Sec. 2165.2561. STATE CEMETERY COMMITTEE. (a) In this section:
(1) "Board" means the State Preservation Board.
(2) "Committee" means the State Cemetery Committee.
(a-1) The committee is composed of:
(1) three voting members appointed as follows:
(A) one member of the general public appointed by the governor;
(B) one member of the general public appointed by the governor from a list submitted by the lieutenant governor; and
(C) one member of the general public appointed by the governor from a list submitted by the speaker of the house of representatives; and
(2) three nonvoting advisory members appointed as follows:
(A) one employee of the Texas Historical Commission appointed by the executive director of the Texas Historical Commission;
(B) one employee of the board appointed by the executive director of the board; and
(C) one employee of the Parks and Wildlife Department appointed by the executive director of the Parks and Wildlife Department.
(b) The governor shall designate the presiding officer of the committee from among its members, and the presiding officer shall serve in that capacity for two years.
(c) The voting members of the committee are appointed for staggered terms of six years with one member's term expiring February 1 of each odd-numbered year. The advisory members of the committee serve at the will of the appointing authority.
(d) Appointments to the committee shall be made without regard to the race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin of the appointees.
(e) A vacancy on the committee is filled by the appointing authority in the same manner as the original appointment.
(f) An employee member vacates the member's position on the committee if the member ceases to be an employee of the appointing agency.
(g) A person is not eligible for appointment to the committee under Subsection (a-1)(1) if the person or the person's spouse:
(1) is employed by or participates in the management of a business entity or other organization receiving funds from the committee;
(2) owns or controls, directly or indirectly, more than a 10 percent interest in a business entity or other organization receiving funds from the committee; or
(3) uses or receives a substantial amount of tangible goods, services, or funds from the committee, other than compensation or reimbursement authorized by law for committee membership, attendance, or expenses.
(h) A person may not serve as a member of the committee if the person is required to be registered as a lobbyist under Chapter 305 because of the person's activities for compensation on behalf of a profession related to the operation of the State Cemetery.
(i) A public member of the committee is not entitled to compensation but is entitled to reimbursement, from committee funds, for the travel expenses incurred by the member while conducting the business of the committee, as provided in the General Appropriations Act. The entitlement of an employee member to compensation or reimbursement for travel expenses is governed by the law applying to the person's service in that underlying position, and any payments to the person shall be made from the appropriate funds of the employing agency.
(j) All plans, programs, and materials relating to historical interpretation of the State Cemetery shall be submitted to the Texas Historical Commission for its review and approval. The Texas Historical Commission may provide staff support for activities interpreting the historical features of the State Cemetery.
(k) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 932 , Sec. 5(2), eff. September 1, 2015.
(l) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 932 , Sec. 5(2), eff. September 1, 2015.
(m) The board, in collaboration with the committee, may adopt rules as necessary for the administration of the State Cemetery.
(n) It is a ground for removal from the committee that a member:
(1) does not have at the time of taking office the qualifications required by Subsection (a);
(2) does not maintain during service on the committee the qualifications required by Subsection (a);
(3) is ineligible for membership under Subsection (g) or (h);
(4) cannot, because of illness or disability, discharge the member's duties for a substantial part of the member's term; or
(5) is absent from more than half of the regularly scheduled committee meetings that the member is eligible to attend during a calendar year without an excuse approved by a majority vote of the committee.
(o) The validity of an action of the committee is not affected by the fact that it is taken when a ground for removal of a committee member exists.
(p) If the executive director of the board has knowledge that a potential ground for removal from the committee exists, the executive director shall notify the presiding officer of the committee of the potential ground. The presiding officer shall then notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists. If the potential ground for removal involves the presiding officer, the executive director shall notify the next highest ranking officer of the committee, who shall then notify the governor and the attorney general that a potential ground for removal exists.
(q) The executive director of the board or the executive director's designee shall provide to members of the committee, as often as necessary, information regarding the requirements for office under this chapter, including information regarding a person's responsibilities under applicable laws relating to standards of conduct for state officers.
(r) A person who is appointed to and qualifies for office as a member of the committee may not vote, deliberate, or be counted as a member in attendance at a meeting of the committee until the person completes a training program that complies with this subsection. The training program must provide the person with information regarding:
(1) the legislation that created the State Cemetery and the committee;
(2) the programs operated by the committee;
(3) the role and functions of the committee;
(4) the rules of the committee, with an emphasis on any rules that relate to disciplinary and investigatory authority;
(5) the results of the most recent formal audit of cemetery operations;
(6) the requirements of:
(A) the open meetings law, Chapter 551;
(B) the public information law, Chapter 552;
(C) the administrative procedure law, Chapter 2001; and
(D) other laws relating to public officials, including conflict-of-interest laws; and
(7) any applicable ethics policies adopted by the board, the committee, or the Texas Ethics Commission.
(s) A person appointed to the committee is entitled to reimbursement, as provided by Chapter 660 and the General Appropriations Act, for the travel expenses incurred in attending the training program regardless of whether the attendance at the program occurs before or after the person qualifies for office.
(t) Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 932 , Sec. 5(2), eff. September 1, 2015.
(u) The committee shall develop and implement policies that provide the public with a reasonable opportunity to appear before the committee and to speak on any issue under the jurisdiction of the committee.
(v) The State Cemetery Committee shall erect a flagpole and an appropriate monument in the military monument area of the State Cemetery dedicated to military personnel from the state who are killed while serving in a combat zone. When the committee is notified by the Texas Veterans Commission that a member of the United States armed forces from the state was killed while serving in a combat zone, the committee shall ensure that the flag at the monument is displayed at half-staff for an appropriate period as a mark of respect to the memory of the deceased member of the armed forces.
Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 264, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1422, Sec. 8.02, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.
Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1394 (S.B. 2135), Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.
Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 932 (H.B. 2206), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2015.
Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 932 (H.B. 2206), Sec. 5(2), eff. September 1, 2015.
Text of section as added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 72 (S.B. 574), Sec. 1
For text of section as added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 932 (H.B. 2206), Sec. 4, see other Sec. 2165.2565.
Last modified: September 28, 2016