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  H.B. No. 1295
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the disclosure of research, research sponsors, and
  interested parties by persons contracting with governmental
  entities and state agencies.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter Z, Chapter 51, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 51.954 to read as follows:
         Sec. 51.954.  DISCLOSURE OF SPONSORS OF RESEARCH IN PUBLIC
  COMMUNICATIONS. (a) In any public communication the content of
  which is based on the results of sponsored research, a faculty
  member or other employee or appointee of an institution of higher
  education who conducted or participated in conducting the research
  shall conspicuously disclose the identity of each sponsor of the
  research.
         (b)  In this section:
               (1)  "Institution of higher education" has the meaning
  assigned by Section 61.003.
               (2)  "Public communication" means oral or written
  communication intended for public consumption or distribution,
  including:
                     (A)  testimony in a public administrative,
  legislative, regulatory, or judicial proceeding;
                     (B)  printed matter including a magazine,
  journal, newsletter, newspaper, pamphlet, or report; or
                     (C)  posting of information on a website or
  similar Internet host for information.
               (3)  "Sponsor" means an entity that contracts for or
  provides money or materials for research.
               (4)  "Sponsored research" means research:
                     (A)  that is conducted under a contract with or a
  grant from an individual or entity, other than the institution
  conducting the research, for the purpose of the research; and
                     (B)  in which payments received or the value of
  materials received under that contract or grant, or under a
  combination of more than one such contract or grant, constitutes at
  least 50 percent of the cost of conducting the research.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter Z, Chapter 51, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 51.955 to read as follows:
         Sec. 51.955.  PROHIBITED STATE AGENCY ACTIONS RELATED TO
  DISCLOSURE OF PUBLICLY FUNDED RESEARCH. (a) In this section,
  "institution of higher education" has the meaning assigned by
  Section 61.003.
         (b)  A state agency that expends appropriated funds may not:
               (1)  enter into a research contract with an institution
  of higher education if that contract contains a provision
  precluding public disclosure of any final data generated or
  produced in the course of executing the contract unless the agency
  reasonably determines that the premature disclosure of such data
  would adversely affect public safety, the protection of
  intellectual property rights of the institution of higher
  education, publication rights in professional scientific
  publications, or valuable confidential information of the
  institution of higher education or a third party; or
               (2)  adopt a rule that is based on research conducted
  under a contract entered into with an institution of higher
  education unless the agency:
                     (A)  has made the results of the research and all
  data supporting the research publicly available; or
                     (B)  reasonably determines that the premature
  disclosure of such data would adversely affect public safety, the
  protection of intellectual property rights of the institution of
  higher education, publication rights in professional scientific
  publications, or valuable confidential information of the
  institution of higher education or a third party.
         (c)  Subsection (b)(1) does not apply to a research contract
  between an institution of higher education and the Cancer
  Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
         (d)  A response to a request for information regarding
  research described by Subsection (b) must be made in accordance
  with Chapter 552, Government Code.
         (e)  This section does not require the public disclosure of
  personal identifying information or any other information the
  disclosure of which is otherwise prohibited by law.
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter Z, Chapter 2252, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 2252.908 to read as follows:
         Sec. 2252.908.  DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTED PARTIES. (a) In
  this section:
               (1)  "Business entity" means any entity recognized by
  law through which business is conducted, including a sole
  proprietorship, partnership, or corporation.
               (2)  "Governmental entity" means a municipality,
  county, public school district, or special-purpose district or
  authority.
               (3)  "Interested party" means a person who has a
  controlling interest in a business entity with whom a governmental
  entity or state agency contracts or who actively participates in
  facilitating the contract or negotiating the terms of the contract,
  including a broker, intermediary, adviser, or attorney for the
  business entity.
               (4)  "State agency" means a board, commission, office,
  department, or other agency in the executive, judicial, or
  legislative branch of state government. The term includes an
  institution of higher education as defined by Section 61.003,
  Education Code.
         (b)  This section applies only to a contract of a
  governmental entity or state agency that:
               (1)  requires an action or vote by the governing body of
  the entity or agency before the contract may be signed; or
               (2)  has a value of at least $1 million.
         (c)  Notwithstanding Subsection (b), this section does not
  apply to:
               (1)  a sponsored research contract of an institution of
  higher education;
               (2)  an interagency contract of a state agency or an
  institution of higher education; or
               (3)  a contract related to health and human services
  if:
                     (A)  the value of the contract cannot be
  determined at the time the contract is executed; and
                     (B)  any qualified vendor is eligible for the
  contract.
         (d)  A governmental entity or state agency may not enter into
  a contract described by Subsection (b) with a business entity
  unless the business entity, in accordance with this section and
  rules adopted under this section, submits a disclosure of
  interested parties to the governmental entity or state agency at
  the time the business entity submits the signed contract to the
  governmental entity or state agency.
         (e)  The disclosure of interested parties must be submitted
  on a form prescribed by the Texas Ethics Commission that includes:
               (1)  a list of each interested party for the contract of
  which the contracting business entity is aware; and
               (2)  the signature of the authorized agent of the
  contracting business entity, acknowledging that the disclosure is
  made under oath and under penalty of perjury.
         (f)  Not later than the 30th day after the date the
  governmental entity or state agency receives a disclosure of
  interested parties required under this section, the governmental
  entity or state agency shall submit a copy of the disclosure to the
  Texas Ethics Commission.
         (g)  The Texas Ethics Commission shall adopt rules necessary
  to implement this section, prescribe the disclosure of interested
  parties form, and post a copy of the form on the commission's
  Internet website.
         SECTION 4.  (a) Not later than December 1, 2015, the Texas
  Ethics Commission shall adopt the rules, prescribe the disclosure
  of interested parties form, and post the form on the commission's
  Internet website as required by Section 2252.908, Government Code,
  as added by this Act.
         (b)  Section 2252.908, Government Code, as added by this Act,
  applies only to a contract entered into on or after January 1, 2016.
         SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2015.
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 1295 was passed by the House on May
  11, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 135, Nays 0, 1 present, not
  voting; that the House refused to concur in Senate amendments to
  H.B. No. 1295 on May 28, 2015, and requested the appointment of a
  conference committee to consider the differences between the two
  houses; and that the House adopted the conference committee report
  on H.B. No. 1295 on May 31, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 144,
  Nays 0, 2 present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 1295 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 25, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 30, Nays
  1; at the request of the House, the Senate appointed a conference
  committee to consider the differences between the two houses; and
  that the Senate adopted the conference committee report on H.B. No.
  1295 on May 31, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 30, Nays 1.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor