Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 813
By: Brown, J. E. "Buster"
Economic Development


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.  Senate Bill 813 establishes the spaceport trust
fund to provide for the development of spaceport-related infrastructure. 


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. 


Senate Bill 813 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. 


September 1, 2001.