HBA-PDH S.B. 1706 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1706 By: Ellis Judicial Affairs 4/30/1999 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, Subchapter E (Special Provisions Applying to Funds Paid into Court Registry in County with Population of More Than 2.4 Million), Chapter 117, Local Government Code, places several restrictions regarding registry funds on a district clerk in a county with a population of over 2.4 million. The district clerk does not have authorization to place registry funds in "separate accounts" which may provide higher yields, to provide for a fund transfer without a court order, or to allow a payee to receive a disbursement by electronic transfer. Removing the restrictions would provide a more efficient court registry and allow more opportunities for registry funds. The proposed changes only affect counties with a population over 2.4 million. Only Harris County meets that population requirement. S.B. 1706 modifies the authority of clerks in counties with populations of more than 2.4 million to deposit funds in the court registry. 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 Section 117.112, Local Government Code, to apply this subchapter to certain funds paid to a clerk, rather than a district clerk. Makes conforming changes. SECTION 2. Amends Section 117.119, Local Government Code, to require money paid into the registry of a court to be deposited by a clerk, rather than the district clerk. SECTION 3. Amends Section 117.120, Local Government Code, to require a clerk, rather than the district clerk, to act only in a custodial capacity. SECTION 4. Amends Section 117.121, Local Government Code, to set forth conditions in which an electronic funds transfer may occur. Authorizes a clerk to charge a reasonable fee for an electronic transfer from a registry fund, subject to the approval of the recipient of the funds. Makes conforming and nonsubstantive changes. SECTION 5. Amends Section 117.122(b), Local Government Code, make conforming changes. SECTION 6. Amends Section 117.123(b), Local Government Code, to make conforming and nonsubstantive changes. SECTION 7. Amends Section 117.124, Local Government Code, as follows: Sec. 117.124. New title: LIABILITY OF CLERK. Makes conforming changes. SECTION 8. Amends Chapter 117, Local Government Code, by adding Section 117.125, as follows: Sec. 117.125. TRANSFER OF MONEY. Authorizes a clerk to transfer money deposited in the fund into a separate account, in the absence of a contrary order from a court having jurisdiction over the registry fund. Requires a clerk to transfer all money deposited in a registry fund under Section 887 (Payment of Claims Without Guardianship and Administration of Terminated Guardianship Assets), Texas Probate Code, into a separate account. Sets forth required conditions for the transfer of money under this section. Provides that a transfer of money into a separate account is exempt from requirements prescribed by Section 117.121 (Disbursement of Funds) for disbursements from registry funds. Provides that an investment of money transferred from a registry fund under this section is subject to the limitations, policies, and standards of care provided by Chapter 2256 (Public Funds Investment), Government Code. SECTION 9. Emergency clause. Effective date: upon passage.