HBA-KDB C.S.H.B. 1964 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.H.B. 1964 By: Seaman Economic Development 3/20/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The Texas Aerospace Commission advocates the building of a commercial spaceport in Texas. The spaceport would be a private-public commercial enterprise created to launch satellites into orbit using reusable launch vehicles. If created, the spaceport would bring new jobs to Texas for the development of new technologies. However, if Texas is selected for a spaceport site, appropriations will be necessary to create and develop necessary infrastructure. C.S.H.B. 1964 establishes the spaceport trust fund to provide for the development of spaceport-related infrastructure. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Aerospace Commission in SECTION 1 (Section 482.004, Government Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS C.S.H.B. 1964 amends the Government Code to create the spaceport trust fund (spaceport fund) as a trust fund outside of the treasury with the comptroller of public accounts (comptroller) and to require that the spaceport fund be administered by the Texas Aerospace Commission (commission) under rules adopted by the commission. The bill authorizes the money in the spaceport fund to be used only to pay expenditures for the development of infrastructure necessary or useful for establishing a spaceport. The bill prohibits money in the spaceport fund from being spent unless the commission certifies to the comptroller that a viable reusable launch vehicle company has been established that has a business plan that demonstrates that the entity has available the financial, managerial, and technical expertise and capability necessary to launch and land a reusable launch vehicle and that has committed to locating its facilities at a spaceport in this state. The bill also prohibits the money in the spaceport fund from being spent unless the commission certifies to the comptroller that a development corporation for spaceport facilities has established a development plan for the spaceport project and has secured at least 90 percent of the funding required for the project, and the spaceport has obtained the appropriate Federal Aviation Administration license. The bill authorizes the commission to contract with a development corporation for spaceport facilities for the infrastructure development. The bill sets forth provisions regarding the contents and use of the spaceport fund. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.H.B 1964 modifies the original bill by providing that the spaceport trust fund is a fund outside of the treasury. The substitute modifies the original by prohibiting the money in the spaceport trust fund from being spent, rather than prohibiting the comptroller of public accounts (comptroller) from transferring funds into the trust fund, unless the Texas Aerospace Commission certifies to the comptroller that a viable reusable launch vehicle company (company) has a business plan that demonstrates that the entity has available the financial, managerial, and technical expertise and capability necessary to launch and land a reusable vehicle. The substitute specifies that money in the spaceport trust fund may only be used for the development of infrastructure necessary or useful for establishing a spaceport.