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  S.B. No. 745
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to state travel policies and procedures for the
  reimbursement or payment of travel expenses.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subsection (a), Section 660.024, Government
  Code, is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The chief administrator of a state agency must give
  advance written approval for any travel related to official state
  business for which a reimbursement for travel expenses is claimed
  or for which an advance for travel expenses to be incurred is
  sought.  The advance [A copy of the] written approval may [shall] be
  communicated electronically [submitted with the travel voucher to
  the comptroller in accordance with Section 660.027].
         SECTION 2.  Subsections (b), (d), and (e), Section 660.027,
  Government Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (b)  A voucher submitted under Subsection (a) is valid only
  if:
               (1)  the state agency submitting the voucher approves
  it in accordance with Chapter 2103 and, if required by law,
  certifies the voucher; and
               (2)  the state employee who incurred the travel expense
  or, if the employee is unavailable, another individual acceptable
  to the comptroller approves the description, information, and
  documentation required by Subsection (d) [voucher] in writing or
  electronically, except that the employee's approval is not required
  if another person is required by law to provide the approval.
         (d)  A voucher must be supported by:
               (1)  a description of [describe] the official state
  business performed; and
               (2)  [be accompanied by] the information and
  documentation that the comptroller considers necessary for the
  comptroller to determine compliance with this chapter, the travel
  provisions of the General Appropriations Act, and the rules adopted
  by the comptroller under this chapter.
         (e)  The comptroller may require a state agency to provide to
  the comptroller the description, information, and documentation
  required under [by] Subsection (d):
               (1)  on the form adopted by the comptroller under
  Subsection (c);
               (2)  electronically;
               (3)  by submitting receipts or other documents; or
               (4) [(3)]  by any [a] combination of Subdivisions (1),
  [and] (2), and (3).
         SECTION 3.  Section 660.028, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (b), (c), and (d) and adding Subsection (e) to
  read as follows:
         (b)  If the comptroller audits a state agency's voucher after
  the comptroller issues a warrant or initiates an electronic funds
  transfer in response to the voucher, the comptroller may require
  the agency to maintain in its files the description, information,
  and documentation [receipts] relating to the travel expense paid or
  reimbursed by the voucher until the comptroller audits the voucher.
         (c)  If a state agency pays or reimburses a travel expense
  without first submitting a voucher to the comptroller, the
  comptroller may audit the payment or reimbursement for compliance
  with this chapter and the travel provisions of the General
  Appropriations Act. The comptroller may report the results of the
  audit to the governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the
  house of representatives, the state auditor, and the Legislative
  Budget Board. The state agency shall cooperate with the
  comptroller and make available the description, information, and
  documentation [receipts] required by the comptroller at the time
  and in the manner required by the comptroller.
         (d)  The comptroller may require a state agency to maintain
  in its files the description, information, and documentation
  [receipts] regarding a travel expense payment or reimbursement for
  the period required by the comptroller.
         (e)  The comptroller may require or authorize the
  description, information, and documentation relating to a travel
  expense payment or reimbursement to be maintained in paper form or
  electronically.
         SECTION 4.  Subsections (b) and (d), Section 660.043,
  Government Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (b)  For the purpose of Subsection (a), the shortest route
  between two points is presumed to be the most cost-effective route.
  A longer route may be considered the most cost-effective route only
  if:
               (1)  the documentation [voucher] states that the longer
  route is more cost effective;
               (2)  the documentation [voucher] provides a reasonable
  justification for that statement; and
               (3)  the statement and justification are made by the
  chief administrator of the state agency making the reimbursement or
  by the chief administrator's designee.
         (d)  If the number of miles between points is not shown in the
  guide, the mileage incurred while traveling between those points is
  not reimbursable unless:
               (1)  the documentation [voucher] itemizes the mileage
  on a point-to-point basis; and
               (2)  the mileage is reasonable.
         SECTION 5.  Subsection (b), Section 660.147, Government
  Code, is amended to read as follows:
         (b)  A state agency may not pay or reimburse a state employee
  for a travel expense associated with a training seminar conducted
  by the agency for its employees unless the chief administrator of
  the agency or the administrator's designee certifies in the
  supporting documentation [on the voucher or other expense
  reimbursement form] that the agency:
               (1)  does not possess interactive television or video
  conference facilities at the designated headquarters of the
  employees attending the seminar;
               (2)  cannot purchase or lease such facilities at a cost
  less than the total travel expenses associated with the seminar;
  and
               (3)  does not have access to another agency's
  facilities at the same location.
         SECTION 6.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 745 passed the Senate on
  March 24, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 745 passed the House on
  May 19, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 146, Nays 0, one
  present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor