84(R) - 2015
House State Affairs
House State Affairs
Relating to the establishment of the center for alternative finance and procurement within the Texas Facilities Commission and to public and private partnerships; authorizing a fee.
A fiscal note dated May 5, 2015 indicates that the fiscal implications of the bill cannot be determined at this time due to unavailability of data estimating the amount of public private partnership proposals governmental entities receive in Texas.
House Bill 2475 would amend the Government Code to create a center for alternative finance and procurement within the Texas Facilities Commission to consult with governmental entities regarding best practices for procurement and the financing of qualifying projects and to assist governmental entities in the receipt of proposals, negotiation of interim and comprehensive agreements, and management of qualifying projects under Chapters 2267 (public and private facilities and infrastructure) and 2268 (the partnership advisory commission).
House Bill 2475 would amend Section 2267.052 of the Government Code related to the adoption of guidelines by responsible governmental entities to include the involvement of the newly created center in the process of adopting guidelines and in the procurement and delivery of a qualifying project for governmental entities described by Section 2267.001(5)(A), and additionally, for governmental entities described by Section 2267.001(5)(B), to engage the services of qualified professionals not otherwise employed by the center.
House Bill 2475 would amend Section 2267.053 related to the approval of qualifying projects by responsible governmental entities to allow a governmental entity to include fees for the center's review and consultation in the fee it is already allowed to charge for other costs.
The bill would also remove a requirement that any holder of debt under a comprehensive agreement for a qualifying project acknowledge that the mortgage, pledge, or encumbrance or a lien, charge, or security interest on or against the contracting party's interest is subordinate to the state's rights or interests under the agreement.
House Bill 2475 would amend Section 2267.065(b) of the Government to change the procedures with which a comprehensive agreement entered into for a qualifying project may not materially conflict with.
The bill would amend Section 2268.056(d) to replace Texas Facilities Commission by the center. It would add the requirement that the records and information afforded protection be also provided, under Section 2268.059, to the presiding officer of the House Appropriations Committee and of the Senate Finance Committee, or their designees.
Vote Recommendation Notes
House Bill 2475 would create the center for alternative finance and procurement within the Texas Facilities Commission in order to help governmental entities better choose their public-private partnership projects.
The statement of purpose indicates that the center of excellence would provide an objective resource to lawmakers to determine the value of alternative financing on a given project and would also provide a valuable resource to smaller cities with smaller budgets that often benefit most from alternative financing projects but cannot afford to hire expensive consultants.
Public-private partnerships can have cost-saving and efficient results for taxpayers and House Bill 2475 aims at encouraging these partnerships. Nevertheless, it remains unclear how this new center within an existing agency would reach its goal or what new advantages it can bring to the process. As a consequence, we will remain neutral on this bill.