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                                                                  S.B. No. 272




AN ACT
relating to the creation of an oyster license moratorium program. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Chapter 76, Parks and Wildlife Code, is amended by adding Subchapter F to read as follows:
SUBCHAPTER F. OYSTER LICENSE MORATORIUM
Sec. 76.401. OYSTER LICENSE MORATORIUM PROGRAM. The department shall implement an oyster license moratorium program to promote efficiency and economic stability in the oyster industry. Sec. 76.402. ISSUANCE AND RENEWAL OF COMMERCIAL OYSTER BOAT LICENSES. (a) After August 31, 2005, the department may not issue or renew a commercial oyster boat license unless the person seeking to obtain or renew the license documents to the satisfaction of the department that the vessel for which the license is sought: (1) is owned by the person; (2) was licensed as a commercial oyster boat on the day the renewal was sought or at the end of the licensing period immediately preceding the period for which the license is sought; and (3) is intended to be licensed and used as a commercial oyster boat. (b) An applicant for a new or renewed commercial oyster boat license for a vessel must submit to the department with the license application: (1) the United States Coast Guard certificate of documentation for the vessel, if the vessel is required by United States Coast Guard rules to be documented; and (2) the certificate of number for the vessel as required by Chapter 31. Sec. 76.403. OYSTER LICENSE MORATORIUM REVIEW BOARD. (a) The holders of commercial oyster boat licenses shall elect an oyster license moratorium review board of seven members. (b) A member of the review board must be a holder of a commercial oyster boat license. (c) The seven members of the review board must be selected to reflect the following geographical distribution according to the county of residence specified on the member's commercial oyster boat license: (1) one member representing Orange, Jefferson, Chambers, and Harris Counties; (2) two members representing Galveston County; (3) one member representing Brazoria and Matagorda Counties; (4) two members representing Calhoun, Aransas, Nueces, San Patricio, and Refugio Counties; and (5) one member representing Kleberg, Cameron, and Willacy Counties. (d) The review board shall advise the commission and department and make recommendations concerning the administrative aspects of the oyster license moratorium program, including hardship and appeal cases concerning eligibility. (e) The director shall adopt procedures for the election and operation of the review board. The director shall solicit and consider recommendations from the commercial oyster boat license holders regarding the procedures and the continued need for the board. (f) The review board is not subject to Chapter 2110, Government Code. Sec. 76.404. PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION; RULES. (a) The director shall establish administrative procedures to carry out the requirements of this subchapter. (b) The commission shall adopt any rules necessary for the administration of the program established under this subchapter. Sec. 76.405. REPORT OF PROGRAM STATUS. (a) Not later than January 1, 2010, the department shall report to an advisory committee appointed by the presiding officer of the commission to address issues relating to oysters in this state. (b) The report under Subsection (a) must include an overview of the administration and status of the program established under this subchapter and information concerning the sociological and economic effects of the program. (c) This section expires September 1, 2010. SECTION 2. (a) As soon as practicable, the Parks and Wildlife Commission shall adopt rules necessary to administer the oyster license moratorium program established under Subchapter F, Chapter 76, Parks and Wildlife Code, as added by this Act. (b) As soon as practicable after the effective date of this Act, the executive director of the Parks and Wildlife Commission shall adopt procedures for the election of the oyster license moratorium review board under Section 76.403, Parks and Wildlife Code, as added by this Act. As soon as practicable after the adoption of election procedures, but not later than November 1, 2005, the election of the oyster license moratorium review board must be held. SECTION 3. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2005.
______________________________ ______________________________ President of the Senate Speaker of the House
I hereby certify that S.B. No. 272 passed the Senate on May 3, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0. ______________________________ Secretary of the Senate I hereby certify that S.B. No. 272 passed the House on May 12, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 137, Nays 0, two present not voting. ______________________________ Chief Clerk of the House Approved: ______________________________ Date ______________________________ Governor