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  H.B. No. 3447
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the establishment and administration of the Texas Space
  Commission and the Texas Aerospace Research and Space Economy
  Consortium.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subtitle F, Title 4, Government Code, is amended
  by adding Chapter 482 to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 482. TEXAS AEROSPACE AND TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT
  SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS
         Sec. 482.001.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
               (1)  "Board" means the board of directors of the
  commission.
               (2)  "Commission" means the Texas Space Commission.
               (3)  "Fund" means the space exploration and aeronautics
  research fund.
               (4)  "Institution of higher education" has the meaning
  assigned by Section 61.003, Education Code.
  SUBCHAPTER B. TEXAS SPACE COMMISSION
         Sec. 482.101.  ESTABLISHMENT; PURPOSE. (a) The Texas Space
  Commission is established to strengthen this state's proven
  leadership in civil, commercial, and military aerospace activity.
         (b)  The purpose of the commission is to promote innovation
  in the fields of space exploration and commercial aerospace
  opportunities, including the integration of space, aeronautics,
  and aviation industries into the economy of this state.
         Sec. 482.102.  ADMINISTRATIVE ATTACHMENT. (a) The
  commission is administratively attached to the office of the
  governor, and the office of the governor shall provide
  administrative support to the commission as provided by this
  section. The equal employment opportunity officer and the internal
  auditor of the office of the governor shall serve the same functions
  for the commission as they serve for the office of the governor.
         (b)  The office of the governor and the board shall enter
  into a memorandum of understanding detailing:
               (1)  the administrative support the commission
  requires from the office of the governor to fulfill the purposes of
  this chapter;
               (2)  the reimbursement of administrative expenses to
  the office of the governor; and
               (3)  any other provisions available by law to ensure
  the efficient operation of the commission as attached to the office
  of the governor.
         Sec. 482.103.  SUNSET PROVISION. The commission is subject
  to Chapter 325 (Texas Sunset Act). Unless continued in existence as
  provided by that chapter, the commission is abolished and this
  chapter expires September 1, 2032.
         Sec. 482.104.  STATE AUDITOR. Nothing in this chapter
  limits the authority of the state auditor under Chapter 321 or other
  law.
         Sec. 482.105.  BOARD OF DIRECTORS. (a) The commission is
  governed by a nine-member board of directors. The board is composed
  of:
               (1)  three members appointed by the governor;
               (2)  three members appointed by the lieutenant
  governor; and
               (3)  three members appointed by the speaker of the
  house of representatives.
         (b)  In making appointments under Subsection (a), the
  governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the house of
  representatives shall prioritize appointing individuals with
  experience in:
               (1)  commercial aerospace;
               (2)  civil aviation;
               (3)  military aerospace;
               (4)  space economic development;
               (5)  space-related academic research; and
               (6)  nonprofit support of the space economy.
         (c)  Members of the board appointed by the governor,
  lieutenant governor, and speaker of the house serve at the pleasure
  of the appointing office for staggered six-year terms, with the
  terms of two members expiring on January 31 of each odd-numbered
  year.
         (d)  If a vacancy occurs on the board, the appropriate
  appointing authority shall appoint a successor, in the same manner
  as the original appointment, to serve for the remainder of the
  unexpired term. The appropriate appointing authority shall appoint
  the successor not later than the 30th day after the date the vacancy
  occurs.
         (e)  Not later than the 30th day after the date a board
  member's term expires, the appropriate appointing authority shall
  appoint a replacement.
         (f)  The board shall elect a presiding officer from among the
  members of the board.
         Sec. 482.106.  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. (a) The board shall hire
  an executive director. The executive director shall perform the
  duties required by this chapter and any duty delegated by the board.
         (b)  The executive director must have a demonstrated ability
  to lead and develop academic, commercial, military, or governmental
  partnerships and coalitions.
         (c)  The executive director may hire staff as necessary to
  implement the duties of the commission under this chapter.
         Sec. 482.107.  BOARD OF DIRECTORS: AUTHORITY. (a) The board
  shall:
               (1)  direct the activities of, establish goals for, and
  provide oversight to the commission;
               (2)  develop and execute a strategic plan in accordance
  with Section 482.201;
               (3)  establish the appropriate standards and executive
  bodies to ensure the proper use of funds authorized under this
  chapter for research and facilities development;
               (4)  identify research and funding opportunities for
  entities within this state that:
                     (A)  strengthen and enhance this state's proven
  leadership position in civil, commercial, and military aeronautics
  research and development and space flight infrastructure;
                     (B)  enhance the integration of the space,
  aeronautics, astronautics, and aviation industries into this
  state's economy; and
                     (C)  promote and further research involving
  materials derived from or developed through space exploration and
  space flight;
               (5)  capitalize, promote, and assist in the development
  of workforce training to further the development of emerging
  technologies required for all aspects of space exploration; and
               (6)  solicit proposals on funding and research
  opportunities related to the objectives in this chapter from the
  Texas Aerospace Research and Space Economy Consortium established
  under Subchapter G.
         (b)  The board shall employ a chief compliance officer to
  monitor and report to the board regarding compliance with this
  chapter and rules adopted under this chapter. The chief compliance
  officer shall ensure that all grant proposals comply with this
  chapter and rules adopted under this chapter before the proposals
  are submitted to the board for approval.
         (c)  The board may:
               (1)  establish ad hoc advisory committees as necessary
  to carry out the board's duties under this chapter;
               (2)  adopt and use an official seal;
               (3)  solicit and accept gifts or grants, and contract
  with any entity;
               (4)  acquire and convey property or an interest in
  property;
               (5)  procure insurance and pay premiums on insurance of
  any type, in accounts, and from insurers as the board considers
  necessary and advisable to accomplish any of the commission's
  purposes;
               (6)  make grants to public or private persons with an
  established presence within this state to encourage economic
  development related to space and aerospace;
               (7)  make grants to enhance the capacity of
  institutions of higher education to participate in and support
  classified research;
               (8)  provide matching funding to external funding
  provided by relevant federal agencies, private industry, or private
  research organizations; and
               (9)  engage in the planning and implementation of
  aerospace-related educational opportunities within this state in
  coordination with the Texas Aerospace Research and Space Economy
  Consortium established under Subchapter G.
  SUBCHAPTER C.  STRATEGIC PLAN
         Sec. 482.201.  STRATEGIC PLAN. (a) The commission shall
  develop and annually update a strategic plan for the promotion of
  space, aeronautics, and aviation economic development in this
  state.
         (b)  The strategic plan must include a list of potential
  projects that further the purpose of the commission, and, for each
  project:
               (1)  the estimated total cost for completion, including
  a potential state matching cost; and
               (2)  an assessment of the availability of external
  funding sources.
         (c)  The strategic plan may include any other information the
  commission determines is relevant to furthering the purpose of the
  commission.
         (d)  The board shall submit the strategic plan to the
  governor, the lieutenant governor, and the speaker of the house of
  representatives not later than December 31 of each year.
  SUBCHAPTER D.  SPACE EXPLORATION AND AERONAUTICS RESEARCH FUND
         Sec. 482.301.  SPACE EXPLORATION AND AERONAUTICS RESEARCH
  FUND; ESTABLISHMENT. (a) The space exploration and aeronautics
  research fund is established to provide grants to eligible entities
  as provided by this chapter.
         (b)  The fund is a trust fund outside the treasury with the
  comptroller and administered by the commission.
         (c)  The fund is composed of:
               (1)  gifts, grants, and donations provided to the
  commission; and
               (2)  money from any source designated by the
  legislature.
         Sec. 482.302.  SPACE EXPLORATION AND AERONAUTICS RESEARCH
  FUND; GRANTS.  (a)  Using money available in the fund, the
  commission may provide grants to eligible entities described by
  Subsection (b) for the purposes of:
               (1)  development of emerging technologies required for
  any aspect of human space flight;
               (2)  research involving any aspect of space exploration
  and space flight;
               (3)  workforce training to promote space exploration
  and space flight;
               (4)  curation of post-mission materials involved in
  space exploration and space flight; and
               (5)  development of infrastructure useful or necessary
  for the establishment or maintenance of a spaceport.
         (b)  The following entities are eligible for a grant made
  under this subchapter:
               (1)  a business or nonprofit entity involved in the
  space exploration, research, or aeronautics industry; and
               (2)  a governmental entity with which the commission
  has entered into an intergovernmental agreement for that purpose.
         (c)  The board shall comply with the provisions of this
  chapter in developing the procedures for administration and
  approval of grants through the fund.
         (d)  The commission shall provide written notification to
  the Legislative Budget Board not later than the 30th day after the
  date a grant award is made from the fund.
  SUBCHAPTER E. ETHICS AND AUDIT
         Sec. 482.401.  CONFLICT OF INTEREST. (a)  The board shall
  adopt conflict-of-interest rules to govern members of the board and
  commission employees.
         (b)  A board member or commission employee shall recuse
  himself or herself, as provided by Section 482.402, if the board
  member or employee, or a person who is related to the board member
  or employee within the second degree of affinity or consanguinity,
  has a professional or financial interest in an entity receiving or
  applying to receive money from the commission.
         (c)  A person has a financial interest in an entity receiving
  or applying to receive money from the commission if the person:
               (1)  owns or controls, directly or indirectly, an
  ownership interest, including sharing in profits, proceeds, or
  capital gains, in an entity, or in a foundation or similar
  organization affiliated with an entity, receiving or applying to
  receive money from the commission; or
               (2)  could reasonably foresee that an action or
  recommendation by the board or commission could result in a
  financial benefit to the person.
         (d)  Nothing in this subchapter limits the authority of the
  board to adopt additional conflict-of-interest standards.
         Sec. 482.402.  DISCLOSURE OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST; RECUSAL.
  (a)  If a board member has a conflict of interest as described by
  Section 482.401 regarding an application that comes before the
  board for review or other action, the board member shall:
               (1)  provide written notice to the executive director
  and the presiding officer of the board or the next ranking member of
  the board if the presiding officer has the conflict of interest;
               (2)  disclose the conflict of interest in an open
  meeting of the board; and
               (3)  recuse himself or herself from participating in
  the review, discussion, deliberation, and vote on the application
  and from accessing information regarding the matter to be decided.
         (b)  If a commission employee has a conflict of interest
  described by Section 482.401 regarding an application that comes
  before the employee for review or other action, the employee shall:
               (1)  provide written notice to the executive director
  of the conflict of interest; and
               (2)  recuse himself or herself from participating in
  the review of the application and be prevented from accessing
  information regarding the matter to be decided.
         (c)  A board member or commission employee with a conflict of
  interest may seek a waiver as provided by Section 482.403.
         (d)  A board member or commission employee who reports a
  potential conflict of interest or another impropriety or
  self-dealing of the member or employee and who fully complies with
  the recommendations of the general counsel and recusal requirements
  is considered in compliance with the conflict-of-interest
  provisions of this subchapter.  The member or employee is subject to
  other applicable laws, rules, requirements, and prohibitions.
         (e)  A board member or commission employee who intentionally
  violates this section is subject to removal from further
  participation in the commission's review process.
         Sec. 482.403.  EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRING
  PARTICIPATION; INVESTIGATION OF UNREPORTED CONFLICT OF INTEREST.  
  (a)  The board shall adopt rules governing the waiver of the
  conflict-of-interest requirements of this subchapter under
  exceptional circumstances for a board member or commission
  employee.  The rules must:
               (1)  authorize the executive director or a board member
  to propose granting a waiver by submitting to the presiding officer
  of the board a written statement about the conflict of interest, the
  exceptional circumstance requiring the waiver, and any proposed
  limitations to the waiver;
               (2)  require a proposed waiver to be publicly reported
  at a meeting of the board;
               (3)  require a majority vote of the board members
  present and voting to grant a waiver; and
               (4)  require the commission to retain documentation of
  each waiver granted.
         (b)  The board shall adopt rules governing the investigation
  and consequences of unreported conflicts of interest.
         Sec. 482.404.  CODE OF CONDUCT. (a)  The board shall adopt a
  code of conduct applicable to each board member and commission
  employee.
         (b)  The code of conduct at a minimum must include provisions
  prohibiting the member, the employee, or the member's or employee's
  spouse from:
               (1)  accepting or soliciting any gift, favor, or
  service that could reasonably influence the member or employee in
  the discharge of official duties or that the member, employee, or
  spouse of the member or employee knows or should know is being
  offered with the intent to influence the member's or employee's
  official conduct;
               (2)  accepting employment or engaging in any business
  or professional activity that would reasonably require or induce
  the member or employee to disclose confidential information
  acquired in the member's or employee's official position;
               (3)  accepting other employment or compensation that
  could reasonably impair the member's or employee's independent
  judgment in the performance of official duties;
               (4)  making personal investments or having a financial
  interest that could reasonably create a substantial conflict
  between the member's or employee's private interest and the member's
  or employee's official duties;
               (5)  intentionally or knowingly soliciting, accepting,
  or agreeing to accept any benefit for exercising the member's
  official powers or performing the member's or employee's official
  duties in favor of another;
               (6)  leasing, directly or indirectly, any property,
  capital equipment, employee, or service to any entity that receives
  a grant from the commission;
               (7)  submitting a grant application for funding by the
  board;
               (8)  serving on the board of directors of an
  organization established with a grant from the commission; or
               (9)  serving on the board of directors of a grant
  recipient.
  SUBCHAPTER F. PROCEDURE FOR MAKING AWARDS
         Sec. 482.501.  RULES FOR GRANT AWARD PROCEDURE. (a)  The
  board shall adopt rules regarding the procedure for awarding grants
  to an applicant under this chapter, including a procedure for the
  Texas Aerospace Research and Space Economy Consortium to make
  recommendations to the board for grant awards.
         (b)  The board may not award a grant to an applicant who has
  made a gift or grant to the commission or a nonprofit organization
  established to provide support to the commission.
         Sec. 482.502.  MULTIYEAR PROJECTS. The board may grant
  money for a multiyear project.  The board shall specify the total
  amount of money approved to fund the multiyear project. The total
  amount specified is considered for purposes of this subchapter to
  have been awarded in the state fiscal year that the project is
  approved by the board. The board shall distribute only the money
  that will be expended during that fiscal year. The board shall
  distribute the remaining grant money as the money is needed in each
  subsequent state fiscal year.
         Sec. 482.503.  PREFERENCE FOR TEXAS SUPPLIERS. The board
  shall establish standards to ensure that grant recipients purchase
  goods and services from suppliers in this state to the extent
  reasonably possible, in a good faith effort to achieve a goal of
  more than 50 percent of those purchases from suppliers in this
  state.
         Sec. 482.504.  GRANT EVALUATION. (a) The executive
  director shall determine the grant review process under this
  section.  The executive director may terminate grants that do not
  meet contractual obligations.
         (b)  The executive director shall report at least annually to
  the board on the progress and continued merit of each grant funded
  by the commission.
         (c)  The board shall establish and implement reporting
  requirements to ensure that each grant recipient complies with the
  terms and conditions in the grant contract, including verification
  of the amounts of matching money dedicated to the research that is
  the subject of the grant award to the grant recipient.
         (d)  The commission shall implement a system to:
               (1)  track the dates on which grant recipient reports
  are due and are received by the commission; and
               (2)  monitor the status of any required report that is
  not timely submitted to the commission by a grant recipient.
         Sec. 482.505.  GRANT RECORDS. The commission shall maintain
  complete records of:
               (1)  the review of each grant application submitted to
  the board, including an application reviewed in accordance with
  rules adopted under this chapter, even if the grant application is
  not funded by the board or is withdrawn after submission;
               (2)  each grant recipient's financial reports,
  including the amount of matching money dedicated to the research
  specified for the grant award;
               (3)  each grant recipient's progress reports; and
               (4)  the board's review of the grant recipient's
  financial reports and progress reports.
  SUBCHAPTER G. TEXAS AEROSPACE RESEARCH AND SPACE ECONOMY
  CONSORTIUM
         Sec. 482.601.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Consortium" means the Texas Aerospace Research
  and Space Economy Consortium.
               (2)  "Executive committee" means the executive
  committee of the consortium.
         Sec. 482.602.  SUNSET PROVISION. The consortium is subject
  to Chapter 325 (Texas Sunset Act). Unless continued in existence as
  provided by that chapter, the consortium is abolished and this
  subchapter expires September 1, 2032.
         Sec. 482.603.  ESTABLISHMENT; PURPOSE.  The Texas Aerospace
  Research and Space Economy Consortium is established to:
               (1)  identify research opportunities for entities
  within this state that:
                     (A)  strengthen this state's proven leadership in
  civil, commercial, and military aerospace activity;
                     (B)  enhance this state's position in aeronautics
  research and development, astronautics, space commercialization,
  and space flight infrastructure; and
                     (C)  enhance the integration of the space,
  aeronautics, astronautics, and aviation industries into this
  state's economy; and
               (2)  provide funding and research recommendations to
  the commission.
         Sec. 482.604.  CONSORTIUM COMPOSITION. The consortium is
  composed of:
               (1)  each institution of higher education; and
               (2)  any other entity that the executive committee
  considers necessary.
         Sec. 482.605.  ADMINISTRATIVE ATTACHMENT. The consortium is
  administratively attached to the office of the governor for the
  purpose of receiving and administering appropriations and other
  funds under this subchapter. The office of the governor is not
  responsible for providing to the consortium staff, human resources,
  contract monitoring, purchasing, or any other administrative
  support services.
         Sec. 482.606.  EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE COMPOSITION. (a) The
  consortium is governed by an independent executive committee
  composed of the following nine members:
               (1)  two members appointed by the governor;
               (2)  two members appointed by the lieutenant governor;
               (3)  two members appointed by the speaker of the house
  of representatives;
               (4)  the chancellor of The Texas A&M University System
  or the chancellor's designee;
               (5)  the chancellor of The University of Texas System
  or the chancellor's designee; and
               (6)  the president of Rice University or the
  president's designee.
         (b)  In making appointments under Subsection (a), the
  governor, the lieutenant governor, and the speaker of the house of
  representatives, respectively, shall:
               (1)  prioritize appointing individuals with experience
  in:
                     (A)  aeronautics;
                     (B)  space economic development; and
                     (C)  academic engagement with the space economy;
  and
               (2)  ensure that the appointments reflect, to the
  extent possible, the ethnic and geographic diversity of this state.
         (c)  A vacancy on the executive committee is filled in the
  same manner as the initial appointment.
         (d)  The executive committee shall:
               (1)  elect a presiding officer from among the members
  of the committee; and
               (2)  meet at the call of the presiding officer.
         Sec. 482.607.  GIFTS, GRANTS, AND DONATIONS. The executive
  committee may solicit and accept on behalf of the consortium gifts,
  grants, or donations from any public or private source for the
  purpose of carrying out this subchapter.
         Sec. 482.608.  GENERAL DUTIES. (a) The executive committee
  shall:
               (1)  develop and execute a comprehensive statewide
  strategic plan to further the purposes of the consortium;
               (2)  gather and coordinate recommendations from
  consortium members on funding and research opportunities in
  accordance with the purposes of the consortium; and
               (3)  establish procedures and policies for the
  administration of the consortium, including:
                     (A)  procedures for documenting compliance by
  members of the committee and consortium and consortium staff with
  applicable laws governing conflicts of interest;
                     (B)  designation of a member of the committee as
  the committee's liaison to the commission; and
                     (C)  procedures for entering into contracts with
  The Texas A&M University System as necessary for that system to
  provide administrative and staff support to the consortium.
         (b)  A member of the consortium may participate in consortium
  fact-finding and strategic planning and the formation of
  recommendations for purposes of Subsections (a)(1) and (a)(2).
  Before assisting the executive committee as provided by this
  subsection, a member of the consortium must designate a liaison to
  the executive committee to represent that member.
         Sec. 482.609.  BIENNIAL REPORT. Not later than December 31
  of each even-numbered year, the executive committee shall submit to
  the commission a written report that includes for that biennium:
               (1)  the activities and objectives of the consortium;
               (2)  a synopsis of the funding and research
  opportunities identified by the consortium;
               (3)  legislative recommendations, if any;
               (4)  prospective grants or funding the consortium
  members expect to receive, if any; and
               (5)  research accomplishments associated with the
  consortium, if any.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2023.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 3447 was passed by the House on May 1,
  2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 128, Nays 16, 1 present, not
  voting; that the House refused to concur in Senate amendments to
  H.B. No. 3447 on May 23, 2023, 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. 3447 on May 28, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 125,
  Nays 11, 2 present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 3447 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 16, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 29, Nays
  2; 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.
  3447 on May 28, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 29, Nays 2.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor