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  S.B. No. 700
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas Parks and
  Wildlife Department.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 11.0111, Parks and Wildlife Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 11.0111.  SUNSET PROVISION. The Parks and Wildlife
  Department is subject to Chapter 325, Government Code (Texas Sunset
  Act). Unless continued in existence as provided by that chapter,
  the department is abolished September 1, 2033 [2021].
         SECTION 2.  Section 11.0126, Parks and Wildlife Code, is
  amended by amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsection (d) to
  read as follows:
         (b)  The training program must provide the person with
  information regarding:
               (1)  the law governing [legislation that created the]
  department operations [and the commission];
               (2)  the programs, functions, rules, and budget of
  [operated by] the department;
               (3)  the scope of and limitations of the rulemaking
  authority [the role and functions] of the commission [department];
               (4)  [the rules of the commission, with an emphasis on
  the rules that relate to disciplinary and investigatory authority;
               [(5)  the current budget for the department;
               [(6)]  the results of the most recent formal audit of
  the department;
               (5) [(7)]  the requirements of:
                     (A)  laws relating to [the] open meetings, public
  information, administrative procedure, and disclosing conflicts of
  interest [law, Chapter 551, Government Code]; and
                     (B)  [the public information law, Chapter 552,
  Government Code;
                     [(C)  the administrative procedure law, Chapter
  2001, Government Code; and
                     [(D)]  other laws applicable to members of a state
  policy-making body in performing their duties [relating to public
  officials, including conflict-of-interest laws]; and
               (6) [(8)]  any applicable ethics policies adopted by
  the department or the Texas Ethics Commission.
         (d)  The director shall create a training manual that
  includes the information required by Subsection (b). The director
  shall distribute a copy of the training manual annually to each
  member of the commission. Each member of the commission shall sign
  and submit to the director a statement acknowledging that the
  member received and has reviewed the training manual.
         SECTION 3.  The heading to Section 11.0161, Parks and
  Wildlife Code, is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 11.0161.  NOTIFICATION OF COMMISSION ACTIVITIES[;
  COMPLAINTS].
         SECTION 4.  Subchapter B, Chapter 11, Parks and Wildlife
  Code, is amended by adding Section 11.0165 to read as follows:
         Sec. 11.0165.  COMPLAINTS. (a) The department shall
  maintain a system to promptly and efficiently act on complaints
  filed with the department. The department shall maintain
  information about parties to the complaint, the subject matter of
  the complaint, a summary of the results of the review or
  investigation of the complaint, and its disposition.
         (b)  The department shall make information available
  describing its procedures for complaint investigation and
  resolution.
         (c)  The department shall periodically notify the complaint
  parties of the status of the complaint until final disposition
  unless the notice would jeopardize an investigation.
         SECTION 5.  Section 11.104, Parks and Wildlife Code, is
  amended by amending Subsection (c) and adding Subsections (f) and
  (g) to read as follows:
         (c)  Based on the analysis made under Subsection (a), the
  department shall prepare a land and water resources conservation
  and recreation plan.  [The plan must include criteria for
  determining how to meet the state's conservation and recreation
  needs.] The department shall revise the plan as necessary to
  reflect changes in the inventory developed under Section 11.103.
  The plan must include:
               (1)  criteria for determining how to meet the state's
  conservation and recreation needs; and
               (2)  measures of the effectiveness of the department in
  meeting the goals and objectives of the plan, including, where
  possible, quantifiable measures.
         (f)  Every five years the department shall evaluate progress
  towards achieving the goals and objectives of the plan prepared
  under Subsection (c).  The department's evaluation must:
               (1)  include the effectiveness measures under
  Subsection (c)(2); and
               (2)  identify:
                     (A)  the goals and objectives met by the
  department; and
                     (B)  reasons for any unmet goals or objectives.
         (g)  On completion of an evaluation under Subsection (f), the
  department shall develop and implement practices designed to
  improve progress towards meeting the goals and objectives of the
  plan.
         SECTION 6.  Subchapter B, Chapter 12, Parks and Wildlife
  Code, is amended by adding Section 12.1025 to read as follows:
         Sec. 12.1025.  RISK-BASED INSPECTIONS OF NONRECREATIONAL
  AUTHORIZATION HOLDERS. (a) In this section, "nonrecreational
  authorization holder" means a holder of a license, permit, or other
  authorization required by this code or rules adopted under this
  code. The term does not include a holder of:
               (1)  a hunting license issued under Chapter 42;
               (2)  a hunting or fishing stamp issued under Chapter
  43;
               (3)  a fishing license issued under Chapter 46; or
               (4)  a combination hunting and fishing license issued
  under Chapter 50.
         (b)  The commission by rule shall adopt a policy to guide the
  prioritization of inspections of nonrecreational authorization
  holders based on risk to the state's natural resources.
         (c)  The policy adopted under this section must require that
  the department:
               (1)  identify the nonrecreational authorization
  holders that require on-site inspections;
               (2)  develop an assessment tool for determining the
  appropriate frequency and intensity of department inspections of
  nonrecreational authorization holders, based on key risk factors
  and indications of increased or decreased risk, such as repeated or
  remedied violations and failed or passed inspections; and
               (3)  document all inspections of nonrecreational
  authorization holders and the results of those inspections and make
  the documentation available to all employees whose job descriptions
  include the regulation of nonrecreational authorization holders.
         SECTION 7.  Section 24.001(12), Parks and Wildlife Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
               (12)  "Underserved population" means any group of
  people that is:
                     (A)  low income, inner city, or rural as
  determined by the last census;
                     (B)  [, or] minority;
                     (C)  youth, including youth at risk and youth with
  a physical, developmental, or intellectual disability or mental
  illness;[, physically or mentally challenged youth at risk, youth,]
  or
                     (D)  female.
         SECTION 8.  Section 24.051(11), Parks and Wildlife Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
               (11)  "Underserved population" means any group of
  people that is:
                     (A)  low income or inner city, as determined by
  the last census;
                     (B)  [, or] minority;
                     (C)  youth, including youth at risk and youth with
  a physical, developmental, or intellectual disability or mental
  illness;[, physically or mentally challenged youth at risk, youth,]
  or
                     (D)  female.
         SECTION 9.  Section 31.044, Parks and Wildlife Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 31.044.  INSPECTIONS. (a) A dealer, distributor, or
  manufacturer may not refuse to allow the department or a peace
  officer to inspect a vessel, outboard motor, or records relating to
  the possession, origination, ownership, or transfer of a vessel or
  outboard motor at a dealership or distributor's or manufacturer's
  place of business during normal business hours.
         (b)  The commission by rule shall adopt a policy to guide the
  prioritization of inspections of license holders holding a license
  issued under Section 31.041 based on risk to water safety.
         (c)  The policy adopted under this section must require that
  the department:
               (1)  determine the conditions under which an on-site
  inspection of a license holder by the department is appropriate;
               (2)  develop an assessment tool for determining the
  appropriate frequency and intensity of department inspections of
  license holders, based on key risk factors and indications of
  increased or decreased risk, such as repeated or remedied
  violations and failed or passed inspections; and 
               (3)  document all license holder inspections and the
  results of those inspections and make the documentation available
  to all employees whose job descriptions include the regulation of
  license holders.
         (d)  The policy adopted under this section may be combined
  with a policy adopted under Section 12.1025.
         SECTION 10.  Sections 42.012(b) and (c), Parks and Wildlife
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (b)  The commission may set a lower fee or waive the fee or
  license requirement for a resident who is under 17 years old, 65
  years old or older, or participating in an event that is sponsored
  or co-sponsored by the department [Texas Parks and Wildlife
  Department] with the approval of the [executive] director. The
  commission shall waive the fee for a qualified [disabled] veteran
  with a disability and for a resident on active duty as a member of
  the United States military forces, the Texas Army National Guard,
  the Texas Air National Guard, or the Texas State Guard.
         (c)  "Qualified [disabled] veteran with a disability" means
  a veteran with a service connected disability, as defined by the
  United States Department of Veterans Affairs, consisting of the
  loss of the use of a lower extremity or of a disability rating of 50
  percent or more and who is receiving compensation from the United
  States for the disability.
         SECTION 11.  Section 46.002, Parks and Wildlife Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 46.002.  EXEMPTIONS. (a) A license issued under this
  chapter is not required of a person:
               (1)  who is a resident and whose birth date is before
  January 1, 1931;
               (2)  who is a nonresident, if the person's birth date is
  before September 1, 1930, and the person's state of residence
  grants a similar age exemption to Texas residents;
               (3)  with a mental illness or developmental or
  intellectual disability who is engaged [mentally disabled and who
  is engaging] in recreational fishing as part of medically approved
  therapy[, and who is fishing] under the immediate supervision of
  personnel approved or employed by a hospital, residence, or school
  for [mentally disabled] persons with mental illnesses or
  developmental or intellectual disabilities;
               (4)  with a mental illness or developmental or
  intellectual disability who is [mentally retarded and is] engaged
  in recreational fishing under the immediate supervision of a person
  who:
                     (A)  holds a license issued under this chapter;
  and
                     (B)  if not a member of the family of the person
  with a mental illness or developmental or intellectual disability, 
  has the permission of the [mentally retarded person's] family head
  or legal guardian of the person with a mental illness or
  developmental or intellectual disability to take the [mentally
  retarded] person with a mental illness or developmental or
  intellectual disability fishing [if the person is not a member of
  the family of the mentally retarded person]; or
               (5)  who is participating in an event that is sponsored
  or co-sponsored by the department [Texas Parks and Wildlife
  Department] with the approval of the director [Executive Director].
         (b)  The [mentally disabled] person with a mental illness or
  developmental or intellectual disability who is recreationally
  fishing under Subsection (a)(3) shall carry an authorization
  identifying the entity supplying the service. This authorization
  may be in the form of a tag that contains the name of the sponsoring
  entity.
         (c)  A [mentally retarded] person with a mental illness or
  developmental or intellectual disability who is engaged in
  recreational fishing under Subsection (a)(4) must carry a note from
  a doctor stating that the person has been diagnosed with a mental
  illness or developmental or intellectual disability [as mentally
  retarded].
         SECTION 12.  Section 46.004(c), Parks and Wildlife Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (c)  The commission shall waive the fee for a qualified
  [disabled] veteran with a disability as defined by Section 42.012
  and for a resident on active duty as a member of the United States
  military forces, the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air
  National Guard, or the Texas State Guard.
         SECTION 13.  Chapter 86, Parks and Wildlife Code, is amended
  by adding Section 86.0215 to read as follows:
         Sec. 86.0215.  INSPECTIONS. (a) In this section, "permit
  holder" means a person holding a permit under Section 86.006.
         (b)  The commission by rule shall adopt a policy to guide the
  prioritization of inspections of permit holders based on risk to
  the state's natural resources.
         (c)  The policy adopted under this section must require that
  the department:
               (1)  determine the conditions under which an on-site
  inspection of a permit holder by the department is appropriate;
               (2)  develop an assessment tool for determining the
  appropriate frequency and intensity of department inspections of
  permit holders, based on key risk factors and indications of
  increased or decreased risk, such as repeated or remedied
  violations and failed or passed inspections; and
               (3)  document all inspections of permit holders and the
  results of those inspections and make the documentation available
  to all employees whose job descriptions include the regulation of
  permit holders.
         (d)  The policy adopted under this section may be combined
  with a policy adopted under Section 12.1025.
         SECTION 14.  Sections 11.0161(b), (c), (d), and (e), Parks
  and Wildlife Code, are repealed.
         SECTION 15.  (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (b) of
  this section, Section 11.0126, Parks and Wildlife Code, as amended
  by this Act, applies to a member of the Parks and Wildlife
  Commission appointed before, on, or after the effective date of
  this Act.
         (b)  A member of the Parks and Wildlife Commission who,
  before the effective date of this Act, completed the training
  program required by Section 11.0126, Parks and Wildlife Code, as
  that law existed before the effective date of this Act, is only
  required to complete additional training on the subjects added by
  this Act to the training program required by Section 11.0126, Parks
  and Wildlife Code. A board member described by this subsection may
  not vote, deliberate, or be counted as a member in attendance at a
  meeting of the board held on or after December 1, 2021, until the
  member completes the additional training.
         SECTION 16.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 700 passed the Senate on
  April 19, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 700 passed the House on
  May 12, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 140, Nays 1, one
  present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor