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Relating to litigation involving certain defects in school district facilities and enforcement of certain duties following that litigation; authorizing a civil penalty.
The Legislative Budget Board does not anticipate any significant fiscal implication.
HB 1734 addresses issues related to school districts which bring suits for recovery of damages for defective design, construction, renovation, or improvement of a school district facility financed by public bonds. The first significant thing this bill would do is replace the term "instructional facility" with the term "district facility." This would have the effect of broadening the scope of the statute to cover all district facilities rather than only instructional facilities.
HB 1734 would add that in a mandatory notice to the TEA commissioner of an action taken under this statute, the notice must include a copy of the petition by registered or certified mail with return receipt requested, not later than the 30th day after the date the action is filed. Failure to do so would require a court or arbitrator to dismiss the action without prejudice and extend the statute of limitations for 90 days.
Should a district be successful in a civil action, this bill would strictly limit usage of the net proceeds of that action to include repair or replacement of the relevant facility, replacement of ancillary damage to furniture or fixtures, reimbursement to the district for certain repair or replacement costs, or any other purpose authorized by the TEA commissioner.
would also authorize the Attorney General to investigate a school district suspected of not using money awarded from a lawsuit to repair the
defective design or construction for which the cause of action was brought, not
providing an itemized account of any repairs made, or not sending certain
reports to the comptroller.
Texas Action is neutral on HB 1734 because it addresses procedural or administrative issues which neither advance nor hinder any of our liberty principles.