Rule Review Chapter 51: Proposed Amendment to Hunter Education Rules

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LEGISLATIVE RULES REVIEW

CHAPTER 51. EXECUTIVE

SUBCHAPTER D – EDUCATION

PROPOSAL PREAMBLE

1. Introduction.

        The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment to §51.80, concerning Mandatory Hunter Education Course and Instructors. The proposed amendment would alter the title of the section to read “Hunter Education.” The proposed amendment would alter subsection (a) to reflect that a person may obtain a duplicate certificate of completion of hunter education requirements online and replaces a list of classes of persons exempt from hunter education requirements by statute with a reference to the statutory exemptions; alter subsection (b) to allow a reproduction of a certificate of completion stored on a wireless communication device to be accepted as proof of completion of hunter education; and alter subsection (c) to change references to “deferred hunter education option” to refer instead to “hunter education deferral.” All the changes are nonsubstantive. The proposed amendment is a result of the department’s review of its regulations under the provisions of Government Code, §2001.039, which requires each state agency to review each of its regulations no less frequently than every four years and to re-adopt, adopt with changes, or repeal each rule as a result of the review.

2. Fiscal Note.

        Steve Hall, Hunter Education Manager, has determined that for each of the first five years that the rule as proposed is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local governments as a result of administering or enforcing the rule. 

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

        Mr. Hall also has determined that for each of the first five years that the rule as proposed is in effect:

        (A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rule will be consistency with the Parks and Wildlife Code and agency publications.

        There will be no adverse economic effect on persons required to comply with the rule.

        (B) Under the provisions of Government Code, Chapter 2006, a state agency must prepare an economic impact statement and a regulatory flexibility analysis for a rule that may have an adverse economic effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities. As required by Government Code, §2006.002(g), the Office of the Attorney General has prepared guidelines to assist state agencies in determining a proposed rule’s potential adverse economic impact on small and microbusinesses and rural communities. Those guidelines state that an agency need only consider a proposed rule’s direct adverse economic impacts to determine if any further analysis is required. The department considers “direct economic impact“ to mean a requirement that would directly impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements; impose taxes or fees; result in lost sales or profits; adversely affect market competition; or require the purchase or modification of equipment or services.

        (C) The department has determined that proposed rule would result in no direct economic effect on any small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural community. Therefore, neither the economic impact statement nor the regulatory flexibility analysis described in Government Code, Chapter 2006, is required.

        (D) The department has not drafted a local employment impact statement under the Administrative Procedures Act, §2001.022, as the agency has determined that the rule as proposed will not impact local economies.

        (E) The department has determined that Government Code, §2001.0225 (Regulatory Analysis of Major Environmental Rules), does not apply to the proposed rule.

        (F) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed rule.

        (G) In compliance with the requirements of Government Code, §2001.0221, the department has prepared the following Government Growth Impact Statement (GGIS).  The rule as proposed, if adopted, will neither create nor eliminate a government program; not result in an increase or decrease in the number of full-time equivalent employee needs; not result in a need for additional General Revenue funding; not affect the amount of an existing fee; not create, expand, or repeal an existing regulation; not increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to regulation; and not positively or adversely affect the state’s economy.

4. Request for Public Comment.

        Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Steve Hall at (512) 389-8140, e-mail: steve.hall@tpwd.texas.gov. Comments also may be submitted via the department’s website at http://www.tpwd.texas.gov/business/feedback/public_comment/.

5. Statutory Authority.

        The amendment is proposed under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, §62.014(h), which requires the commission to make rules governing the hunter education program.

        The proposed amendment affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 62.

6. Rule Text.

        §51.80. [Mandatory] Hunter Education [Course and Instructors].

                 (a) Hunter Education Course.

                          (1) – (5) (No change.)

                         (6) The department shall issue a certificate to persons who successfully complete the course. A duplicate certificate may be obtained online at the department’s website at https://tpwd.texas.gov/education/hunter-education[issued upon request to the department’s hunter education section or in person to a law enforcement field office or department-approved instruction provider.]

                         (7) (No change.)

                 (b) Hunter Education Requirements.

                         (1) – (5) (no change.)

                         (6) A person who is required to be certified must possess evidence of certification while hunting in Texas, which may include a photograph or electronic copy of valid certification stored on a wireless communication device.

                         (7) – (8) (No change.)

                         (9) A person who is exempt from the hunter education requirements under the provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, §62.014(n) is exempt from the requirements of this section[A person is exempt from live-firing requirements of the Hunter Education Course delivered via classroom instruction or a combination of online instruction and skills exercise if the person is:]

                                  [(A) an honorably discharged veteran of the United States armed forces; or]

                                  [(B) on active duty as a member of the United States armed forces, the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, or the Texas State Guard.]

                 (c) Other Non-certified Persons.

                         (1) (No change.)

                         (2) A person 17 years of age or older who is required to complete hunter education may hunt without certification if that person is:

                                  (A) in possession of a valid hunting license indicating that the person has selected the “Hunter Education Deferral”["Deferred Hunter Education Option"] offered by the department; and

                                  (B) (No change.)

                         (3) (No change.)

                         (4) A hunter education deferral[deferred hunter education option] expires at the end of the license year for which it was purchased.

                         (5) No person may select the hunter education deferral[deferred hunter education option] more than once.

                         (6) A person who has been convicted of or received deferred adjudication for not having completed a mandatory hunter education course is prohibited from obtaining a hunter education deferral[deferred hunter education option].

        This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency’s authority to adopt.

        Issued in Austin, Texas, on

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