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Relating to local initiatives programs under the Texas Clean Air Act and the repeal of the low-income vehicle repair assistance, retrofit, and accelerated vehicle retirement program; authorizing a fee.
The bill would have an indeterminate fiscal impact to the State because the amount of funds that would be distributed each fiscal year to counties that previously participated in the former low-income vehicle repair, retrofit, and accelerated retirement program out of General Revenue-Dedicated Clean Air Account No. 151 (GR-D 151) is unknown. Based on information provided by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the amount that could be appropriated for this purpose, or that TCEQ could elect to spend from GR-D 151 funds appropriated from other purposes, could total up to an estimated $141.7 million through August 31, 2023.
The TCEQ is required to implement a provision of this Act only if the legislature
appropriates money specifically for that purpose. If the legislature does not appropriate
money specifically for that purpose, the TCEQ may, but is not required to, implement a
provision of this Act using other appropriations available for that purpose.
SB 1070 would eliminate the Low Income Vehicle Repair Assistance Program (LIRAP), a program created to provide financial assistance to low-income vehicle owners who fail emissions testing, and expand the Local Initiatives Program (LIP). Under LIP, a commissioners court of a participating county would be able to impose an additional fee, not to exceed $6, for a vehicle inspected in the county. The fee revenue would be retained by the county in a separate account to be used only for the purposes under the bill's provisions related to improving air quality. This may include developing and implementing projects supporting freeway incident management and associated first responders, developing and implementing projects that remotely determine vehicle emissions and notify the vehicle's operator, developing and implementing regional data collection efforts for air quality and multimodal transportation data to improve efficiency of transportation systems, or establishing publicly accessible refueling infrastructure for alternative fuel vehicles, among other things.