HBA-KDB S.B. 746 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 746 By: Staples Land & Resource Management 3/29/2001 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Under current law, the Texas Department of Agriculture (department) is required to encourage the development of agriculture, horticulture, and related industries while the Texas Agriculture Finance Authority, an agency within the department, is authorized to design and implement programs to further rural economic development. However, the law does not specifically authorize or require the department to implement a rural economic development program. Senate Bill 746 provides the department the specific statutory authority to implement broad-based rural economic development programs. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Department of Agriculture in SECTION 2 (Section 12.027, Agriculture Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS Senate Bill 746 amends the Agriculture Code to require the Department of Agriculture (department) to administer and maintain an economic development program for rural areas in the state. The bill sets forth procedures required of the department in its administration of the program, including the requirement that it enter into a memorandum of agreement before December 1, 2001 to work cooperatively with the Texas Department of Economic Development, the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, and other entities the department deems appropriate to further program objectives. The department is required to adopt rules for the administration of the economic development program before December 1, 2001. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.