SB 1995

Status: Sent to governor
Author: Sen. Brian Birdwell
Sponsor: Rep. Chris Paddie
Summary: Applies to state agencies that are run by a board controlled by people who provide services regulated by the agency (includes the State Board for Educator Certification). Requires the governor to establish a division within the office to review state agency rules. The director of the division must be a licensed attorney with antitrust experience, and cannot be an officer, employee or paid consultant of a Texas trade association, or have a spouse in that capacity. Applies also to employees of the division. The director of general counsel to the division cannot be a registered lobbyist.

Affected agencies must submit proposed rules affecting market competition to the division for review before the rule is adopted or implemented. This also applies to rules under review as part of the internal sunset process, if it affects market competition. The agency must include a statement of the purpose for the rule, copies of all related administrative records including public comments, and any other required information. A rule is considered to affect market competition if it would create a barrier to market participation or result in higher prices or reduced competition for a product or service provided by or to a license holder. The division will conduct a thorough review of each submitted rule to determine if the effect on market competition is consistent with state policy and whether the rule promotes a clearly articulated and affirmatively expressed policy established by the legislature to displace competition with government action.

The division can solicit public comments or hold public hearings. The review must be completed within 90 days of submission, after which the division must approve or reject and return the rule. An agency cannot finally adopt a submitted rule without approval of the division. The division can initiate a review of a proposed rule that was not submitted if there is reason to believe that it may have an anticompetition market effect. 

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