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RULE §1.5Public Hearings

(a) Subject of hearings. The commission may hold public hearings to:

  (1) consider the adoption of rules, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, Government Code, Chapter 2001;

  (2) receive evidence and testimony concerning the desirability of acquiring dredge material disposal sites and of any widening, relocation, or alteration of the main channel of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, in accordance with Transportation Code, §51.006 and Chapter 2 of this title (relating to Environmental Review of Transportation Projects);

  (3) provide for public input regarding the design, schematic layout, and environmental impact of transportation projects, in accordance with Transportation Code, §203.021, and Chapter 2 of this title;

  (4) consider maximum prima facie speed limits on highways in the state highway system that are near public or private elementary or secondary schools or institutions of higher education, in accordance with Transportation Code, §545.357;

  (5) annually receive public input on the commission's highway project selection process and the relative importance of the various criteria on which the commission bases its project selection decisions, in accordance with Transportation Code, §201.602;

  (6) receive comments from interested parties prior to approving any financial assistance under Transportation Code, §21.111, relating to aviation facilities development; and

  (7) provide, when deemed appropriate by the commission or when otherwise required by law, for public input regarding any other issue under the jurisdiction of the department.

(b) Authorized representative. The executive director or an employee of the department designated by the executive director may conduct public hearings held under subsection (a)(1), (3), (6), and (7) of this section.

(c) Conduct and decorum. Public hearings will be conducted in a manner that maximizes public access and input while maintaining proper decorum and orderliness, and will be governed by the following guidelines.

  (1) Questioning of those making presentations will be reserved to commissioners, the executive director, or, if applicable, the presiding officer.

  (2) Organizations, associations, or groups are encouraged to present their commonly held views and same or similar comments through a representative member where possible.

  (3) Presentations shall remain pertinent to the issue being discussed.

  (4) A person who disrupts a public hearing must leave the hearing room if ordered to do so by the chair or the presiding officer.

  (5) Time allotted to one speaker may not be reassigned to another speaker.

(d) Disability accommodation. Persons with disabilities who have special communication or accommodation needs and who plan to attend a hearing to be held by the commission may contact the person or office specified in the notice of the hearing. In the case of a hearing to be conducted by the department, those persons may contact the public affairs officer whose address and telephone number appear in the public notice for that hearing. Requests should be made at least three working days before the hearing. The department will make every reasonable effort to accommodate these needs.

(e) Language accommodation. For a hearing held in an area with a substantial Spanish speaking population, the department will provide:

  (1) notice of the hearing in both English and Spanish; and

  (2) upon request, Spanish translation.

Source Note: The provisions of this §1.5 adopted to be effective February 23, 1993, 18 TexReg 890; amended to be effective August 23, 1996, 21 TexReg 7666; amended to be effective January 4, 2001, 25 TexReg 13006; amended to be effective January 8, 2004, 29 TexReg 226; amended to be effective December 8, 2005, 30 TexReg 8178; amended to be effective May 17, 2012, 37 TexReg 3604; amended to be effective August 17, 2016, 41 TexReg 6086

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