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Relating to management services for the physical facilities of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Texas School for the Deaf.
Estimate Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for the Committee Substitute for SB 836, As Introduced: a negative impact of ($1,338,742) through the biennium ending August 31, 2017.
The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.
No changes were made to this legislation in the House committee.
House chamber sponsor: Eddie Rodriguez
First chamber analysis:
This legislation essentially shifts maintenance responsibilities within government agencies. The 83rd legislature passed specific responsibilities to the TFC for the purpose of maintenance and operations. This legislation would eliminate the exceptions from the 83rd legislature and shift the responsibility for maintaining TSD and TSBVI to the TFC solely.
Currently, TSD has 32 full time employees (FTEs) that provide custodial services. TSBVI has 19 FTEs providing custodial services. Under this bill, those FTEs and their salary costs from both schools would transfer to TFC.
However, we are concerned with the fiscal statement attached to this bill. TFC indicated to the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) that it would need to hire an additional 15 FTEs for custodial duties on these two properties. The combined salaries for these additional employees would be $687,591 in 2016 and then $651,151 each following fiscal year. According to the LBB, TFC has determined the number of FTEs it needs to add from the industry standard for proper staffing levels for custodial services. The Comptroller establishes this standard, which requires one FTE custodian per 18,000 to 20,000 square-feet.
The significant cost and increase in the number of FTE custodial jobs deserves closer inspection and it should be judged separately from the intended purposes of this bill, which is to transfer authority from one entity to another entity. Transferring authority should not necessarily equate to an increase in the number of full time employees necessary to do the job.
The state clearly has a responsibility to be a good steward and maintain its own buildings. If these schools are incapable of properly taking care of their own buildings, a transfer of custodial authority may be wise. If that is the case, such a transfer would fit within our view of limited government. However, we are still concerned about the additional cost required to hire 15 new employees to for the Facilities Commission to handle the new workload. Balancing those things, we are neutral on this legislation.