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RULE §21.12Marker Text Requests

(a) A request for a review of the text of any Official Texas Historical Marker (OTHM) that is the property of the State of Texas and which falls under the jurisdiction of the Texas Historical Commission ("Commission") may be submitted to dispute the factual accuracy of the OTHM based on verifiable, historical evidence that the marker:

  (1) Includes the name of an individual or organization that is not spelled correctly;

  (2) Includes a date that is not historically accurate;

  (3) Includes a statement that is not historically accurate; or

  (4) Has been installed at the wrong location.

(b) A request for review of OTHM text shall be submitted on a form provided by the Commission for that purpose, accompanied by no more than 10 single-sided pages of supplemental material printed in a font size no smaller than 11.

(c) OTHM review requests shall be submitted to the Commission at 1511 Colorado St., Austin, Texas 78701; by mail to P.O. Box 12276, Austin, Texas 78711; or by email to thc@thc.texas.gov. The Commission will send a copy of the request and supporting materials to the County Historical Commission (CHC) for the county in which the OTHM is located, return receipt requested. In the absence of a formally-established CHC, a copy will be submitted to the county judge, return receipt requested.

(d) The CHC or county judge shall have 10 days from the date of receipt of the request to submit a response to the Commission if they wish to do so. The CHC's or county judge's response shall consist of not more than 10 single-sided pages of material printed in a font size no smaller than 11 and shall be signed by the chair of the CHC or by the county judge.

(e) Within 20 days of receiving the CHC's or county judge's response to the request, or within 30 days of receiving the request itself if there is no CHC or county judge response, the staff at the Commission shall review the information submitted and respond to the requestor and to the CHC or county judge with the staff recommendation in writing, return receipt requested.

(f) During the period previously referred to in Section (e) of this section, Commission staff may choose to refer the request to a panel of professional historians for a recommendation.

(g) The panel will consist of three professional historians:

  (1) the State Historian appointed by the Governor pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 3104.051;

  (2) the historian appointed by the Governor to serve on the Commission pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 442.002; and

  (3) a professional historian selected by these two historians from the faculty of a public college or university upon receiving the request. If no professional historian has been appointed by the Governor to serve on the Commission, the Governor's appointed chair of the Commission or the chair's designee will serve on the panel in place of that individual.

(h) In reaching its decision, the panel will review the same information reviewed by the staff, as well as any additional information provided by staff, which shall be no more than 10 single-sided pages of supplemental material printed in a font size no smaller than 11. The panel shall be chaired by the State Historian who shall determine whether the panel will meet in person or deliberate through electronic or other means.

(i) The panel shall develop a written recommendation supported by at least two of its members. The written recommendation of the panel will be delivered to the Commission staff no later than 30 days following the panel's receipt of the background materials as provided above. If the panel is unable to develop such a recommendation, the panel chair shall so report in writing to the Commission's staff within the same 30-day period. Commission staff will consider the panel's report and send their final recommendation to the requestor and to the CHC or county judge within 15 days after receiving the panel's report, return receipt requested.

(j) If the requestor, or the County Historical Commission or county judge are not satisfied with the staff recommendation, they may choose to file an objection with the Commission's History Programs Committee ("Committee"). Such objections must be postmarked no later than 5 days following receipt of the staff recommendation. If no such objection is filed, the staff or panel recommendation with accompanying marker text revisions will be placed on the next consent agenda of the Texas Historical Commission for approval.

(k) Review of objections filed with the Committee shall be based on copies of the same information as was initially provided to the panel of historians under section (g) above. If the matter was not submitted to the panel of historians, the objection shall be based on the material previously submitted by the requestor or requestors and CHC or county judge to the marker staff under sections (b) and (d) above, and on any additional information provided by marker staff, which shall be no more than 10 single-sided pages of supplemental material printed in a font size no smaller than 11.

(l) The Committee shall include the objection on the agenda of its next scheduled meeting, assuming said meeting happens at least 20 days after the objection is received by the Commission. If the 20-day deadline is not met, the objection shall be on the agenda of the following meeting of the Committee.

(m) The Committee may choose to take public testimony on the objection, or not. If public testimony is invited, such testimony may be limited by the Committee chair to a period of time allocated per speaker, per side (pro and con) or both.

(n) The decision of the Committee, along with any recommendation from staff and/or the panel, shall be placed on the consent agenda of the full Commission for approval.

(o) If a request or objection is approved by the Commission, the existing marker will be replaced, subject to the availability of funds for that purpose. If such funds are not readily available, a supplemental marker may serve in the interim.

(p) With all approved requests or objections, Commission staff will write the replacement text. Markers will be produced by the contracted foundry and production will be subject to the foundry's schedule.

(q) The Commission will not accept subsequent requests or objections that are substantively similar to a request or objection that is already going through or has already gone through this request process. A decision not to accept a request or objection under this section may be made by the Executive Director.

(r) A request for review may only be filed against a single marker, and no individual or organization may file more than one request for review per calendar year.

Source Note: The provisions of this §21.12 adopted to be effective November 28, 2018, 43 TexReg 7671; amended to be effective May 26, 2021, 46 TexReg 3250; amended to be effective August 21, 2022, 47 TexReg 4970

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