HBA-TYH H.B. 2022 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2022 By: Garcia State Affairs 3/14/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE In the comptroller's 1998 Texas Performance Review (TPR), small businesses employing four or fewer workers were reported to account for 54 percent of all establishments in Texas. Another 20 percent of businesses employ five to nine workers, 12 percent employ 10 to 19 workers, nine percent of businesses in Texas have 20 to 49 employees, and three percent employ 50 to 99 persons. Only two percent of all Texas businesses employ 100 or more persons. Small businesses account for about 40 percent of all private-sector non-farm jobs. In focus groups conducted by TPR with businesses throughout the state, participants expressed a desire for a single place to obtain basic registration requirements and information, both state and federal, on any licensing a new business may need. New business owners may not always know which agencies have regulatory authority over their operation. There is currently no single contact that has access to all the pertinent information. The Texas Department of Economic Development currently has an Office of Small Business Assistance (OSBA) that provides information to businesses but it only provides state permit information. Providing this referral service has taken up much time and has left other OSBA functions unimplemented. H.B. 2022 creates a small business advocacy office (office) in the governor's office, charged solely with the responsibility of helping small businesses. This bill requires the office to help small businesses cut through red tape, provide answers and advice on dealing with state agencies, and work with legislators to improve Texas' small business climate. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Chapter 772, Government Code, by adding Section 772.010, as follows: Sec. 772.010. SMALL BUSINESS ADVOCACY OFFICE. (a) Provides that the office of small business advocacy (office) is created within the governor's office. (b) Requires the office to be headed by a chief small business advocate appointed by and serving at the will of the governor. Provides that to be eligible to serve as the chief advocate, a person must have demonstrated a strong commitment to and involvement in small business efforts. (c) Requires the office to: (1) serve as the principal focal point in the state for small businesses by providing the legislature and state agencies with information on the effects of proposed policies or actions that affect small businesses and assisting the agencies in reducing the adverse effects that rules have on small businesses; (2) make appropriate recommendations to the legislature to assist the development and strengthening of small businesses; (3) identify the reasons for small businesses' successes and failures, ascertain the related factors that are particularly important in this state, and recommend actions for increasing the success rate of small businesses; (4) serve as a focal point for receiving comments and suggestions concerning state government policies and activities that affect small businesses, and develop and suggest proposals for changes in state policies and activities that adversely affect small businesses; (5) provide information and assistance relating to establishing, operating, or expanding small businesses; (6) assist small businesses by identifying sources and availability of financial assistance for those businesses, markets for the goods and services of small businesses, and available resources within the state that provide training and technical assistance to those businesses; (7) assist small businesses in the use of financial assistance and resources identified in Subdivision (6); (8) sponsor meetings, in cooperation with public and private educational institutions, to provide training and disseminate information beneficial to small businesses; (9) perform research, studies, and analyses of matters affecting the interests of small businesses, including identifying successful small business assistance programs provided by other states and determine the feasibility of adapting those programs for implementation in this state; (10) establish an outreach program to make the existence of the office and the Office of Small Business Assistance known to small businesses and potential clients throughout the state; and (11) perform any other functions necessary to carry out the purposes of this section. (d) Requires the chief advocate to travel across the state on a regular basis to meet with and address the concerns of small business owners. (e) Authorizes the chief advocate, in administering this section, to employ and set the compensation of personnel to carry out the office's functions and hold public hearings. SECTION 2. Amends Section 481.0068(b), Government Code, by deleting "small and" when making references to historically underutilized businesses (HUBs). Clarifies references to HUBs as "those businesses" and vice versa. Deletes text regarding requirements in determining and reducing the impact that rules have on small businesses. Deletes small business development centers as an available resource within the state to coordinate the provision of management and technical assistance to HUBs. These changes make a distinction between small businesses and HUBs and resources available to each. SECTION 3. Requires the governor, not later than January 1, 2000, to appoint a chief small business advocate as required by Section 772.010, Government Code, as added by this Act. SECTION 4. Effective date: September 1, 1999. SECTION 5. Emergency clause.