Below is a spotlight on proposed and adopted rules from the February 2 edition of the Texas Register.
Texas Education Agency
- CHAPTER 62. COMMISSIONER’S RULES CONCERNING OPTIONS FOR LOCAL REVENUE LEVELS IN EXCESS OF ENTITLEMENT. Proposed amendment would adopt the official TEA publications Options and Procedures for Districts with Local Revenue in Excess of Entitlement 2023-2024 School Year and Options and Procedures for Districts with Local Revenue in Excess of Entitlement 2024-2025 School Year. The manuals contain the processes and procedures that TEA will use in the administration of the provisions of TEC Chapter 49, and the fiscal, procedural, and administrative requirements that school districts subject to this Chapter must meet. Effective date: February 6, 2024
- CHAPTER 150. COMMISSIONER’S RULES CONCERNING EDUCATOR APPRAISAL; SUBCHAPTER AA. TEACHER APPRAISAL. Proposed amendments would allow districts to begin using the Alternate Domain I rubric as part of the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) beginning with the 2024-2025 school year. Effective date: February 6, 2024
- CHAPTER 153. SCHOOL DISTRICT PERSONNEL; SUBCHAPTER BB. COMMISSIONER’S RULES CONCERNING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. The proposed amendments would modify the rule to further define the mentor program allotment, including flexibilities in requirements for mentor teachers. Effective date: February 6, 2024
Public utility Commission
- CHAPTER 22. PROCEDURAL RULES. Proposed rule will implement, in part, Public Utility Regulatory Act as revised by House Bill 1500 during the Texas 88th Regular Legislative Session. The amended rule adds whether a person complied with a voluntary mitigation plan as a factor for the commission to consider when determining the amount of an administrative penalty. The amended rule also removes redundant provisions and replaces them with a reference the Classification System for Violations of Statutes, Rules, and Orders Applicable to Electric Service Providers. The public comment period ends March 3, 2024.
- CHAPTER 25. SUBSTANTIVE RULES APPLICABLE TO ELECTRIC SERVICE PROVIDERS; SUBCHAPTER C. INFRASTRUCTURE AND RELIABILITY. The commission adopts the rule with changes to the proposed text as published in the September 29, 2023 issue of the Texas Register. The proposed rule will implement House Bill 2555 as passed during the Texas 88th legislative session. The proposed rule establishes the requirements and procedures for an electric utility to submit a resiliency plan to enhance the resiliency of its transmission and distribution systems. Additionally, the rule delineates the commission review process for the plans. Effective date: February 8, 2024
Texas Water Development Board
- CHAPTER 360. DESIGNATION OF RIVER AND COASTAL BASINS. The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) proposes amendments concerning Designation of River and Coastal Basins to modernize the rule language and reflect the new manner in which the TWDB stores the digital files of the maps of that designate the state’s river and coastal basins. The public comment period ends March 3, 2024.
Health and Human Services Commission
- CHAPTER 88. STATE LONG-TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM. The proposed rules implement a recent change to the Older Americans Act regarding the minimum expenditure an Area Agency on Aging must make under its area plan in carrying out the Ombudsman Program. The proposed rules also provide that certain state general revenue funds allocated for Ombudsman Program functions may not be included in determining the amount of funds spent to meet this expenditure requirement to ensure that a larger amount of funds is used for the Ombudsman Program. In addition, because the State Ombudsman has excluded these funds from the calculation of the minimum expenditure requirement since 2013, the proposed rule further ensures that host agencies do not reduce the funds used for the Ombudsman Program. The public comment period ends March 3, 2024.
Texas Department of Transportation
- CHAPTER 7. RAIL FACILITIES; SUBCHAPTER E. RAIL FIXED GUIDEWAY SYSTEM STATE SAFETY OVERSIGHT PROGRAM. Recent changes to Federal program requirements as a result of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) necessitate an update to department rules. USDOT requires each SSOA to develop and implement a risk-based inspection program. The FTA requires the department’s draft RBI program document to be incorporated into the State Safety Oversight Program Standard and submitted for review no later than May 2024, to meet the October 21, 2024, FTA approval deadline. As a result of these updates and FTA requirements, amendments to Chapter 7 which establish standards for and implement state oversight of safety practices of rail fixed guideway systems are required. The public comment period ends March 3, 2024.
- CHAPTER 9. CONTRACT AND GRANT MANAGEMENT; SUBCHAPTER B. CONTRACTS FOR HIGHWAY PROJECTS. Implementing increased value thresholds ($300k to $1m) passed in SB 1021 for projects TTC may permit a district engineer to let and award locally and for building construction projects that TTC may permit a division director to let and award locally. The public comment period ends March 3, 2024.
- CHAPTER 31. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION; SUBCHAPTER B. STATE PROGRAMS. Amendments to address population changes and area designations changes due to the 2020 Census and public transportation appropriations from the 88th Legislature for the allocation of state public transportation grant program funding to transit districts serving rural, small urban, and large urban areas of the state. The public comment period ends March 3, 2024.
- CHAPTER 16. PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT OF TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS. Proposing amendments related to the Unified Transportation Program (UTP). Amendments will clarify that 1) major changes and changes to funding allocations in Category 12 Strategic Priority require adoption by the commission & redistribution of carryover does not constitute a major change, 2) the intent of the Commission is for Category 2 funding to be allocated to priority projects as determined by the MPO, 3) TxDOT will determine the final distribution of the allocation of Category 5 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds between the district and MPO and the MPO will need the district’s concurrence for Category 5 funds. New rules are also proposed which will prescribe an annual review of carryover in Category 5 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality and Category 7 Metropolitan Mobility and Rehabilitation.