Commission Agenda Item No. 12
Presenters:  Nancy Herron
Terry Erwin

Action
Implementation of Legislation during the 82nd Texas Legislative Session
House Bill 1080 – Hunter Education Rules
August 25, 2011

I.       Executive Summary:  This item seeks adoption of a proposed amendment to exempt honorably discharged military veterans and members of the armed forces from the live-fire requirements of hunter education instruction.  The proposed amendment is necessary to implement the provisions of House Bill 1080, enacted by the 82nd Texas Legislature.

II.            Discussion:  Under Parks and Wildlife Code, §62.014, all persons born on or after September 2, 1971 must complete a hunter education course in order to lawfully hunt in Texas, with certain exceptions.  House Bill 1080 (HB 1080), enacted by the 82nd Texas Legislature, Regular Session (2011), amended Parks and Wildlife Code, §62.014, to exempt honorably discharged veterans of the United States armed forces and active-duty members of the United States military forces, the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, and the Texas State Guard from live-fire requirements of hunter education instruction.  The proposed amendment incorporates the statutory exemption created by HB 1080 into the department’s rules prescribing the curriculum for hunter education instruction.

Staff was authorized at the May 2011, meeting of the Regulations Committee to publish proposed rules required or authorized by legislation enacted by the 82nd Legislature.  The proposed new rule was published in the July 22, 2011, issue of the Texas Register (36 TexReg 4629-4630).  Staff will present a summary of public comment at the time of the meeting.

III.     Recommendation:  Staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

“The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts an amendment to 31 TAC §51.80, concerning Hunter Education Course and Instructors, with changes as necessary to the proposed text as published in the July 22, 2011, issue of the Texas Register (36 TexReg 4629-4630).”

Attachments — 1

  1. Exhibit A – Proposed Rules

Commission Agenda Item No. 12
Exhibit A

RULES REQUIRED OR AUTHORIZED BY LEGISLATION
HOUSE BILL 1080 – HUNTER EDUCATION
PROPOSAL PREAMBLE

1. Introduction.

         The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment to §51.80, concerning Hunter Education Course and Instructors. The proposed amendment would exempt honorably discharged veterans of the United States armed forces and active-duty members of the United States military forces, the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, and the Texas State Guard from the live-fire requirements of hunter education instruction.

         House Bill 555 (HB 1080), enacted by the 82nd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2011, amended Parks and Wildlife Code, §62..014, to exempt honorably discharged veterans of the United States armed forces and active-duty members of the United States military forces, the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, and the Texas State Guard from live-fire requirements of hunter education instruction. The proposed amendment incorporates the statutory exemption created by HB 1080 in the department’s rules prescribing the curriculum for hunter education instruction.

2. Fiscal Note.

         Mr. Terry Erwin, Hunter Education Coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the rule as proposed is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state and local governments as a result of enforcing or administering the rule.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

         Mr. Erwin also has determined that for each of the first five years the rule as proposed is in effect:

         (A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the rule as proposed will be hunter education rules that accurately describe the curriculum for the hunter education program.

         (B) There will be no adverse economic effect on persons required to comply with the rule as proposed.

         (C) Under the provisions of Government Code, Chapter 2006, a state agency must prepare an economic impact statement and a regulatory flexibility analysis for a rule that may have an adverse economic effect affect on small businesses and micro-businesses. As required by Government Code, §2006.002(g), the Office of the Attorney General has prepared guidelines to assist state agencies in determining a proposed rule’s potential adverse economic impact on small businesses. Those guidelines state that an agency need only consider a proposed rule’s “direct adverse economic impacts” to small businesses and micro-businesses to determine if any further analysis is required. For that purpose, the department considers “direct economic impact” to mean a requirement that would directly impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements; impose taxes or fees; result in lost sales or profits; adversely affect market competition; or require the purchase or modification of equipment or services. Since the proposed rule does not affect small businesses or microbusinesses, the department has determined that the proposed new rule will not impose any direct adverse economic effects on small businesses or microbusinesses. Accordingly, the department has not prepared a regulatory flexibility analysis under Government Code, Chapter 2006.

         (D) The department has not drafted a local employment impact statement under the Administrative Procedures Act, §2001.022, as the agency has determined that the rule as proposed will not impact local economies.

         (E) 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 rule.

4. Request for Public Comment.

         Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted to Terry Erwin, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas, 78744; (512) 389-8140 (e-mail: terry.erwin@tpwd.state.tx.us).

5. Statutory Authority.

         The amendment is proposed under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, §62.014, which requires the commission to adopt rules to implement the hunter education program, and House Bill 1080, 82nd Texas  Legislature, Regular Session (2011) which exempts honorably discharged veterans of the United States armed forces and active-duty members of the United States military forces, the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, and the Texas State Guard from the live-fire requirements of hunter education instruction.

         The proposed amendment affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 62.

         §51.80. Hunter Education Course and Instructors.

                 (a) Hunter Education Course.

                         (1) The course shall consist of at least 10 hours of instruction, including any combination of home study, classroom, laboratory, field exercises and live-firing exercises on the following subjects:

                                  (A) – (D) (No change.)

                                  (E) A person is exempt from live-firing requirements of this subsection if the person is:

                                          (i) an honorably discharged veteran of the United States armed forces; or

                                          (ii) on active duty as a member of the United States military forces, the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, or the Texas State Guard.

                 (2) – (5) (No change.)

         (b) – (c) (No change.)

         This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency’s authority to adopt.

         Issued in Austin, Texas, on


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