HB 1860

84(R) - 2015
House Economic & Small Business Development
House Economic & Small Business Development
Economic & Small Business Development

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Neutral


Todd Hunter

Bill Caption

Relating to the creation of a grant program to provide money for security at certain major events; authorizing fees.

Fiscal Notes

A fiscal note dated April 8, 2015 indicates that the fiscal implications of the bill cannot be determined at this time due to the number of unknown variables such as the number of grants and the value of grants.

Bill Analysis

House Bill 1860 would add a new section to article 5190.14, Vernon ’s Texas Civil Statutes, to create the Major Events Security Grant Program under the Office of the Governor.

To be eligible, events would have to be annual events. The economic impact on the local economy would have to be more than $300 million and promote economic development.

The Economic Development and Tourism Division in the Governor's Office could impose and collect "reasonable fees and charges" in connection with grants, and would be responsible for adopting the rules necessary to implement the program.

The money could only be used to provide security at an event for which the grant was awarded, and any money that would have been used for other purposes would have to be repaid.

The Economic Development and Tourism Division would have to compile an annual report with information on the grants awarded and the recipients.

Vote Recommendation Notes

According to the statement of intent for House Bill 1860, large events of the magnitude of the Super Bowl can "put tremendous stress on the budgets of the hosting city, which must provide adequately for the safety of attendees," and as a consequence there is a "need for increased funding for these host cities to provide necessary security for these events."

House Bill 1860 would create the Major Events Security Grant Program within article 5190.14, Vernon ’s Texas Civil Statutes, to help cover the cost of added security during annual, major events.

Texas already has in place several economic development programs aimed at attracting major events to Texas. One of them is the well-known Major Events Trust Fund, that can already cover costs associated with the preparation or the conduct of the event. Yet House Bill 1860 does not amend the section related to the Major Events Trust Fund to specify that funds allocated through the Major Events Trust Fund could go to cover additional security costs for really big events generating more than $300 million in local economic impact.

While we understand the organization of a major event like NASCAR can increase the security needs, the hosting of such events are encouraged and subsidized on the basis that the State and local communities recoup the cost of hosting such events in tax revenues from visitors. Now we are told that additional money is needed due to the costs of hosting these events. And a new grant program is created apart from the Major Events Trust Fund.

While we could understand a need to specify that the use of funds allocated through the Major Events Trust Funds include increased security costs, this bill goes beyond that clarification and has the potential to increase the scope and cost of government. As a consequence, we oppose House Bill 1860.