Finance Committee

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m., April 5, 2000

Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Item
No.
Subject Public Hearing
Agenda Item No.
  Approval of the Committee Minutes from the previous meeting.  
  Summary of Minutes  
1. Chairman's Charges (Oral Presentation) Committee Only
2. Financial Review Update
Staff: Suzy Whittenton
Committee Only
3.

Texas Outdoor Connection License Point of Sale System
Staff: Jayna Burgdorf

Committee Only
4. Proposal for Reinstatement of Reciprocal License Agreement with Louisiana and Oklahoma
Staff: Ken Kurzawski
Committee Only
5. Local Park Funding – Federal Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery Grants
Staff: Tim Hogsett
8
6. Other Business  

Summary of Minutes
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
Finance Committee
January 19, 2000

BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 19th day of January 2000, there came to be heard matters under the regulatory authority of the Parks and Wildlife Commission of Texas, in the commission hearing room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis County, Texas beginning at 1:50 p.m., to-wit:

I. FINANCE COMMITTEE:

Ernest Angelo, Jr., Chair
John Avila, Jr.
Lee M. Bass
Alvin L. Henry
Carol E. Dinkins
Katharine Armstrong Idsal
Nolan Ryan
Mark E. Watson, Jr.
Dick Heath (absent)

II. OPENING STATEMENT: Commissioner Ernest Angelo, Jr. called the meeting to order.

III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Commissioner Ernest Angelo, Jr. asked for a motion to approve the minutes from the November 17, 1999 meeting. The motion was moved by Commissioner Nolan Ryan and seconded by Commissioner Katharine Armstrong Idsal. The motion passed unanimously.

IV. THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WERE PRESENTED TO THE COMMITTEE:

1. BRIEFING - Chairman’s Charges

Presenter: Mr. Andrew Sansom

A briefing will be given later in the Finance Committee meeting regarding our automated licensing system. Our current contract with the automated licensing vendor will expire in about a year and a half.

As far as reciprocal licenses, Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW) staff have been meeting with members of the legislature concerning reciprocal licenses for other states. As early as our next meeting, we may have a proposal to reinstate reciprocal agreements with Oklahoma and Louisiana. The issue is being raised primarily by senior citizens from Texas who are fishing in these states and are now being charged.

Mr. Sansom introduced Ms. Suzy Whittenton, TPW’s new Chief Financial Officer that will join us on February 1, 2000 from the Animal Health Commission.

2. BRIEFING – Financial Overview

Presenter: Ms. Jayna Burgdorf

Account 9 Game, Fish and Water Safety comparisons showed that license revenue is up almost $2.3 million through January 5, 2000 compared to prior year. The primary drivers are the Super Combo and Big Time Hunts sales. An adjustment of $.9 to hunting related revenue is requested at this time. Boat registration and titling is down compared to prior year, however we have only collected 15% of our original estimate, therefore no change in the estimated revenue is recommended at this time.

Account 64, State Parks, is up 19.4 percent, to over $1 million, when comparing September through December revenue to prior year. This increase is primarily due to the bad weather we had last year which caused us to shut down several of our high revenue parks. Another cause for increased fee revenue relates to the opening of the George Bush Gallery in late fiscal year 1999. If revenue increases continue to hold, our projection for the year would be $24.4 million. We have collected approximately 29%of the original revenue estimate and therefore are not recommending a revenue adjustment at this time.

The Public Finance Authority will be meeting tomorrow to award the bid on the general obligation conservation project bonds and the revenue critical repair bonds. Approximately 15 days after they meet we should receive the cash to start those projects.

3. ACTION – Texas Outdoor Connection License Point of Sale System

Presenter: Ms. Jayna Burgdorf

Ms. Burgdorf discussed our current contract with Transactive for our point of sale licensing system. The current contract will expire August 31, 2001. We contracted with Spectrum Maximus to conduct an Analysis of Alternatives Study of the system. We were one of the first states that brought license sales on-line and it took one and one half years to fully implement. Now that there are several other vendors that offer this technology, more states have automated licensing systems. The study that Spectrum Maximus conducted included focus group meetings with key stakeholders, a survey that was sent to all licensed deputies, a review of other states, and interviews with key staff from Transactive and Parks and Wildlife. The survey had a 23% response rate and concluded that retailers like the system when it works as designed. In the other states, the system costs range from a no-cost pilot to $3.3 million. Annual operations and maintenance costs range from $250,000 to $2.2 million.

One recommendation is to research the new system’s applicability for sales. One of the challenges with internet licensing is tag issuance and the possibility of printing the license on a home printer. The question of the necessity of having tags was discussed and additional research will be done to see if we can eliminate tags.

4. ACTION – Local Park Funding and Indoor Recreation Grants

Presenter: Mr. Tim Hogsett

Local Park Funding

Mr. Hogsett reviewed the proposed grant funding for a local park grant match project for outdoor recreation facilities. There were 34 requests received by the July 31, 1999 deadline for a total request of $13,965,092 from the Texas Recreation and Parks account. The recommendation was to fully fund the top 14 projects and to partially fund 1 project for a total of $6,468,781. If individual project amounts are not fully utilized and create savings, then staff recommends fully funding the next recommended project. The aggregate funding for fiscal year 2000 will not exceed appropriation authority.

Indoor Recreation Grants

Mr. Hogsett reviewed the grants for indoor recreation facilities that will be funded out of the Texas Recreation and Parks account. There were requests from eight sponsors requesting $3,359,500 in matching funds. Funding was recommended for the top 7 projects in the amount of $3,184,500 and partial funding of the 8th project in the amount of $140,500 for a total of $3,325,000. If individual project amounts are not fully utilized and create savings the staff recommends fully funding the next recommended project. The aggregate funding for fiscal year 2000 will not exceed appropriation authority.

A motion was moved by Commissioner Carol Dinkins and seconded by Commissioner Alvin Henry to move the item to the full Commission. The motion passed unanimously.

5. ACTION – Recreation Grants Proposed Rules

Presenter: Mr. Tim Hogsett

Mr. Hogsett explained that we will receive an additional appropriation of $5 million from the Legislature over the next two years. That money is the interest earnings from the Texas Recreation and Parks Account. For the next two years the Outdoor Grant Program will remain at $12.9 million. There will be a million dollar per year increase in the Indoor Recreation Grant Program and in the Community Outdoor Outreach Program. The regional park initiative was established at approximately 1 million dollars a year for each of the next two years and then two million is set aside for each of the next two years for facility transfers, if they come forward.

The other major incentive is passage of House Bill 2108. HB 2108 made major changes to the Parks and Wildlife code where it established the facility transfer initiative and defined eligibility and set up a system for grants for that program. It also put the Community Outdoor Outreach Program in the Parks & Wildlife Code. We have three grant programs – outdoor, indoor and the community outdoor outreach program. We need to adopt new rules due to these changes.

A pilot project over the next two years for $500,000 for smaller communities to compete for project money to develop, for example, a single baseball field is recommended. This would be very similar to the way we conduct the indoor program. Discussions included possibly requesting the legislature to raise the $500,000 cap for larger projects up to $750,000.

An audit conducted by the State Auditor’s Office recommended that we publish, in the materials we send out to the public, all of the details of the scoring system as it relates to the ranges of points. We will also consider making that information available on the Internet site.

A motion for approval to publish the proposed repeals and new sections concerning the administration of the Texas Recreation and Parks Account grant program in the Texas Register for public comment and consideration was made by Commissioner Alvin Henry and seconded by Commissioner John Avila, Jr. The motion passed unanimously.

V. OTHER BUSINESS: None.

VI. ADJOURNMENT: Commissioner Ernest Angelo, Jr. adjourned the Finance Committee at 3:30 p.m.


Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Andrew Sansom

Finance Committee
Briefing
Chairman's Charges
April 2000

(This item will be an oral presentation.)


Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: Suzy Whittenton

Finance Committee
Briefing
Financial Review
April 2000

I. Discussion: Staff will present a financial review for year to date FY2000, including an update on Account 9, Game, Fish and Water Safety and Account 64, State Parks. This presentation will focus on the sale of hunting and fishing licenses boat registration and titling fees, and state park fees. Updated budget and expenditure information will also be presented.


Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Jayna Burgdorf

Finance Committee
Briefing
Texas Outdoor Connection
License Point of Sale System
April 2000

I. Discussion: Staff will present an update regarding the status of the Texas Outdoor Connection, the Texas Parks and Wildlife’s automated license point of sale system. This briefing will include information regarding replacement system requirements, proposed policy changes, and timelines.


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Ken Kurzawski

Finance Committee
Action
Reciprocal Fishing License Agreements
April 2000

I. Discussion: Responsibility for establishing reciprocal hunting and fishing privileges with other states is delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 41. Proposed rule changes would rescind recent changes to reciprocal license agreements with Louisiana (65 years of age or older) and Oklahoma (64 years of age or older). Reciprocal agreements would be re-established that allow seniors from Louisiana and Oklahoma to fish in Texas without a non-resident license if these two states enter into an agreement to provide the same privilege to our seniors who are 65 years of age or older. The decision to eliminate reciprocal fishing license privileges for seniors has its roots in the creation of a reduced cost ($6 vs. $19) fishing license for persons that turn 65 years of age after September 1, 1995. That action prompted numerous comments from constituents and legislators concerning the equity of charging some seniors from Texas while allowing seniors non-residents from Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Kansas to fish for free. The decision to eliminate reciprocal license privileges was a response to those comments. Since this action, our Department and the Texas Legislature have received numerous comments from Texas seniors protesting our decision as these seniors now have to pay substantial non-resident fishing license fees in Louisiana and Oklahoma. Staff has discussed this situation with staff from Louisiana and Oklahoma, and we have agreed to reinstate the agreements that were in effect prior to last year's actions.

II. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Finance Committee adopt the following motion:

"The Finance Committee of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes staff to publish proposed amendments to the Finance Proclamation, 31 TAC §§53.1 and 53.3, concerning License Issuance Procedures, Fees, Possession and Exemption Rules, and Other Recreational Hunting and Fishing License, Stamps, and Tags as shown in Exhibit A."

Attachment - 1

1. Exhibit A – Finance Proclamation


Committee Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit A

Finance Proclamation
Proposed Preamble

1. Introduction.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes amendments to §§53.1 and 53.3 concerning fishing license fees and exemptions. Proposed rule changes would rescind recent changes to reciprocal license agreements with Louisiana and Oklahoma. Reciprocal agreements would be re-established that allow seniors from Louisiana and Oklahoma to fish in Texas without a non-resident license if these two states enter into an agreement to provide the same privilege to our seniors who are 65 years of age or older.

2. Fiscal Note

For each of the first 5 years the rules as proposed are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the rules. The department may lose some revenue derived from current sales of non-resident licenses to seniors from Oklahoma and Louisiana; however, this funding stream has been available in only the current fiscal year. Proposed changes will return the department to the funding situation that existed prior to the current fiscal year when no license revenue was derived from seniors from these two states.

3. Cost Benefit Analysis.

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the rules as proposed will be that Texas seniors will not be charged for fishing public waters in Louisiana and Oklahoma. Seniors from Louisiana and Oklahoma will be allowed to fish for free in Texas public waters.

(B) There will be no effect on small businesses or Micro-Businesses. There will be no cost to persons required to comply with the rules as proposed. There will be no additional fiscal implications to state or local governments.

(C) The department has not filed a local impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission as required by Government Code, §2001.022, as this agency has determined that the rules as proposed will not impact local economies.

(D) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed rules.

4. Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Ken Kurzawski, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389-4591 or 1-800-792-1112.

5. The amendments are proposed under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 41, Reciprocal Hunting and Fishing Privileges and Chapter 46, Subchapter A, § 46.002, General Fishing Licenses that provides the Commission with authority to waive or lower fishing license fees. Parks and Wildlife Code §46.002 is affected by the proposed amendments.

§ 53.1. License Issuance Procedures, Fees, Possession and Exemption Rules.

(a)-(c) (No change.)

(d) The following categories of persons are exempt from fishing license requirements and fees:

(1) –(2) (No change.)

(3) (non-residents Louisiana residents age 65 or older); [whose birthdate is before September 1, 1930 and whose state of residence enters into a reciprocal agreement with Texas];

(4) (non-residents Oklahoma residents age 64 or older);

(5) [(4)] residents whose birth date is before September 1, 1930;

(6) [(5)] persons who hold valid Louisiana non-resident fishing licenses while fishing on all waters inland from a line across Sabine Pass between Texas Point and Louisiana Point that form a common boundary between Texas and Louisiana if the State of Louisiana allows a reciprocal privilege to persons who hold valid Texas annual or temporary non-resident fishing licenses; and

(7) [(6)] residents of Louisiana who meet the licensing requirements of their state while fishing on all waters inland from a line across Sabine Pass between Texas Point and Louisiana Point that form a common boundary between Texas and Louisiana if the State of Louisiana allows a reciprocal privilege to Texas residents who hold valid Texas fishing licenses.

(e) (No change.)

§ 53.3. Other Recreational Hunting and Fishing Licenses, Stamps, and Tags

(a)-(c) (No change.)

(d) Fishing licenses. The following license fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 1999, and thereafter:

(1)-(2) (No change.)

(3) special resident fishing (type 203)—$6.00[. Nonresidents who are 65 years of age or older and whose state of residence enters into a reciprocal agreement with Texas are designated as residents and may purchase a special resident fishing license];

(4)-(9) (No change.)

(e) –(g) (No change.)

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be a valid exercise of the agency's authority.

Issued in Austin, Texas on

Gene McCarty
Chief of Staff

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
1-800-792-1112, extension 4651 or
512-389-4651


Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter: Tim Hogsett

Finance Committee
Action
Local Park Funding
Federal Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery Act
April 2000

(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 8.)


Top of Page
Back to Top
Back to Top