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RULE §295.73Asbestos Advisory Committee

(a) The committee. An advisory committee shall be appointed under and governed by this section.

  (1) The name of the committee shall be the Asbestos Advisory Committee (committee).

  (2) The committee is established under the Health and Safety Code, §11.016, which allows the Texas Board of Health (board) to establish advisory committees.

(b) Applicable law. The committee is subject to the Government Code, Chapter 2110, concerning state agency advisory committees.

(c) Purpose. The purpose of the committee is to provide advice to the board in the area of asbestos licensing and compliance.

(d) Tasks.

  (1) The committee shall advise the board concerning rules relating to asbestos regulation.

  (2) The committee shall advise the Texas Department of Health (department) concerning rules, fees, courses, and other topics necessary to administer the Texas Asbestos Health Protection Act.

  (3) The committee shall carry out any other tasks given to the committee by the board.

(e) Review and duration. By September 1, 2007, the board will initiate and complete a review of the committee to determine whether the committee should be continued, consolidated with another committee, or abolished. If the committee is not continued or consolidated, the committee shall be abolished on that date.

(f) Composition. The committee shall be composed of nine members appointed by the board. The composition of the committee shall include:

  (1) three consumer representatives; and

  (2) six nonconsumer representatives.

(g) Terms of office. The term of office of each member shall be six years. Members shall serve after expiration of their term until a replacement is appointed.

  (1) Members shall be appointed for staggered terms so that the terms of a substantial equivalent number of members will expire on August 31st of each odd-numbered year.

  (2) If a vacancy occurs, a person shall be appointed to serve the unexpired portion of that term.

(h) Officers. The committee shall select from its members the presiding officer and an assistant presiding officer to begin serving on September 1 of each odd-numbered year.

  (1) Each officer shall serve until the next regular election of officers.

  (2) The presiding officer shall preside at all committee meetings at which he or she is in attendance, call meetings in accordance with this section, appoint subcommittees of the committee as necessary, and cause proper reports to be made to the board. The presiding officer may serve as an ex-officio member of any subcommittee of the committee.

  (3) The assistant presiding officer shall perform the duties of the presiding officer in case of the absence or disability of the presiding officer. In case the office of presiding officer becomes vacant, the assistant presiding officer will complete the unexpired portion of the term of the office of presiding officer.

  (4) If the office of assistant presiding officer becomes vacant, it may be filled by vote of the committee.

  (5) A member shall serve no more than two consecutive terms as presiding officer and/or assistant presiding officer.

  (6) The committee may reference its officers by other terms, such as chairperson and vice-chairperson.

(i) Meetings. The committee shall meet only as necessary to conduct committee business.

  (1) A meeting may be called by agreement of department staff and either the presiding officer or at least three members of the committee.

  (2) Meeting arrangements shall be made by department staff. Department staff shall contact committee members to determine availability for a meeting date and place.

  (3) The committee is not a "governmental body" as defined in the Open Meetings Act. However, in order to promote public participation, each meeting of the committee shall be announced and conducted in accordance with the Open Meetings Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 551, with the exception that the provisions allowing executive sessions shall not apply.

  (4) Each member of the committee shall be informed of a committee meeting at least ten working days before the meeting. Proposed rules shall be sent to the committee at least ten working days before the meeting.

  (5) A simple majority of the members of the committee shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting official business.

  (6) The committee is authorized to transact official business only when in a legally constituted meeting with quorum present.

  (7) The agenda for each committee meeting shall include an item entitled public comment under which any person will be allowed to address the committee on matters relating to committee business. The presiding officer may establish procedures for public comment, including a time limit on each comment.

(j) Attendance. Members shall attend committee meetings as scheduled. Members shall attend meetings of subcommittees to which the member is assigned.

  (1) A member shall notify the presiding officer or appropriate department staff if he or she is unable to attend a scheduled meeting.

  (2) It is grounds for removal from the committee if a member cannot discharge the member's duties for a substantial part of the term for which the member is appointed because of illness or disability, is absent from more than half of the committee and subcommittee meetings during a calendar year, or is absent from at least three consecutive committee meetings.

  (3) 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 member exists.

(k) Staff. Staff support for the committee shall be provided by the department.

(l) Procedures. Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall be the basis of parliamentary decisions except where otherwise provided by law or rule.

  (1) Any action taken by the committee must be approved by a majority vote of the members present once quorum is established.

  (2) Each member shall have one vote.

  (3) A member may not authorize another individual to represent the member by proxy.

  (4) The committee shall make decisions in the discharge of its duties without discrimination based on any person's race, creed, gender, religion, national origin, age, physical condition, or economic status.

  (5) Minutes of each committee meeting shall be taken by department staff.

    (A) A draft of the minutes approved by the presiding officer shall be provided to the board and each member of the committee within 30 days of each meeting.

    (B) After approval by the committee, the minutes shall be signed by the presiding officer.

(m) Subcommittees. The committee may establish subcommittees as necessary to assist the committee in carrying out its duties.

  (1) The presiding officer shall appoint members of the committee to serve on subcommittees and to act as subcommittee chairpersons. The presiding officer may also appoint nonmembers of the committee to serve on subcommittees.

  (2) Subcommittees shall meet when called by the subcommittee chairperson or when so directed by the committee.

  (3) A subcommittee chairperson shall make regular reports to the advisory committee at each committee meeting or in interim written reports as needed. The reports shall include an executive summary or minutes of each subcommittee meeting.

(n) Statement by members.

  (1) The board, the department, and the committee shall not be bound in any way by any statement or action on the part of any committee member except when a statement or action is in pursuit of specific instructions from the board, department, or committee.

  (2) The committee and its members may not participate in legislative activity in the name of the board, the department or the committee except with approval through the department's legislative process. Committee members are not prohibited from representing themselves or other entities in the legislative process.

  (3) A committee member should not accept or solicit any benefit that might reasonably tend to influence the member in the discharge of the member's official duties.

  (4) A committee member should not disclose confidential information acquired through his or her committee membership.

  (5) A committee member should not knowingly solicit, accept, or agree to accept any benefit for having exercised the member's official powers or duties in favor of another person.

  (6) A committee member who has a personal or private interest in a matter pending before the committee shall publicly disclose the fact in a committee meeting and may not vote or otherwise participate in the matter. The phrase "personal or private interest" means the committee member has a direct pecuniary interest in the matter but does not include the committee member's engagement in a profession, trade, or occupation when the member's interest is the same as all others similarly engaged in the profession, trade, or occupation.

(o) Reports to board. The committee shall file an annual written report with the board.

  (1) The report shall list the meeting dates of the committee and any subcommittees, the attendance records of its members, a brief description of actions taken by the committee, a description of how the committee has accomplished the tasks given to the committee by the board, the status of any rules which were recommended by the committee to the board, and anticipated activities of the committee for the next year.

  (2) The report shall identify the costs related to the committee's existence, including the cost of department staff time spent in support of the committee's activities and the source of funds used to support the committee's activities.

  (3) The report shall cover the meetings and activities in the immediate preceding 12 months and shall be filed with the board each September. It shall be signed by the presiding officer and appropriate department staff.

(p) Reimbursement for expenses. In accordance with the requirements set forth in the Government Code, Chapter 2110, a committee member may receive reimbursement for the member's expenses incurred for each day the member engages in official committee business if authorized by the General Appropriations Act or budget execution process.

  (1) No compensatory per diem shall be paid to committee members unless required by law.

  (2) A committee member who is an employee of a state agency, other than the department, may not receive reimbursement for expenses from the department.

  (3) A nonmember of the committee who is appointed to serve on a subcommittee may not receive reimbursement for expenses from the department.

  (4) Each member who is to be reimbursed for expenses shall submit to staff the member's receipts for expenses and any required official forms no later than 14 days after each committee meeting.

  (5) Requests for reimbursement of expenses shall be made on official state travel vouchers prepared by department staff.

Source Note: The provisions of this §295.73 adopted to be effective June 22, 1995, 20 TexReg 4262; amended to be effective December 13, 1998, 23 TexReg 12353; amended to be effective August 15, 1999, 24 TexReg 6091; amended to be effective August 28, 2003, 28 TexReg 6876

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