1502), Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 604 (S.B. 1727), Sec. 1, eff. June 9, 2017.

Sec. 775.0752: Sales and Use Tax Election Procedures

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter, an election to adopt or abolish a district's sales and use tax or to change the rate of the tax is governed by the provisions of Subchapter E, Chapter 323, Tax Code, applicable to an election to adopt or abolish a county sales and use tax.

(b) An election is called by the adoption of a resolution by the board. The board shall call an election if a number of qualified voters of the district equal to at least five percent of the number of registered voters in the district petitions the board to call the election.

(c) At an election to adopt the tax, the ballot shall be prepared to permit voting for or against the proposition: "The adoption of a local sales and use tax in (name of district) at the rate of (proposed tax rate) percent."

(d) At an election to abolish the tax, the ballot shall be prepared to permit voting for or against the proposition: "The abolition of the local sales and use tax in (name of district)."

(e) At an election to change the rate of the tax, the ballot shall be prepared to permit voting for or against the proposition: "The (increase or decrease, as applicable) in the rate of the local sales and use tax imposed by (name of district) from (tax rate on election date) percent to (proposed tax rate) percent."

(f) At an election described by Section 775.0751(c-1) to adopt the tax, the ballot shall be prepared to permit voting for or against the proposition: "The adoption of a local sales and use tax in (name of district) at a rate not to exceed (proposed tax rate) percent in any location in the district."

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 40, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 604 (S.B. 1727), Sec. 2, eff. June 9, 2017.

Sec. 775.0753: Sales and Use Tax Effective Date; Boundary Change

(a) The adoption or abolition of the tax or change in the tax rate takes effect on the first day of the first calendar quarter occurring after the expiration of the first complete calendar quarter occurring after the date on which the comptroller receives a notice of the results of the election.

(b) If the comptroller determines that an effective date provided by Subsection (a) will occur before the comptroller can reasonably take the action required to begin collecting the tax or to implement the abolition of the tax or the tax rate change, the effective date may be extended by the comptroller until the first day of the next succeeding calendar quarter.

(c) Except as provided by Section 775.0754, the provisions of Section 321.102, Tax Code, governing the application of a municipal sales and use tax in the event of a change in the boundaries of a municipality apply to the application of a tax imposed under this chapter in the event of a change in the district's boundaries.

Comments

Added by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., 1st C.S., ch. 40, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1060 (H.B. 3159), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 775.0754: Sales and Use Tax Agreement with Municipality After Annexation

(a) This section applies when:

(1) a municipality annexes for full purposes part of a district that imposes a sales and use tax; and

(2) the annexed area is not removed from the district.

(b) The municipality and the district may, before or after the annexation, agree on an allocation between the municipality and the district of revenue from the sales and use tax imposed in the annexed area.

(c) Under policies and procedures that the comptroller considers reasonable, the comptroller shall pay the amounts agreed to between the municipality and the district.

(d) A municipality that enters into an agreement under this section is not required to provide emergency services in that annexed territory. To the extent of a conflict between this subsection and Section 43.056, Local Government Code, or any other law, this subsection controls.

(e) Section 321.102(f), Tax Code, does not apply if the municipality and the district enter into an agreement under this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1060 (H.B. 3159), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 775.076: Bonds and Notes Authorized

(a) The board may issue bonds and notes as prescribed by this chapter to perform any of its powers.

(a-1) Before the board may issue bonds or notes authorized by this section, the commissioners court of each county in which the district is located must approve the issuance of the bonds or notes by a majority vote. This subsection does not apply to a district located wholly in a county with a population of more than three million.

(b) The board may issue bonds and notes in one or more issues or series that are payable from and secured by liens on and pledges of:

(1) ad valorem taxes;

(2) all or part of the district's revenues, income, or receipts; or

(3) a combination of those taxes, revenues, income, and receipts.

(c) The bonds and notes may be issued to mature in not more than 40 years from the date of their issuance.

(d) Provision may be made for the subsequent issuance of additional parity bonds or notes or subordinate lien bonds or notes under terms and conditions stated in the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds or notes.

(e) to (g) Repealed by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1140, Sec. 23(2), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

(h) If provided by the resolution, the proceeds from the sale of the bonds or notes may be used for:

(1) paying interest on the bonds or notes during the period of the acquisition or construction of a facility to be provided through the issuance of the bonds or notes;

(2) paying expenses of operation and maintenance of the facility;

(3) creating a reserve fund to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds or notes; and

(4) creating other funds.

(i) As provided in the resolution, proceeds from the sale of the bonds and notes may be placed on time deposit or invested until needed.

(j) If the bonds or notes are issued payable by a pledge of revenues, income, or receipts, the district may pledge all or any part of its revenues, income, or receipts from fees, rentals, rates, charges, and proceeds and payments from contracts to the payment of the bonds or notes, including the payment of principal, interest, and any other amounts required or permitted in connection with the bonds or notes. The pledged fees, rentals, rates, charges, proceeds, and payments must be established and collected in amounts that will be at least sufficient, together with any other pledged resources, to provide for:

(1) all payments of principal, interest, and any other amounts required in connection with the bonds or notes; and

(2) the payment of expenses in connection with the bonds or notes and the operation, maintenance, and other expenses in connection with the facilities to the extent required by the resolution authorizing, or the trust indenture securing, the issuance of the bonds or notes.

(k) The district shall impose a tax as prescribed by Section 775.074 if the bonds or notes are payable wholly or partly from ad valorem taxes.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1140, Sec. 7, 23(2), eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 235, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 930, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 900 (H.B. 2653), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 775.077: Election to Approve Bonds and Notes

(a) A district may not authorize bonds and notes secured in whole or in part by taxes unless a majority of the district's qualified voters who vote at an election ordered for that purpose approve the issuance of the bonds and notes.

(b) The board may order an election on the bonds and notes. The order must contain the same information contained in the notice of the election.

(c) The board shall publish notice of the election at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the district. The notice must be published not later than the 31st day before election day.

(d) In addition to the contents of the notice required by the Election Code, the notice must state:

(1) the amount of bonds or notes to be authorized; and

(2) the maximum maturity of the bonds or notes.

(e) At an election to approve bonds or notes payable wholly from ad valorem taxes, the ballots must be printed to provide for voting for or against the following: "The issuance of (bonds or notes) and the levy of taxes for payment of the (bonds or notes)."

(f) At an election to approve bonds or notes payable from both ad valorem taxes and revenues, the ballots must be printed to provide for voting for or against the following: "The issuance of (bonds or notes) and the pledge of net revenues and the levy of ad valorem taxes adequate to provide for the payment of the (bonds or notes)."

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 775.078: Bond Anticipation Notes

(a) A district may issue bond anticipation notes from time to time to carry out one or more of its powers.

(b) The bond anticipation notes may be secured by a pledge of all or part of the district's ad valorem taxes and revenues, income, or receipts.

(c) A district may from time to time authorize the issuance of bonds to provide proceeds to pay the principal of and interest on bond anticipation notes. The bonds must be secured by a pledge of all or part of the district's ad valorem taxes or revenues, income, or receipts and may be issued on a parity with or subordinate to outstanding district bonds.

(d) If the resolution authorizing the issuance of, or the trust indenture securing, the bond anticipation notes includes a covenant that the notes are payable from the proceeds of the subsequently issued bonds, it is not necessary for the district to demonstrate, in order to receive the approval of the attorney general or registration by the comptroller, that the ad valorem taxes or revenues, income, or receipts that may be pledged to payment of the notes will be sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the notes.

Comments

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Sec. 775.082: Audit of District in Less Populous Counties

(a) The county auditor of a county that contains any part of the district shall have access to the books, records, officials, and assets of the district.

(b) A district shall prepare and file with the commissioners court of each county that contains any part of the district on or before June 1 of each year an audit report of the district's fiscal accounts and records. The audit shall be performed and the report shall be prepared at the expense of the district. The county auditor, with the approval of the commissioners court, shall adopt rules relating to the format of the audit and report. If a district is located in more than one county, the county auditors, with the approval of the commissioners court of each county in which the district is located, shall adopt uniform rules relating to the format of the audit and report.

(c) The person who performs the audit and issues the report must be an independent certified public accountant or firm of certified public accountants licensed in this state, unless the commissioners court by order requires the audit to be performed by the county auditor at least 120 days before the end of the district's fiscal year.

(d) The commissioners court, on application made to the commissioners court by the district, may extend up to an additional 30 days the deadline for filing the audit report.

(e) If the district fails to complete and file the audit report within the time provided by Subsection (b) or (d), the commissioners court may order the county auditor to perform the audit and issue the report. If a district is located in more than one county, the commissioners court of each county in which the district is located shall designate by joint order a county auditor of one of the counties to perform the audit and issue the report.

(e-1) When a district located wholly in one county fails to complete and file the audit report by September 1 of each year and a county auditor is not ordered to prepare the report, the president and treasurer of the board are removed from the board and the commissioners court shall fill the vacancies as provided by Section 775.034.

(f) The district shall pay all costs incurred by the county auditor to perform an audit and issue the report required by this section, unless otherwise ordered by the commissioners court or by joint order of the commissioners courts, if the district is located in more than one county.

(g) This section does not apply to a district located wholly in a county with a population of more than three million.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 195, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 392, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 120 (S.B. 1436), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 900 (H.B. 2653), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 900 (H.B. 2653), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 639 (S.B. 917), Sec. 12, eff. June 17, 2011.

Sec. 775.0821: Alternative to Audit of District in Less Populous Counties

(a) This section applies only to a district to which Section 775.082 applies that:

(1) did not have any outstanding bonds secured by ad valorem taxes or any outstanding liabilities secured by ad valorem taxes having a term of more than one year during the previous fiscal year;

(2) did not receive more than a total of $250,000 in gross receipts from operations, loans, taxes, or contributions during the previous fiscal year; and

(3) did not have a total of more than $250,000 in cash and temporary investments during the previous fiscal year.

(b) Instead of filing an audit report under Section 775.082, a district to which this section applies may file compiled financial statements with the commissioners court of each county in which any part of the district is located.

(c) The district must file with the compiled financial statements an affidavit signed by an authorized district representative attesting to the accuracy and authenticity of the statements.

(d) The provisions of Section 775.082 relating to deadlines for filing an audit and the procedures and penalties relating to the failure of a district to file an audit apply to the filing of compiled financial statements under this section.

(e) A district that files compiled financial statements in accordance with Subsection (b) and that maintains an Internet website shall have posted on the district's website the compiled financial statements for the most recent three years.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 719 (H.B. 3764), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Amended by:

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1068 (H.B. 2257), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Sec. 775.0825: Audit of District in Certain Populous Counties

(a) This section applies only to a district located wholly in a county with a population of more than three million.

(b) A district shall prepare on or before July 1 of each year an audit of the district's fiscal accounts and records.

(c) The audit shall be performed and the report shall be prepared at the expense of the district.

(d) The audit shall be available for review and inspection at the administrative office of the district.

(e) A copy of the audit shall be filed with the clerk of the county commissioner's court within 30 days after receipt by the board.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 900 (H.B. 2653), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 775.083: Annual Report

(a) On or before January 1 of each year, a district shall file with the Texas Division of Emergency Management an annual report that includes the following:

(1) the district's name;

(2) the name of each county in which the district is located;

(3) the district's business address;

(4) the name, mailing address, and term of office of each commissioner;

(5) the name, mailing address, and term of office of the district's general manager, executive director, and fire chief;

(6) the name of each legal counsel or other consultant for the district; and

(7) the district's annual budget and tax rate for the preceding fiscal year.

(b) The Texas Division of Emergency Management may not charge a fee for filing the report.

(c) The Texas Division of Emergency Management shall develop and maintain an Internet-based system that enables:

(1) a district to securely file the report and update the district's information; and

(2) the public to view, in a searchable format, the reports filed by districts under this section.

(d) If the information included in a district's annual report changes, the district shall update the district's information using the Internet-based system before the end of the calendar quarter in which the district's information changes.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 392, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 235, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 112 (H.B. 1918), Sec. 98, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1019 (H.B. 1510), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2017.

Sec. 775.084: Competitive Bids

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (i), the board must submit to competitive bids an expenditure of more than $50,000 for:

(1) one item or service; or

(2) more than one of the same or a similar type of item or service in a fiscal year.

(b) The board shall request bids on items to be purchased or leased or services to be performed as provided by this subsection. The board shall notify suppliers, vendors, or providers by advertising for bids or by providing at least three suppliers, vendors, or purchasers with written notice by mail of the intended purchase. If the board decides to advertise for bids, the advertisement must be published in accordance with Section 262.025(a), Local Government Code. If the board receives fewer than three bids in response to the advertisement, the board shall give written notice directly to at least three suppliers, vendors, or providers of the intended purchase. If three suppliers, vendors, or providers are not available or known to the board, the board shall give written notice by mail directly to each supplier, vendor, or provider known to the board.

(c) The advertisement or notice for competitive bidding must:

(1) describe the work to be performed or the item to be purchased or leased;

(2) state the location at which the bidding documents, plans, specifications, or other data may be examined; and

(3) state the time and place for submitting bids and the time and place that bids will be opened.

(d) The board may not prepare restrictive bid specifications.

(e) Bids may be opened only by the board at a public meeting or by a district officer or employee at or in a district office.

(f) The board may reject any bid. The board may not award a contract to a bidder who is not the lowest bidder unless, before the bid is awarded, the lowest bidder is given notice of the proposed award and an opportunity to appear before the board or its designated representative and present evidence concerning the bidder's responsibility.

(g) A contract awarded in violation of this section is void.

(h) This section applies to an expenditure of district tax revenues by any party or entity for the purchase of services, vehicles, equipment, or goods.

(i) This section does not apply to:

(1) the purchase or lease of real property;

(2) an item or service that the board determines can be obtained from only one source;

(3) a contract for fire extinguishment and suppression services, emergency rescue services, or ambulance services;

(4) an emergency expenditure;

(5) the purchase of vehicle fuel;

(6) the purchase of firefighter bunker gear;

(7) the purchase of insurance coverage; or

(8) repairs funded by a payment made under an insurance claim.

(j) Subsection (i) does not prohibit the board from soliciting competitive bids for any item, service, or contract listed in Subsection (i).

(k) A contract for a public works project must be administered in the manner provided by Subchapter B or H, Chapter 271, Local Government Code, except as provided by this section.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 392, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 235, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 930, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1304 (H.B. 2957), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1248 (H.B. 2667), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1272 (H.B. 3517), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 775.085: Loan for Real Property Or Emergency Services Equipment

(a) The board, on the behalf of the district, may borrow money and make other financial arrangements to purchase real property or emergency services equipment or construct emergency services facilities in the amount and subject to a rate of interest or other conditions the board considers advisable.

(b) To secure a loan under this section, the board may pledge:

(1) tax revenues or funds on hand that are not otherwise pledged to pay a debt of the district; or

(2) the real property acquired or improved or equipment acquired with the borrowed money.

(c) If tax revenues are pledged to pay a loan, the loan must mature not later than the:

(1) 10th anniversary of the date the loan is made, if the loan is for equipment; or

(2) 20th anniversary of the date the loan is made, if the loan is for real property.

(d) Section 775.077 does not apply to a loan secured under this section, including a loan made before the effective date of this subsection.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 496, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1140, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 235, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 930, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 639 (S.B. 917), Sec. 13, eff. June 17, 2011.

Subchapter F

Sec. 775.101: Creation

(a) A district may create the office of district fire marshal if a county in which the district is located does not have a county fire marshal.

(b) The district shall appoint an individual to serve in the office of fire marshal.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.102: Term

The fire marshal serves a two-year term.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.103: Bond

The fire marshal shall post a bond in the amount required by the district and conditioned on the faithful and strict performance of the fire marshal's duties under this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.104: Conflict of Interest

The fire marshal may not:

(1) have a direct or indirect financial interest in the sale of fire-fighting equipment; or

(2) be engaged in the business of fire insurance.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.105: Administrative Support

The district may provide facilities, equipment, transportation, employees, and other services and assistance to the fire marshal, including investigators.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.106: Jurisdiction

(a) Except as provided by Section 775.107 or 775.115, the fire marshal may not exercise the powers granted under this subchapter in:

(1) the territory of a municipality that has a municipal fire marshal; or

(2) the territory of a county that has a county fire marshal.

(b) This subchapter does not change or otherwise limit the authority of any state agency to prevent and extinguish forest and grass fires.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.107: Transfer of Jurisdiction

(a) This section applies if:

(1) a county in which a district is located creates a county fire marshal under Subchapter B, Chapter 352, Local Government Code; or

(2) a municipality located in the district creates a municipal fire marshal.

(b) Not later than the 30th day after the creation of the county or municipal fire marshal, the jurisdiction of the district fire marshal in that county or municipality ceases. The new county or municipal fire marshal shall assume control over any pending investigations, court proceedings, or other matters being handled by the district fire marshal in the county or municipality.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.108: General Powers and Duties

The fire marshal shall:

(1) investigate the cause, origin, and circumstances of each fire that damages property;

(2) determine whether the fire was caused by negligent or intentional conduct; and

(3) enforce all state, county, and district orders and rules that relate to fires, explosions, or damages caused by a fire or an explosion.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.109: Investigations

(a) The fire marshal shall begin an investigation within 24 hours after notification of a fire. The 24-hour period does not include Sunday.

(b) The fire marshal may investigate attempted fires.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.110: Inspection

(a) The fire marshal may, at any time of day, enter and inspect:

(1) property where a fire has occurred; and

(2) property adjacent to where a fire occurred.

(b) The fire marshal shall conduct this inspection in a manner least inconvenient to any persons living on the property.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.111: Inspection for Fire Hazards

(a) In this section, "fire hazard" means any of the following conditions that endanger the safety of a structure or its occupants and promote or cause fire or combustion:

(1) the presence of a flammable substance;

(2) a dangerous or dilapidated wall, ceiling, or other structural element;

(3) improper lighting, heating, or other facilities;

(4) the presence of a dangerous chimney, flue, pipe, main, or stove, or of dangerous wiring; or

(5) dangerous storage.

(b) In the interest of safety and fire prevention, the fire marshal may inspect for fire hazards any structure, appurtenance, fixture, or real property located in the district and within 200 feet of a structure, appurtenance, or fixture. If the fire marshal determines the presence of a fire hazard, the fire marshal may order the owner or occupant of the premises to correct the hazardous situation.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.112: Records

The fire marshal shall keep a record of each fire that the fire marshal is required to investigate. The record must include the facts, statistics, and circumstances determined by the investigation, including the origin of the fire and the estimated amount of the loss.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.113: Additional Investigation Powers

(a) If the fire marshal determines that further investigation of a fire or of an attempt to set a fire is necessary, the fire marshal may:

(1) subpoena witnesses to testify regarding the fire or attempt;

(2) administer oaths to the witnesses;

(3) take and preserve written statements, including statements under oath such as an affidavit or deposition; and

(4) require the production of a document or item related to the investigation.

(b) As part of an investigation, the fire marshal may:

(1) conduct an investigation or examination in private;

(2) exclude a person who is not under examination; and

(3) separate witnesses from each other until each witness is examined.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.114: Insurance

(a) An action taken by the fire marshal in the investigation of a fire does not affect the rights of a policyholder or of an insurer regarding a loss caused by the fire.

(b) The records of an investigation by the fire marshal relating to the detection, investigation, or prosecution of a crime may be admitted in evidence in the trial of a civil action unless those records are subject to an exception under Sections 552.108(a)(1) and (b)(1), Government Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.115: Cooperation with Other Fire Marshals

(a) The district fire marshal shall cooperate with the state fire marshal to conduct:

(1) fire prevention activities;

(2) fire-fighting activities; and

(3) fire investigations.

(b) The district fire marshal shall aid or conduct an investigation in a municipality or a county if requested by the municipality or the county.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.116: Enforcement

(a) The fire marshal shall file in court a complaint charging arson, attempted arson, conspiracy to defraud, or any other related crime against a person the fire marshal believes to be guilty.

(b) The fire marshal shall file charges in court against a witness who refuses to cooperate with the investigation.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.117: Service of Process

A constable or sheriff may serve process under this subchapter. The process must be signed by the fire marshal.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.118: Criminal Penalty; Contempt of Fire Investigation

(a) A person commits an offense if the person is a witness in connection with an investigation by the fire marshal and:

(1) refuses to be sworn;

(2) refuses to appear and testify; or

(3) fails to produce to the fire marshal any document or item relating to an investigation under this subchapter.

(b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $25.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.119: Criminal Penalty; Failure to Comply with Order

(a) An owner or occupant of real property who is subject to an order issued by the fire marshal commits an offense if the person fails to comply with the order.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.

(c) Each failure to comply with an order is a separate offense.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Subchapter G

Sec. 775.151: Definitions

In this subchapter:

(1) "Hazardous material" means a flammable material, an explosive, a radioactive material, a hazardous waste, a toxic substance, or related material, including a substance defined as a "hazardous substance," "hazardous material," "toxic substance," or "solid waste" under:

(A) the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. Section 9601 et seq.), as amended;

(B) the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (42 U.S. C. Section 6901 et seq.), as amended;

(C) the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (15 U.S.C. Section 2601 et seq.), as amended; or

(D) Chapter 361.

(2) "Responsible party" means a person:

(A) involved in the possession, ownership, or transportation of a hazardous material that is released or abandoned; or

(B) who has legal liability for the causation of an incident resulting in the release or abandonment of a hazardous material.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.152: Hazardous Materials Service

A district may provide hazardous materials services, including a response to an incident involving hazardous material that has been:

(1) leaked, spilled, or otherwise released; or

(2) abandoned.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.153: Fee for Providing Hazardous Materials Service; Exception

(a) A district, or a person authorized by contract on the district's behalf, may charge a reasonable fee to a responsible party for responding to a hazardous materials service call.

(b) An individual who is a responsible party does not have to pay the fee if:

(1) the individual is not involved in the possession, ownership, or transportation of the hazardous material as the employee, agent, or servant of another person;

(2) the individual is involved solely for private, noncommercial purposes related to the individual's own property and the individual receives no compensation for any services involving the hazardous materials; and

(3) the hazardous materials possessed, owned, or being transported by the individual are in forms, quantities, and containers ordinarily available for sale as consumer products to members of the general public.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 775.154: Exemption for Governmental Entities

This subchapter does not apply to hazardous materials owned or possessed by a governmental entity.

Comments

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 272, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Subchapter H

Sec. 775.201: Definition

In this subchapter, "planned community" means a planned community of 25,000 or more acres of land originally established under the Urban Growth and New Community Development Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. Section 4501 et seq.) that is:

(1) located wholly or partly in a county with a population of 2.8 million or more; and

(2) subject to restrictive covenants containing ad valorem or annual variable budget-based assessments on real property for use in part to finance services of the same general type provided by the district.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 828 (H.B. 492), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 775.202: Agreement on Boundaries with Property Owners in Planned Community

(a) After a hearing, a district located wholly in a county with a population of 2.8 million or more may exclude territory by making changes in the district's boundaries in accordance with an agreement among the district and the owners of two-thirds or more in acreage and two-thirds or more in taxable value, according to the most recent certified county property tax rolls, of a defined area of territory of a planned community.

(b) The agreement must be in writing and describe:

(1) the affected territory by metes and bounds, including the changes in the boundaries to be made;

(2) the amount of any compensation to be paid to the district under Section 775.205;

(3) the effective date for the changes in boundaries; and

(4) any other applicable terms.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 828 (H.B. 492), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 775.203: Notice of Hearing

(a) The board secretary shall give notice of the hearing.

(b) The notice must contain the time and place for the hearing and a description of the territory proposed to be excluded.

(c) The secretary shall:

(1) post copies of the notice for at least 15 days before the date of the hearing in three public places in the district, one of which must be in the territory proposed to be excluded; and

(2) not later than the 16th day before the date on which the hearing is held, publish the notice once in a newspaper of general circulation in each county in which the excluded territory is located.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 828 (H.B. 492), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 775.204: Adoption of Agreement and Approval of Exclusion

After the hearing, if the board finds that the exclusion of the territory would be feasible and would benefit the district, the board shall by a resolution entered in its minutes:

(1) adopt the agreement; and

(2) approve the exclusion.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 828 (H.B. 492), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 775.205: Effect of Adoption of Agreement and Approval of Exclusion

(a) After adoption and approval under Section 775.204, the district's tax on the property in the excluded territory continues until all agreed compensation has been paid in full.

(b) The district shall apply the compensation received under this section toward the payment of the obligations described by Subsection (c).

(c) The agreement must provide for the excluded territory to compensate the district in an amount equal to the excluded territory's pro rata share of the outstanding and unpaid bonds, warrants, or other direct and indirect obligations, including loans and lease-purchase agreements and written funding assistance agreements of the district and any not-for-profit fire departments and ambulance agencies or associations, for the financing and payment for firefighting, emergency medical service and emergency rescue equipment, fire and ambulance stations, or similar long-term capital assets to serve the district.

(d) The excluded territory's pro rata share is the unpaid principal balances of the outstanding loans and other obligations enumerated by Subsection (c) multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the taxable value of the property in the excluded territory and the denominator of which is the taxable value of the entire district, including the excluded territory. The taxable value calculated under this subsection for property in the excluded territory, including as part of the entire district, does not include any special appraisal or exemptions for the property.

(e) The agreement to compensate the district does not include the following expenses incurred by the district after the boundaries change:

(1) expenses for district operations and maintenance; and

(2) expenses for district services.

(f) The agreement to compensate the district is required regardless of whether the loans and other obligations are subject to non-appropriation by the district or termination by either party before payment in full of the unpaid principal balance.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 828 (H.B. 492), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Sec. 775.206: No Effect on Outstanding Obligations

A change in boundaries under this subchapter does not diminish or impair the rights of the holders of any outstanding and unpaid bonds, warrants, or other district obligations.

Comments

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 828 (H.B. 492), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Subchapter I

Sec. 775.221: Authority to Divide District

(a) This subchapter applies only to a district located wholly in:

(1) a county with a population of 20,000 or less; or

(2) a county with a population of more than 30,000 but less than 41,000 that is adjacent to a county with a population of more than 200,000 but less than 220,000.

(b) The board of a district described by Subsection (a) may create a new district by disannexing territory from the existing district and ordering a new district to be created in the disannexed territory in the manner provided by this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1134 (H.B. 2212), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241 (H.B. 3203), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 775.222: Petition for Division; Notice of Hearing

(a) Before the existing district may be divided, the district's board must receive a petition for division signed by at least seven percent of the district's qualified voters or at least 100 of the district's qualified voters, whichever is the lesser number.

(b) A petition for division must include:

(1) the name of the new district to be created; and

(2) a description of the territory proposed to be the new district's territory.

(c) On receipt of a petition in the proper form, the board shall set a place, date, and time for a hearing to consider the petition.

(d) The board shall issue a notice of the hearing that includes:

(1) the name of the proposed district;

(2) a description of the proposed district's boundaries; and

(3) the place, date, and time of the hearing on the petition.

(e) The board shall publish the notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the district once a week for two consecutive weeks. The first publication must occur not later than the 21st day before the date on which the hearing will be held.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1134 (H.B. 2212), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 775.223: Hearing on Division of District

(a) At the hearing on the petition for division of the existing district, the board shall consider the petition and each issue relating to the division of the district.

(b) Any interested person may appear before the board to support or oppose the division.

(c) The board shall approve the petition not later than the 10th day after the date of the hearing if the board finds that:

(1) the petition contains the number of signatures required under Section 775.222(a); and

(2) the proposed division is feasible.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1134 (H.B. 2212), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1241 (H.B. 3203), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2019.

Sec. 775.224: Appeal

A resident of the district or an owner of real or personal property located in the district may appeal the board's decision on the division of the district by filing an appeal in the district court in the county in which a district is located only on the basis that the board incorrectly tabulated the number of signatures on the petition.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1134 (H.B. 2212), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 775.225: Election to Confirm Division

(a) On granting a petition to divide the district, the board shall order an election to be held in the territory of the proposed new district to confirm the division of the existing district.

(b) Notice of the election shall be given in the same manner as the notice of hearing under Section 775.222.

(c) The election shall be held on the first authorized uniform election date prescribed by the Election Code that allows sufficient time to comply with the requirements of law.

(d) The ballot shall be printed to provide for voting for or against the proposition: "Dividing the ________ Emergency Services District to create a new emergency services district."

(e) If a majority of voters voting at the election vote to divide the district, the board shall order the division.

(f) If a majority of those voting at the election vote against dividing the existing district, the board may not order another election on the issue before the first anniversary of the date of the canvass of the election.

(g) The existing district and the new district each shall pay a pro rata share of the cost of an election held under this section, based on the assessed value of real property in each district subject to ad valorem taxation.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1134 (H.B. 2212), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 775.226: Division Order

A board order to divide a district must:

(1) disannex the land of the new district from the existing district contingent on the approval of the creation of the new district at the election held under this subchapter;

(2) create the new district in accordance with this chapter;

(3) name the new district; and

(4) include the metes and bounds description of the territory of the new district and the existing district after disannexation.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1134 (H.B. 2212), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 775.227: Administration of Districts After Division

(a) The existing board continues in existence to govern the territory of the existing district after disannexation.

(b) If the new district is located wholly in one county, the commissioners court shall appoint a board in the manner described by Section 775.034 not later than the 14th day after the date of the board order dividing the district.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1134 (H.B. 2212), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 775.228: Taxation for Outstanding Bonded Debt

The disannexation of territory from a district under this subchapter does not diminish or impair the rights of the holders of any outstanding and unpaid bonds, warrants, or other obligations of that district. Property disannexed under this subchapter is not released from its pro rata share of any of the district's bonded indebtedness on the date of the disannexation, and the district may continue to tax property in the disannexed territory until that debt is paid as if the territory had not been disannexed.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1134 (H.B. 2212), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Sec. 775.229: Further Division Prohibited

Once a district has been divided under this subchapter, neither the existing district nor the new district may be divided under this subchapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1134 (H.B. 2212), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Subchapter J

Sec. 775.251: Sale and Disposition of Surplus Or Salvage Property

(a) In this section:

(1) "Salvage property" means personal property, other than wastepaper, that because of use, time, or accident is so damaged, used, or consumed that it has no value for the purpose for which it was originally intended.

(2) "Surplus property" means personal property that is in excess of the needs of its owner, that is not required for the owner's foreseeable needs, and that possesses some usefulness for the purpose for which it was intended or for some other purpose.

(3) "Volunteer fire department" means an association that:

(A) operates firefighting equipment;

(B) is organized primarily to provide and actively provides firefighting services;

(C) does not pay its members compensation other than nominal compensation; and

(D) does not distribute any of its income to its members, officers, or governing body, other than for reimbursement of expenses.

(b) Notwithstanding other law, a district may sell surplus firefighting equipment, including equipment described by Sections 419.040 and 419.041, Government Code, to any volunteer fire department or district in this state for fair market value if the equipment:

(1) met the National Fire Protection Association Standards at the original time of purchase; and

(2) at the time of the sale:

(A) meets the National Fire Protection Association Standards in effect at the original time of purchase; or

(B) meets the National Fire Protection Association Standards in effect.

(c) A district may contract to supply surplus property to any volunteer fire department or district in this state at fair market value.

(d) A district may sell salvage property to any person in this state for fair market value. If a district is unable to sell the property for fair market value, the district may destroy or otherwise dispose of the property as worthless.

(e) The district may determine the fair market value of surplus and salvage property sold under Subsections (b), (c), and (d).

Comments

Redesignated from Health and Safety Code, Subchapter I, Chapter 775 by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 91 (S.B. 1303), Sec. 27.001(31), eff. September 1, 2011.

Subchapter K

Sec. 775.301: Definition

In this subchapter, "commissioners court" means the commissioners court of a county that borders the United Mexican States, has a population of more than 800,000, and appoints a board of emergency services commissioners under this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 21 (S.B. 332), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 775.302: Applicability

(a) This subchapter applies only to a district that is located wholly in a county that borders the United Mexican States, that has a population of more than 800,000, and for which the commissioners court appoints a board of emergency services commissioners under Section 775.034.

(b) This subchapter controls over a provision of this chapter or other law to the extent of a conflict.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 21 (S.B. 332), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 775.303: Delegation Or Waiver By Commissioners Court

(a) The commissioners court may adopt a resolution to:

(1) delegate to the board of a district a duty assigned to the commissioners court under this subchapter that relates to that district; or

(2) waive a requirement in this subchapter that the commissioners court approve an action of a district.

(b) A resolution adopted under this section may apply to more than one board or district.

(c) The commissioners court may by resolution terminate the delegation of a duty or the waiver of an approval requirement.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 21 (S.B. 332), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 775.304: Powers Relating to District Property, Facilities, and Equipment

(a) The commissioners court may establish policies and procedures the board must comply with when:

(1) constructing, purchasing, acquiring, contracting for, leasing, adding to, maintaining, operating, developing, regulating, selling, exchanging, or conveying real or personal property, a property right, equipment, goods, services, a facility, or a system to maintain a building or other facility or to provide a service to or required by the district; or

(2) providing services through and using public funds for a volunteer fire department or emergency service provider.

(b) The policies and procedures:

(1) may include requiring the board to submit to the commissioners court periodic reports on the district's compliance with the policies and procedures;

(2) must establish the types of transactions, including maximum dollar amounts, the board may make when conducting an activity described by Subsection (a) without the approval of the commissioners court, if any;

(3) must designate by name, title, or position a person in the county as the primary point of contact between the commissioners court and the board; and

(4) may not be established until the commissioners court consults with the board.

(c) This section does not authorize the commissioners court or the board to use real or personal property, a property right, equipment, a facility, or a system to provide a telecommunications service, advanced communications service, or information service as defined by 47 U.S.C. Section 153, or a video service as defined by Section 66.002, Utilities Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 21 (S.B. 332), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 775.305: Budget

(a) The commissioners court shall establish a schedule for a district to prepare an annual budget, tax rate calculations and notices, and a recommended tax rate and to submit the budget, calculations, notices, and recommendation to the commissioners court for final approval.

(b) The schedule must take into account requirements of this chapter, Chapter 26, Tax Code, and Section 21, Article VIII, Texas Constitution, applicable to adopting a district tax rate and provide the commissioners court a reasonable amount of time to review the submissions required under Subsection (a).

(c) The board shall:

(1) prepare an annual budget and submit the budget to the commissioners court for final approval according to the schedule established under this section; and

(2) submit to the commissioners court and the county auditor tax rate calculations and notices and a recommended tax rate according to the schedule established under this section.

(d) If the commissioners court does not approve or deny a budget submitted to the commissioners court under this section before the 31st day after the date the budget is submitted, the commissioners court is considered to have approved the budget.

(e) If the commissioners court does not approve or deny a tax rate recommended to the commissioners court under this section before the 31st day after the date the recommended tax rate is submitted, the commissioners court is considered to have approved the recommended tax rate and the recommended tax rate is the rate for the year in which the rate is recommended.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 21 (S.B. 332), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 775.306: Business Participation

The board shall encourage and promote participation by all sectors of the business community, including small businesses and businesses owned by members of a minority group or by women, in the process by which the district enters into contracts. The board shall develop a plan for the district to identify and remove barriers that do not have a definite or objective relationship to quality or competence and that unfairly discriminate against small businesses and businesses owned by members of a minority group or by women. These barriers may include contracting procedures and contract specifications or conditions.

Comments

Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 21 (S.B. 332), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Chapter 777

Sec. 777.001: Regional Poison Control Centers

(a) Six regional centers for poison control are designated as the regional poison control centers for the state as follows:

(1) The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston;

(2) the Dallas County Hospital District/North Texas Poison Center;

(3) The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio;

(4) the University Medical Center of El Paso, El Paso County Hospital District;

(5) the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at Amarillo; and

(6) Scott and White Memorial Hospital, Temple, Texas.

(b) The poison control centers shall coordinate poison control activities within the designated health and human services regions for the state. The Commission on State Emergency Communications shall adopt rules designating the region for each poison control center. The Commission on State Emergency Communications may adopt rules permitting poison control centers to provide services for regions served by other poison control centers in this state as necessary to maximize efficient use of resources and provide appropriate services in each region.

(c) The Commission on State Emergency Communications may standardize the operations of and implement management controls to improve the efficiency of regional poison control centers.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 670, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 41, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 347 (H.B. 1093), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 4 (S.B. 1), Sec. 27.01, eff. September 28, 2011.

Sec. 777.002: Telephone Services

(a) A poison control center established by this chapter shall provide a 24-hour toll-free telephone referral and information service for the public and health care professionals according to the requirements of the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

(b) Each public safety answering point, as that term is defined by Section 771.001, shall have direct telephone access to at least one poison control center. Regional poison information services may be available directly from the center for the region or from another poison control center but shall be available through all 9-1-1 services in the region, as the term "9-1-1 service" is defined by Section 771.001. The 9-1-1 service calls pertaining to poisonings may be routed to a poison control answering site, if possible, if the routing does not adversely affect the immediate availability of poisoning management services.

(c) A poison control center shall ensure that poison control activities within the designated region meet the criteria established by the American Association of Poison Control Centers. A center may meet the criteria directly or may affiliate with other poison control centers or poison treatment facilities, if possible. A center shall ensure that treatment facilities and services are available within the region and shall identify and make available to the public and to appropriate health professionals information concerning analytical toxicology, emergency and critical care, and extracorporeal capabilities within the region.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 670, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 41, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 777.003: Community Programs and Assistance

A poison control center shall provide:

(1) community education programs on poison prevention methods to inform the public, such as presentations to persons attending a primary or secondary school, a parent-teacher association meeting, an employee safety meeting at an industrial company, or other interested groups;

(2) information and education to health professionals involved in the management of poison and overdose victims, including information regarding appropriate therapeutic use of medications, their compatibility and stability, and adverse drug reactions and interactions;

(3) professional and technical assistance to state agencies requesting toxicologic assistance; and

(4) consultation services concerning medical toxicology, for which a fee may be charged in an amount set by the institution in which the center is located to cover the costs of the service.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 670, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 777.004: Staff

(a) A poison control center established under this chapter shall use physicians, pharmacists, nurses, other professionals, and support personnel trained in various aspects of toxicology and poison control and prevention.

(b) A poison control center shall make available resources, if possible, to accommodate persons who do not speak English.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 670, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 777.005: Research Programs

(a) A poison control center may conduct a toxicology poison treatment research program to improve treatments for poisoning victims and to reduce the severity of injuries from poisonings.

(b) A poison control center may accept grants or contributions from public or private sources to be used for research.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 670, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 777.006: Information at Birth

The Commission on State Emergency Communications shall assist the regional poison control centers in providing informational packets on poison prevention to parents of newborns.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 670, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 347 (H.B. 1093), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 777.007: State Liability

The state shall indemnify a poison control center and an employee of a poison control center under Chapter 104, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 670, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sec. 777.008: Coordinating Committee

(a) The coordinating committee on poison control shall coordinate the activities of the regional poison control centers designated under Section 777.001(a) and advise the Commission on State Emergency Communications.

(b) The committee is composed of:

(1) one public member appointed by the Commission on State Emergency Communications;

(2) six members who represent the six regional poison control centers, one appointed by the chief executive officer of each center;

(3) one member appointed by the commissioner of state health services; and

(4) one member who is a health care professional designated as the poison control program coordinator appointed by the Commission on State Emergency Communications.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 670, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 347 (H.B. 1093), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.1574, eff. April 2, 2015.

Sec. 777.009: Funding

(a) The Commission on State Emergency Communications shall establish a program to award grants to fund the regional poison control centers.

(b) The Commission on State Emergency Communications shall adopt rules to establish criteria for awarding the grants. The rules must require the agency to consider:

(1) the need of the region based on population served for poison control services and the extent to which the grant would meet the identified need;

(2) the assurance of providing quality services;

(3) the availability of other funding sources;

(4) achieving or maintaining certification as a poison control center with the American Association of Poison Control Centers;

(5) maintenance of effort; and

(6) the development or existence of telecommunications systems.

(c) The Commission on State Emergency Communications may approve grants according to commission rules. A grant awarded under this section is governed by Chapter 783, Government Code, and the rules adopted under that chapter.

(d) The Commission on State Emergency Communications may accept gifts or grants from any source for purposes of this chapter.

Comments

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 670, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 347 (H.B. 1093), Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 777.010: Out-of-Region Services; Services for Private Entities

(a) On approval by and in coordination with the governor, the Commission on State Emergency Communications may enter into a contract for the provision of telephone referral and information services or any program or service described by Section 777.003 to any person, including:

(1) another state or a political subdivision of another state; and

(2) another country or a political subdivision of another country.

(b) The Commission on State Emergency Communications shall contract with one or more regional poison control centers to provide the services required under a contract entered into under Subsection (a). The commission may not enter into a contract under this subsection if, in the opinion of the commission, the regional poison control center's performance of the contract would result in a diminishment in the services provided in the region.

(c) A contract described by Subsection (a) must recover the cost of providing the services and may include a reasonable additional amount to support poison control center services in this state. Revenue from a contract described by Subsection (a) must be deposited to the credit of the regional poison control services account.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 41, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 347 (H.B. 1093), Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 777.011: Regional Poison Control Services Account

The regional poison control services account is an account in the general revenue fund. The account is composed of money deposited to the account under Section 777.010(c). Money in the account may be appropriated only to the Commission on State Emergency Communications:

(1) for administration of and payment for contracts entered into under Section 777.010(b); and

(2) to fund grants awarded under Section 777.009.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 41, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 347 (H.B. 1093), Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 777.012: Number and Location Identification Service

(a) In this section:

(1) "Service provider" means an entity providing local exchange access lines to a service user and includes a business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a public or private telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents.

(2) "Service user" means a person that is provided local exchange access lines, or their equivalent.

(b) A service provider shall furnish to a poison control center for each call to an emergency line of the center the telephone number of the subscribers and the address associated with the number.

(c) Information furnished to a poison control center under this section is confidential and is not available for public inspection. Information contained in an address database used to provide the number or location identification information under this section is confidential and is not available for public inspection. The service provider or a third party that maintains an address database is not liable to any person for the release of information furnished by the service provider or third party in providing number or location identification information under this section, unless the act or omission proximately causing the claim, damage, or loss constitutes gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

Comments

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 33, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 777.013: Cooperation and Coordination with the Department of State Health Services

(a) The Department of State Health Services, on request of the Commission on State Emergency Communications, shall provide epidemiological support to the regional poison control centers under this chapter to:

(1) maximize the use of data collected by the poison control network;

(2) assist the regional poison control centers with quality control and quality assurance;

(3) assist with research; and

(4) coordinate poison control activities with other public health activities.

(b) Each regional poison control center shall provide the Department of State Health Services with access to all data and information collected by the regional poison control center for public health activities and epidemiological and toxicological investigations.

(c) The Commission on State Emergency Communications and the Department of State Health Services shall enter into a memorandum of understanding that delineates the responsibilities of each agency under this section and amend the memorandum of understanding as necessary to reflect the changes in those responsibilities.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 347 (H.B. 1093), Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2009.

Chapter 778

Sec. 778.001: Execution of Interstate Compact

This state enacts the Emergency Management Assistance Compact and enters into the compact with all other states legally joining in the compact in substantially the following form:

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE COMPACT

ARTICLE I--PURPOSE AND AUTHORITIES

This compact is made and entered into by and between the participating member states which enact this compact, hereinafter called party states. For the purposes of this agreement, the term "states" is taken to mean the several states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territorial possessions.

The purpose of this compact is to provide for mutual assistance between the states entering into this compact in managing any emergency or disaster that is duly declared by the governor of the affected state(s), whether arising from natural disaster, technological hazard, man-made disaster, civil emergency aspects of resources shortages, community disorders, insurgency, or enemy attack.

This compact shall also provide for mutual cooperation in emergency-related exercises, testing, or other training activities using equipment and personnel simulating performance of any aspect of the giving and receiving of aid by party states or subdivisions of party states during emergencies, such actions occurring outside actual declared emergency periods. Mutual assistance in this compact may include the use of the states' National Guard forces, either in accordance with the National Guard Mutual Assistance Compact or by mutual agreement between states.

ARTICLE II--GENERAL IMPLEMENTATION

Each party state entering into this compact recognizes many emergencies transcend political jurisdictional boundaries and that intergovernmental coordination is essential in managing these and other emergencies under this compact. Each state further recognizes that there will be emergencies which require immediate access and present procedures to apply outside resources to make a prompt and effective response to such an emergency. This is because few, if any, individual states have all the resources they may need in all types of emergencies or the capability of delivering resources to areas where emergencies exist.

The prompt, full, and effective utilization of resources of the participating states, including any resources on hand or available from the Federal Government or any other source, that are essential to the safety, care, and welfare of the people in the event of any emergency or disaster declared by a party state, shall be the underlying principle on which all articles of this compact shall be understood.

On behalf of the governor of each state participating in the compact, the legally designated state official who is assigned responsibility for emergency management will be responsible for formulation of the appropriate interstate mutual aid plans and procedures necessary to implement this compact.

ARTICLE III--PARTY STATE RESPONSIBILITIES

A. It shall be the responsibility of each party state to formulate procedural plans and programs for interstate cooperation in the performance of the responsibilities listed in this article. In formulating such plans, and in carrying them out, the party states, insofar as practical, shall:

i. Review individual state hazards analyses and, to the extent reasonably possible, determine all those potential emergencies the party states might jointly suffer, whether due to natural disaster, technological hazard, man-made disaster, emergency aspects of resource shortages, civil disorders, insurgency, or enemy attack.

ii. Review party states' individual emergency plans and develop a plan which will determine the mechanism for the interstate management and provision of assistance concerning any potential emergency.

iii. Develop interstate procedures to fill any identified gaps and to resolve any identified inconsistencies or overlaps in existing or developed plans.

iv. Assist in warning communities adjacent to or crossing the state boundaries.

v. Protect and assure uninterrupted delivery of services, medicines, water, food, energy and fuel, search and rescue, and critical lifeline equipment, services, and resources, both human and material.

vi. Inventory and set procedures for the interstate loan and delivery of human and material resources, together with procedures for reimbursement or forgiveness.

vii. Provide, to the extent authorized by law, for temporary suspension of any statutes or ordinances that restrict the implementation of the above responsibilities.

B. The authorized representative of a party state may request assistance of another party state by contacting the authorized representative of that state. The provisions of this agreement shall only apply to requests for assistance made by and to authorized representatives. Requests may be verbal or in writing. If verbal, the request shall be confirmed in writing within 30 days of the verbal request. Requests shall provide the following information:

i. A description of the emergency service function for which assistance is needed, such as but not limited to fire services, law enforcement, emergency medical, transportation, communications, public works and engineering, building inspection, planning and information assistance, mass care, resource support, health and medical services, and search and rescue.

ii. The amount and type of personnel, equipment, materials and supplies needed, and a reasonable estimate of the length of time they will be needed.

iii. The specific place and time for staging of the assisting party's response and a point of contact at that location.

C. There shall be frequent consultation between state officials who have assigned emergency management responsibilities and other appropriate representatives of the party states with affected jurisdictions and the United States Government, with free exchange of information, plans, and resource records relating to emergency capabilities.

ARTICLE IV--LIMITATIONS

Any party state requested to render mutual aid or conduct exercises and training for mutual aid shall take such action as is necessary to provide and make available the resources covered by this compact in accordance with the terms hereof; provided that it is understood that the state rendering aid may withhold resources to the extent necessary to provide reasonable protection for such state. Each party state shall afford to the emergency forces of any party state, while operating within its state limits under the terms and conditions of this compact, the same powers (except that of arrest unless specifically authorized by the receiving state), duties, rights, and privileges as are afforded forces of the state in which they are performing emergency services. Emergency forces will continue under the command and control of their regular leaders, but the organizational units will come under the operational control of the emergency services authorities of the state receiving assistance. These conditions may be activated, as needed, only subsequent to a declaration of a state of emergency or disaster by the governor of the party state that is to receive assistance or commencement of exercises or training for mutual aid and shall continue so long as the exercises or training for mutual aid are in progress, the state of emergency or disaster remains in effect or loaned resources remain in the receiving state(s), whichever is longer.

ARTICLE V--LICENSES AND PERMITS

Whenever any person holds a license, certificate, or other permit issued by any state party to the compact evidencing the meeting of qualifications for professional, mechanical, or other skills, and when such assistance is requested by the receiving party state, such person shall be deemed licensed, certified, or permitted by the state requesting assistance to render aid involving such skill to meet a declared emergency or disaster, subject to such limitations and conditions as the governor of the requesting state may prescribe by executive order or otherwise.

ARTICLE VI--LIABILITY

Officers or employees of a party state rendering aid in another state pursuant to this compact shall be considered agents of the requesting state for tort liability and immunity purposes; and no party state or its officers or employees rendering aid in another state pursuant to this compact shall be liable on account of any act or omission in good faith on the part of such forces while so engaged or on account of the maintenance or use of any equipment or supplies in connection therewith. Good faith in this article shall not include willful misconduct, gross negligence, or recklessness.

ARTICLE VII--SUPPLEMENTARY AGREEMENTS

Inasmuch as it is probable that the pattern and detail of the machinery for mutual aid among two or more states may differ from that among the states that are party hereto, this instrument contains elements of a broad base common to all states, and nothing herein contained shall preclude any state from entering into supplementary agreements with another state or affect any other agreements already in force between states. Supplementary agreements may comprehend, but shall not be limited to, provisions for evacuation and reception of injured and other persons and the exchange of medical, fire, police, public utility, reconnaissance, welfare, transportation and communications personnel, and equipment and supplies.

ARTICLE VIII--COMPENSATION

Each party state shall provide for the payment of compensation and death benefits to injured members of the emergency forces of that state and representatives of deceased members of such forces in case such members sustain injuries or are killed while rendering aid pursuant to this compact, in the same manner and on the same terms as if the injury or death were sustained within their own state.

ARTICLE IX--REIMBURSEMENT

Any party state rendering aid in another state pursuant to this compact shall be reimbursed by the party state receiving such aid for any loss or damage to or expense incurred in the operation of any equipment and the provision of any service in answering a request for aid and for the costs incurred in connection with such requests; provided, that any aiding party state may assume in whole or in part such loss, damage, expense, or other cost, or may loan such equipment or donate such services to the receiving party state without charge or cost; and provided further, that any two or more party states may enter into supplementary agreements establishing a different allocation of costs among those states. Article VIII expenses shall not be reimbursable under this provision.

ARTICLE X--EVACUATION

Plans for the orderly evacuation and interstate reception of portions of the civilian population as the result of any emergency or disaster of sufficient proportions to so warrant, shall be worked out and maintained between the party states and the emergency management/services directors of the various jurisdictions where any type of incident requiring evacuations might occur. Such plans shall be put into effect by request of the state from which evacuees come and shall include the manner of transporting such evacuees, the number of evacuees to be received in different areas, the manner in which food, clothing, housing, and medical care will be provided, the registration of the evacuees, the providing of facilities for the notification of relatives or friends, and the forwarding of such evacuees to other areas or the bringing in of additional materials, supplies, and all other relevant factors. Such plans shall provide that the party state receiving evacuees and the party state from which the evacuees come shall mutually agree as to reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses incurred in receiving and caring for such evacuees, for expenditures for transportation, food, clothing, medicines and medical care, and like items. Such expenditures shall be reimbursed as agreed by the party state from which the evacuees come. After the termination of the emergency or disaster, the party state from which the evacuees come shall assume the responsibility for the ultimate support of repatriation of such evacuees.

ARTICLE XI--IMPLEMENTATION

A. This compact shall become operative immediately upon its enactment into law by any two (2) states; thereafter, this compact shall become effective as to any other state upon its enactment by such state.

B. Any party state may withdraw from this compact by enacting a statute repealing the same, but no such withdrawal shall take effect until 30 days after the governor of the withdrawing state has given notice in writing of such withdrawal to the governors of all other party states. Such action shall not relieve the withdrawing state from obligations assumed hereunder prior to the effective date of withdrawal.

C. Duly authenticated copies of this compact and of such supplementary agreements as may be entered into shall, at the time of their approval, be deposited with each of the party states and with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other appropriate agencies of the United States Government.

ARTICLE XII--VALIDITY

This compact shall be construed to effectuate the purposes stated in Article I hereof. If any provision of this compact is declared unconstitutional, or the applicability thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the constitutionality of the remainder of this compact and the applicability thereof to other persons and circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

ARTICLE XIII--ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS

Nothing in this compact shall authorize or permit the use of military force by the National Guard of a state at any place outside that state in any emergency for which the President is authorized by law to call into federal service the militia, or for any purpose for which the use of the Army or the Air Force would in the absence of express statutory authorization be prohibited under Section 1385 of Title 18, United States Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 169, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Chapter 778A

Sec. 778A.001: Execution of Interstate Compact

This state enacts the EMS Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact and enters into the compact with all other states legally joining in the compact in substantially the following form:

EMS PERSONNEL LICENSURE INTERSTATE COMPACT.

Section 1. PURPOSE. In order to protect the public through verification of competency and ensure accountability for patient care related activities all states license emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, such as emergency medical technicians (EMTs), advanced EMTs and paramedics. This compact is intended to facilitate the day to day movement of EMS personnel across state boundaries in the performance of their EMS duties as assigned by an appropriate authority and authorize state EMS offices to afford immediate legal recognition to EMS personnel licensed in a member state. This compact recognizes that states have a vested interest in protecting the public's health and safety through their licensing and regulation of EMS personnel and that such state regulation shared among the member states will best protect public health and safety. This compact is designed to achieve the following purposes and objectives:

1. increase public access to EMS personnel;

2. enhance the states' ability to protect the public's health and safety, especially patient safety;

3. encourage the cooperation of member states in the areas of EMS personnel licensure and regulation;

4. support licensing of military members who are separating from an active duty tour and their spouses;

5. facilitate the exchange of information between member states regarding EMS personnel licensure, adverse action and significant investigatory information;

6. promote compliance with the laws governing EMS personnel practice in each member state; and

7. invest all member states with the authority to hold EMS personnel accountable through the mutual recognition of member state licenses.

Section 2. DEFINITIONS. In this compact:

A. "Advanced emergency medical technician (AEMT)" means: an individual licensed with cognitive knowledge and a scope of practice that corresponds to that level in the National EMS Education Standards and National EMS Scope of Practice Model.

B. "Adverse action" means: any administrative, civil, equitable or criminal action permitted by a state's laws which may be imposed against licensed EMS personnel by a state EMS authority or state court, including, but not limited to, actions against an individual's license such as revocation, suspension, probation, consent agreement, monitoring or other limitation or encumbrance on the individual's practice, letters of reprimand or admonition, fines, criminal convictions and state court judgments enforcing adverse actions by the state EMS authority.

C. "Alternative program" means: a voluntary, non-disciplinary substance abuse recovery program approved by a state EMS authority.

D. "Certification" means: the successful verification of entry-level cognitive and psychomotor competency using a reliable, validated, and legally defensible examination.

E. "Commission" means: the national administrative body of which all states that have enacted the compact are members.

F. "Emergency medical technician (EMT)" means: an individual licensed with cognitive knowledge and a scope of practice that corresponds to that level in the National EMS Education Standards and National EMS Scope of Practice Model.

G. "Home state" means: a member state where an individual is licensed to practice emergency medical services.

H. "License" means: the authorization by a state for an individual to practice as an EMT, AEMT, paramedic, or a level in between EMT and paramedic.

I. "Medical director" means: a physician licensed in a member state who is accountable for the care delivered by EMS personnel.

J. "Member state" means: a state that has enacted this compact.

K. "Privilege to practice" means: an individual's authority to deliver emergency medical services in remote states as authorized under this compact.

L. "Paramedic" means: an individual licensed with cognitive knowledge and a scope of practice that corresponds to that level in the National EMS Education Standards and National EMS Scope of Practice Model.

M. "Remote state" means: a member state in which an individual is not licensed.

N. "Restricted" means: the outcome of an adverse action that limits a license or the privilege to practice.

O. "Rule" means: a written statement by the interstate commission promulgated pursuant to Section 12 of this compact that is of general applicability; implements, interprets, or prescribes a policy or provision of the compact; or is an organizational, procedural, or practice requirement of the commission and has the force and effect of statutory law in a member state and includes the amendment, repeal, or suspension of an existing rule.

P. "Scope of practice" means: defined parameters of various duties or services that may be provided by an individual with specific credentials. Whether regulated by rule, statute, or court decision, it tends to represent the limits of services an individual may perform.

Q. "Significant investigatory information" means:

1. investigative information that a state EMS authority, after a preliminary inquiry that includes notification and an opportunity to respond if required by state law, has reason to believe, if proved true, would result in the imposition of an adverse action on a license or privilege to practice; or

2. investigative information that indicates that the individual represents an immediate threat to public health and safety regardless of whether the individual has been notified and had an opportunity to respond.

R. "State" means: any state, commonwealth, district, or territory of the United States.

S. "State EMS authority" means: the board, office, or other agency with the legislative mandate to license EMS personnel.

Section 3. HOME STATE LICENSURE. A. Any member state in which an individual holds a current license shall be deemed a home state for purposes of this compact.

B. Any member state may require an individual to obtain and retain a license to be authorized to practice in the member state under circumstances not authorized by the privilege to practice under the terms of this compact.

C. A home state's license authorizes an individual to practice in a remote state under the privilege to practice only if the home state:

1. currently requires the use of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) examination as a condition of issuing initial licenses at the EMT and paramedic levels;

2. has a mechanism in place for receiving and investigating complaints about individuals;

3. notifies the commission, in compliance with the terms herein, of any adverse action or significant investigatory information regarding an individual;

4. no later than five years after activation of the compact, requires a criminal background check of all applicants for initial licensure, including the use of the results of fingerprint or other biometric data checks compliant with the requirements of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the exception of federal employees who have suitability determination in accordance with 5 C.F.R. Section 731.202 and submit documentation of such as promulgated in the rules of the commission; and

5. complies with the rules of the commission.

Section 4. COMPACT PRIVILEGE TO PRACTICE. A. Member states shall recognize the privilege to practice of an individual licensed in another member state that is in conformance with Section 3.

B. To exercise the privilege to practice under the terms and provisions of this compact, an individual must:

1. be at least 18 years of age;

2. possess a current unrestricted license in a member state as an EMT, AEMT, paramedic, or state recognized and licensed level with a scope of practice and authority between EMT and paramedic; and

3. practice under the supervision of a medical director.

C. An individual providing patient care in a remote state under the privilege to practice shall function within the scope of practice authorized by the home state unless and until modified by an appropriate authority in the remote state as may be defined in the rules of the commission.

D. Except as provided in Section 4.C. of this compact, an individual practicing in a remote state will be subject to the remote state's authority and laws. A remote state may, in accordance with due process and that state's laws, restrict, suspend, or revoke an individual's privilege to practice in the remote state and may take any other necessary actions to protect the health and safety of its citizens. If a remote state takes action it shall promptly notify the home state and the commission.

E. If an individual's license in any home state is restricted or suspended, the individual shall not be eligible to practice in a remote state under the privilege to practice until the individual's home state license is restored.

F. If an individual's privilege to practice in any remote state is restricted, suspended, or revoked the individual shall not be eligible to practice in any remote state until the individual's privilege to practice is restored.

Section 5. CONDITIONS OF PRACTICE IN A REMOTE STATE. An individual may practice in a remote state under a privilege to practice only in the performance of the individual's EMS duties as assigned by an appropriate authority, as defined in the rules of the commission, and under the following circumstances:

1. the individual originates a patient transport in a home state and transports the patient to a remote state;

2. the individual originates in the home state and enters a remote state to pick up a patient and provide care and transport of the patient to the home state;

3. the individual enters a remote state to provide patient care and/or transport within that remote state;

4. the individual enters a remote state to pick up a patient and provide care and transport to a third member state; or

5. other conditions as determined by rules promulgated by the commission.

Section 6. RELATIONSHIP TO EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE COMPACT. Upon a member state's governor's declaration of a state of emergency or disaster that activates the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), all relevant terms and provisions of EMAC shall apply and to the extent any terms or provisions of this compact conflicts with EMAC, the terms of EMAC shall prevail with respect to any individual practicing in the remote state in response to such declaration.

Section 7. VETERANS, SERVICE MEMBERS SEPARATING FROM ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY, AND THEIR SPOUSES. A. Member states shall consider a veteran, active military service member, and member of the National Guard and Reserves separating from an active duty tour, and a spouse thereof, who holds a current valid and unrestricted NREMT certification at or above the level of the state license being sought as satisfying the minimum training and examination requirements for such licensure.

B. Member states shall expedite the processing of licensure applications submitted by veterans, active military service members, and members of the National Guard and Reserves separating from an active duty tour, and their spouses.

C. All individuals functioning with a privilege to practice under this section remain subject to the adverse actions provisions of Section 8 of this compact.

Section 8. ADVERSE ACTIONS. A. A home state shall have exclusive power to impose adverse action against an individual's license issued by the home state.

B. If an individual's license in any home state is restricted or suspended, the individual shall not be eligible to practice in a remote state under the privilege to practice until the individual's home state license is restored.

1. All home state adverse action orders shall include a statement that the individual's compact privileges are inactive. The order may allow the individual to practice in remote states with prior written authorization from both the home state and remote state's EMS authority.

2. An individual currently subject to adverse action in the home state shall not practice in any remote state without prior written authorization from both the home state and remote state's EMS authority.

C. A member state shall report adverse actions and any occurrences that the individual's compact privileges are restricted, suspended, or revoked to the commission in accordance with the rules of the commission.

D. A remote state may take adverse action on an individual's privilege to practice within that state.

E. Any member state may take adverse action against an individual's privilege to practice in that state based on the factual findings of another member state, so long as each state follows its own procedures for imposing such adverse action.

F. A home state's EMS authority shall investigate and take appropriate action with respect to reported conduct in a remote state as it would if such conduct had occurred within the home state. In such cases, the home state's law shall control in determining the appropriate adverse action.

G. Nothing in this compact shall override a member state's decision that participation in an alternative program may be used in lieu of adverse action and that such participation shall remain non-public if required by the member state's laws. Member states must require individuals who enter any alternative programs to agree not to practice in any other member state during the term of the alternative program without prior authorization from such other member state.

Section 9. ADDITIONAL POWERS INVESTED IN A MEMBER STATE'S EMS AUTHORITY. A member state's EMS authority, in addition to any other powers granted under state law, is authorized under this compact to:

1. issue subpoenas for both hearings and investigations that require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence; subpoenas issued by a member state's EMS authority for the attendance and testimony of witnesses, and/or the production of evidence from another member state, shall be enforced in the remote state by any court of competent jurisdiction, according to that court's practice and procedure in considering subpoenas issued in its own proceedings; the issuing state EMS authority shall pay any witness fees, travel expenses, mileage, and other fees required by the service statutes of the state where the witnesses and/or evidence are located; and

2. issue cease and desist orders to restrict, suspend, or revoke an individual's privilege to practice in the state.

Section 10. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION FOR EMS PERSONNEL PRACTICE. A. The compact states hereby create and establish a joint public agency known as the Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice.

1. The commission is a body politic and an instrumentality of the compact states.

2. Venue is proper and judicial proceedings by or against the commission shall be brought solely and exclusively in a court of competent jurisdiction where the principal office of the commission is located. The commission may waive venue and jurisdictional defenses to the extent it adopts or consents to participate in alternative dispute resolution proceedings.

3. Nothing in this compact shall be construed to be a waiver of sovereign immunity.

B. Membership, Voting, and Meetings. 1. Each member state shall have and be limited to one delegate. The responsible official of the state EMS authority or his designee shall be the delegate to this compact for each member state. Any delegate may be removed or suspended from office as provided by the law of the state from which the delegate is appointed. Any vacancy occurring in the commission shall be filled in accordance with the laws of the member state in which the vacancy exists. In the event that more than one board, office, or other agency with the legislative mandate to license EMS personnel at and above the level of EMT exists, the governor of the state will determine which entity will be responsible for assigning the delegate.

2. Each delegate shall be entitled to one vote with regard to the promulgation of rules and creation of bylaws and shall otherwise have an opportunity to participate in the business and affairs of the commission. A delegate shall vote in person or by such other means as provided in the bylaws. The bylaws may provide for delegates' participation in meetings by telephone or other means of communication.

3. The commission shall meet at least once during each calendar year. Additional meetings shall be held as set forth in the bylaws.

4. All meetings shall be open to the public, and public notice of meetings shall be given in the same manner as required under the rulemaking provisions in Section 12 of this compact.

5. The commission may convene in a closed, non-public meeting if the commission must discuss:

a. non-compliance of a member state with its obligations under the compact;

b. the employment, compensation, discipline or other personnel matters, practices or procedures related to specific employees or other matters related to the commission's internal personnel practices and procedures;

c. current, threatened, or reasonably anticipated litigation;

d. negotiation of contracts for the purchase or sale of goods, services, or real estate;

e. accusing any person of a crime or formally censuring any person;

f. disclosure of trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential;

g. disclosure of information of a personal nature where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;

h. disclosure of investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes;

i. disclosure of information related to any investigatory reports prepared by or on behalf of or for use of the commission or other committee charged with responsibility of investigation or determination of compliance issues pursuant to the compact; or

j. matters specifically exempted from disclosure by federal or member state statute.

6. If a meeting, or portion of a meeting, is closed pursuant to this section, the commission's legal counsel or designee shall certify that the meeting may be closed and shall reference each relevant exempting provision. The commission shall keep minutes that fully and clearly describe all matters discussed in a meeting and shall provide a full and accurate summary of actions taken, and the reasons therefore, including a description of the views expressed. All documents considered in connection with an action shall be identified in such minutes. All minutes and documents of a closed meeting shall remain under seal, subject to release by a majority vote of the commission or order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

C. The commission shall, by a majority vote of the delegates, prescribe bylaws and/or rules to govern its conduct as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes and exercise the powers of the compact, including but not limited to:

1. establishing the fiscal year of the commission;

2. providing reasonable standards and procedures:

a. for the establishment and meetings of other committees; and

b. governing any general or specific delegation of any authority or function of the commission;

3. providing reasonable procedures for calling and conducting meetings of the commission, ensuring reasonable advance notice of all meetings, and providing an opportunity for attendance of such meetings by interested parties, with enumerated exceptions designed to protect the public's interest, the privacy of individuals, and proprietary information, including trade secrets. The commission may meet in closed session only after a majority of the membership votes to close a meeting in whole or in part. As soon as practicable, the commission must make public a copy of the vote to close the meeting revealing the vote of each member with no proxy votes allowed;

4. establishing the titles, duties and authority, and reasonable procedures for the election of the officers of the commission;

5. providing reasonable standards and procedures for the establishment of the personnel policies and programs of the commission; notwithstanding any civil service or other similar laws of any member state, the bylaws shall exclusively govern the personnel policies and programs of the commission;

6. promulgating a code of ethics to address permissible and prohibited activities of commission members and employees;

7. providing a mechanism for winding up the operations of the commission and the equitable disposition of any surplus funds that may exist after the termination of the compact after the payment and/or reserving of all of its debts and obligations;

8. the commission shall publish its bylaws and file a copy thereof, and a copy of any amendment thereto, with the appropriate agency or officer in each of the member states, if any;

9. the commission shall maintain its financial records in accordance with the bylaws; and

10. the commission shall meet and take such actions as are consistent with the provisions of this compact and the bylaws.

D. The commission shall have the following powers:

1. the authority to promulgate uniform rules to facilitate and coordinate implementation and administration of this compact; the rules shall have the force and effect of law and shall be binding in all member states;

2. to bring and prosecute legal proceedings or actions in the name of the commission, provided that the standing of any state EMS authority or other regulatory body responsible for EMS personnel licensure to sue or be sued under applicable law shall not be affected;

3. to purchase and maintain insurance and bonds;

4. to borrow, accept, or contract for services of personnel, including, but not limited to, employees of a member state;

5. to hire employees, elect or appoint officers, fix compensation, define duties, grant such individuals appropriate authority to carry out the purposes of the compact, and to establish the commission's personnel policies and programs relating to conflicts of interest, qualifications of personnel, and other related personnel matters;

6. to accept any and all appropriate donations and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials and services, and to receive, utilize and dispose of the same; provided that at all times the commission shall strive to avoid any appearance of impropriety and/or conflict of interest;

7. to lease, purchase, accept appropriate gifts or donations of, or otherwise to own, hold, improve or use, any property, real, personal or mixed; provided that at all times the commission shall strive to avoid any appearance of impropriety;

8. to sell convey, mortgage, pledge, lease, exchange, abandon, or otherwise dispose of any property real, personal, or mixed;

9. to establish a budget and make expenditures;

10. to borrow money;

11. to appoint committees, including advisory committees comprised of members, state regulators, state legislators or their representatives, and consumer representatives, and such other interested persons as may be designated in this compact and the bylaws;

12. to provide and receive information from, and to cooperate with, law enforcement agencies;

13. to adopt and use an official seal; and

14. to perform such other functions as may be necessary or appropriate to achieve the purposes of this compact consistent with the state regulation of EMS personnel licensure and practice.

E. Financing of the Commission. 1. The commission shall pay, or provide for the payment of, the reasonable expenses of its establishment, organization, and ongoing activities.

2. The commission may accept any and all appropriate revenue sources, donations, and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials, and services.

3. The commission may levy on and collect an annual assessment from each member state or impose fees on other parties to cover the cost of the operations and activities of the commission and its staff, which must be in a total amount sufficient to cover its annual budget as approved each year for which revenue is not provided by other sources. The aggregate annual assessment amount shall be allocated based upon a formula to be determined by the commission, which shall promulgate a rule binding upon all member states.

4. The commission shall not incur obligations of any kind prior to securing the funds adequate to meet the same; nor shall the commission pledge the credit of any of the member states, except by and with the authority of the member state.

5. The commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the commission shall be subject to the audit and accounting procedures established under its bylaws. However, all receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the commission shall be audited yearly by a certified or licensed public accountant, and the report of the audit shall be included in and become part of the annual report of the commission.

F. Qualified Immunity, Defense, and Indemnification. 1. The members, officers, executive director, employees and representatives of the commission shall be immune from suit and liability, either personally or in their official capacity, for any claim for damage to or loss of property or personal injury or other civil liability caused by or arising out of any actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred, or that the person against whom the claim is made had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities; provided that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to protect any such person from suit and/or liability for any damage, loss, injury, or liability caused by the intentional or willful or wanton misconduct of that person.

2. The commission shall defend any member, officer, executive director, employee or representative of the commission in any civil action seeking to impose liability arising out of any actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, or that the person against whom the claim is made had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities; provided that nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit that person from retaining his or her own counsel; and provided further, that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did not result from that person's intentional or willful or wanton misconduct.

3. The commission shall indemnify and hold harmless any member, officer, executive director, employee, or representative of the commission for the amount of any settlement or judgment obtained against that person arising out of any actual or alleged act, error or omission that occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, or that such person had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, provided that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did not result from the intentional or willful or wanton misconduct of that person.

Section 11. COORDINATED DATABASE. A. The commission shall provide for the development and maintenance of a coordinated database and reporting system containing licensure, adverse action, and significant investigatory information on all licensed individuals in member states.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of state law to the contrary, a member state shall submit a uniform data set to the coordinated database on all individuals to whom this compact is applicable as required by the rules of the commission, including:

1. identifying information;

2. licensure data;

3. significant investigatory information;

4. adverse actions against an individual's license;

5. an indicator that an individual's privilege to practice is restricted, suspended or revoked;

6. non-confidential information related to alternative program participation;

7. any denial of application for licensure, and the reason or reasons for such denial; and

8. other information that may facilitate the administration of this compact, as determined by the rules of the commission.

C. The coordinated database administrator shall promptly notify all member states of any adverse action taken against, or significant investigative information on, any individual in a member state.

D. Member states contributing information to the coordinated database may designate information that may not be shared with the public without the express permission of the contributing state.

E. Any information submitted to the coordinated database that is subsequently required to be expunged by the laws of the member state contributing the information shall be removed from the coordinated database.

Section 12. RULEMAKING. A. The commission shall exercise its rulemaking powers pursuant to the criteria set forth in this section and the rules adopted thereunder. Rules and amendments shall become binding as of the date specified in each rule or amendment.

B. If a majority of the legislatures of the member states rejects a rule, by enactment of a statute or resolution in the same manner used to adopt the compact, then such rule shall have no further force and effect in any member state.

C. Rules or amendments to the rules shall be adopted at a regular or special meeting of the commission.

D. Prior to promulgation and adoption of a final rule or rules by the commission, and at least 60 days in advance of the meeting at which the rule will be considered and voted upon, the commission shall file a notice of proposed rulemaking:

1. on the website of the commission; and

2. on the website of each member state EMS authority or the publication in which each state would otherwise publish proposed rules.

E. The notice of proposed rulemaking shall include:

1. the proposed time, date, and location of the meeting in which the rule will be considered and voted upon;

2. the text of the proposed rule or amendment and the reason for the proposed rule;

3. a request for comments on the proposed rule from any interested person; and

4. the manner in which interested persons may submit notice to the commission of their intention to attend the public hearing and any written comments.

F. Prior to adoption of a proposed rule, the commission shall allow persons to submit written data, facts, opinions, and arguments, which shall be made available to the public.

G. The commission shall grant an opportunity for a public hearing before it adopts a rule or amendment if a hearing is requested by:

1. at least 25 persons;

2. a governmental subdivision or agency; or

3. an association having at least 25 members.

H. If a hearing is held on the proposed rule or amendment, the commission shall publish the place, time, and date of the scheduled public hearing.

1. All persons wishing to be heard at the hearing shall notify the executive director of the commission or other designated member in writing of their desire to appear and testify at the hearing not less than 5 business days before the scheduled date of the hearing.

2. Hearings shall be conducted in a manner providing each person who wishes to comment a fair and reasonable opportunity to comment orally or in writing.

3. No transcript of the hearing is required, unless a written request for a transcript is made, in which case the person requesting the transcript shall bear the cost of producing the transcript. A recording may be made in lieu of a transcript under the same terms and conditions as a transcript. This subsection shall not preclude the commission from making a transcript or recording of the hearing if it so chooses.

4. Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring a separate hearing on each rule. Rules may be grouped for the convenience of the commission at hearings required by this section.

I. Following the scheduled hearing date, or by the close of business on the scheduled hearing date if the hearing was not held, the commission shall consider all written and oral comments received.

J. The commission shall, by majority vote of all members, take final action on the proposed rule and shall determine the effective date of the rule, if any, based on the rulemaking record and the full text of the rule.

K. If no written notice of intent to attend the public hearing by interested parties is received, the commission may proceed with promulgation of the proposed rule without a public hearing.

L. Upon determination that an emergency exists, the commission may consider and adopt an emergency rule without prior notice, opportunity for comment, or hearing, provided that the usual rulemaking procedures provided in the compact and in this section shall be retroactively applied to the rule as soon as reasonably possible, in no event later than 90 days after the effective date of the rule. For the purposes of this provision, an emergency rule is one that must be adopted immediately in order to:

1. meet an imminent threat to public health, safety, or welfare;

2. prevent a loss of commission or member state funds;

3. meet a deadline for the promulgation of an administrative rule that is established by federal law or rule; or

4. protect public health and safety.

M. The commission or an authorized committee of the commission may direct revisions to a previously adopted rule or amendment for purposes of correcting typographical errors, errors in format, errors in consistency, or grammatical errors. Public notice of any revisions shall be posted on the website of the commission. The revision shall be subject to challenge by any person for a period of 30 days after posting. The revision may be challenged only on grounds that the revision results in a material change to a rule. A challenge shall be made in writing, and delivered to the chair of the commission prior to the end of the notice period. If no challenge is made, the revision will take effect without further action. If the revision is challenged, the revision may not take effect without the approval of the commission.

Section 13. OVERSIGHT, DISPUTE RESOLUTION, AND ENFORCEMENT. A. Oversight.

1. The executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government in each member state shall enforce this compact and take all actions necessary and appropriate to effectuate the compact's purposes and intent. The provisions of this compact and the rules promulgated hereunder shall have standing as statutory law.

2. All courts shall take judicial notice of the compact and the rules in any judicial or administrative proceeding in a member state pertaining to the subject matter of this compact which may affect the powers, responsibilities or actions of the commission.

3. The commission shall be entitled to receive service of process in any such proceeding, and shall have standing to intervene in such a proceeding for all purposes. Failure to provide service of process to the commission shall render a judgment or order void as to the commission, this compact, or promulgated rules.

B. Default, Technical Assistance, and Termination. 1. If the commission determines that a member state has defaulted in the performance of its obligations or responsibilities under this compact or the promulgated rules, the commission shall:

a. provide written notice to the defaulting state and other member states of the nature of the default, the proposed means of curing the default and/or any other action to be taken by the commission; and

b. provide remedial training and specific technical assistance regarding the default.

2. If a state in default fails to cure the default, the defaulting state may be terminated from the compact upon an affirmative vote of a majority of the member states, and all rights, privileges and benefits conferred by this compact may be terminated on the effective date of termination. A cure of the default does not relieve the offending state of obligations or liabilities incurred during the period of default.

3. Termination of membership in the compact shall be imposed only after all other means of securing compliance have been exhausted. Notice of intent to suspend or terminate shall be given by the commission to the governor, the majority and minority leaders of the defaulting state's legislature, and each of the member states.

4. A state that has been terminated is responsible for all assessments, obligations, and liabilities incurred through the effective date of termination, including obligations that extend beyond the effective date of termination.

5. The commission shall not bear any costs related to a state that is found to be in default or that has been terminated from the compact, unless agreed upon in writing between the commission and the defaulting state.

6. The defaulting state may appeal the action of the commission by petitioning the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia or the federal district where the commission has its principal offices. The prevailing member shall be awarded all costs of such litigation, including reasonable attorney's fees.

C. Dispute Resolution. 1. Upon request by a member state, the commission shall attempt to resolve disputes related to the compact that arise among member states and between member and non-member states.

2. The commission shall promulgate a rule providing for both mediation and binding dispute resolution for disputes as appropriate.

D. Enforcement. 1. The commission, in the reasonable exercise of its discretion, shall enforce the provisions and rules of this compact.

2. By majority vote, the commission may initiate legal action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or the federal district where the commission has its principal offices against a member state in default to enforce compliance with the provisions of the compact and its promulgated rules and bylaws. The relief sought may include both injunctive relief and damages. In the event judicial enforcement is necessary, the prevailing member shall be awarded all costs of such litigation, including reasonable attorney's fees.

3. The remedies herein shall not be the exclusive remedies of the commission. The commission may pursue any other remedies available under federal or state law.

Section 14. DATE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION FOR EMS PERSONNEL PRACTICE AND ASSOCIATED RULES, WITHDRAWAL, AND AMENDMENT. A. The compact shall come into effect on the date on which the compact statute is enacted into law in the tenth member state. The provisions, which become effective at that time, shall be limited to the powers granted to the commission relating to assembly and the promulgation of rules. Thereafter, the commission shall meet and exercise rulemaking powers necessary to the implementation and administration of the compact.

B. Any state that joins the compact subsequent to the commission's initial adoption of the rules shall be subject to the rules as they exist on the date on which the compact becomes law in that state. Any rule that has been previously adopted by the commission shall have the full force and effect of law on the day the compact becomes law in that state.

C. Any member state may withdraw from this compact by enacting a statute repealing the same.

1. A member state's withdrawal shall not take effect until six months after enactment of the repealing statute.

2. Withdrawal shall not affect the continuing requirement of the withdrawing state's EMS authority to comply with the investigative and adverse action reporting requirements of this compact prior to the effective date of withdrawal.

D. Nothing contained in this compact shall be construed to invalidate or prevent any EMS personnel licensure agreement or other cooperative arrangement between a member state and a non-member state that does not conflict with the provisions of this compact.

E. This compact may be amended by the member states. No amendment to this compact shall become effective and binding upon any member state until it is enacted into the laws of all member states.

Section 15. CONSTRUCTION AND SEVERABILITY. This compact shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes thereof. If this compact shall be held contrary to the constitution of any state member thereto, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining member states. Nothing in this compact supersedes state law or rules related to licensure of EMS agencies.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 778 (H.B. 2498), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Chapter 779

Sec. 779.001: Definition

In this chapter, "automated external defibrillator" means a heart monitor and defibrillator that:

(1) has received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration of its premarket notification filed under 21 U.S.C. Section 360(k), as amended;

(2) is capable of recognizing the presence or absence of ventricular fibrillation or rapid ventricular tachycardia and is capable of determining, without interpretation of cardiac rhythm by an operator, whether defibrillation should be performed; and

(3) on determining that defibrillation should be performed, automatically charges and requests delivery of an electrical impulse to an individual's heart.

Comments

Adde